Always follow the settings procedure policy when dealing with complaints. Complaints may be telephoned in, emailed or in person and there will be a different protocol and timescale to follow.
When dealing with a complaint face to face keep calm and listen. The person complaining may be angry and I need to stay calm ensure they can see I’m listening and never raise my voice and avoid it escalating. If the discussion is infront of others try to move it somewhere that is more confidential, trying to move the discussion may also help if the person is very angry or upset. Gives them a couple of minutes to calm down while you re-locate. Always show that you’re listening and giving them your whole attention, never look dismissive. Reflect back on what they’ve said repeating back key points so they can hear you’ve understood and listened to what they’ve said. It also helps highlight if I’ve misunderstood a point so they can correct me. Always apologise if I am in in the wrong, misunderstood or forgotten an instruction.
Explain what actions I can take to correct the situation. For example a parent asked me to not give their child any sweet foods. Another child had brought in a cake for their birthday and I had forgot to write the parents wish on the board, leading to the child eating some cake. I could apologise, admit fault and ensure the parent that the notice would instantly be placed on the appropriate board. The next day when they dropped the child off I could have a private talk with the parent/carer and show that it is now on the board and I did follow up and correct the mistake. In some cases an explanation or apology will not resolve the situation. Discuss a compromise that suits everybody to bring out a win/win solution. The main thing when dealing with complaints is to stay calm, listen and to be tactful, don’t make any personal comments that may cause the situation to escalate. Choose my words wisely and think before I speak.
Courtney from Study Moose
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