The culture of an organisation should ensure that complaints are seen as an opportunity rather than a threat. It should demonstrate an organisation that focuses on its customers and uses learning to improve services.
Here are some of the signs of a positive complaints culture:
- Effective governance provides leadership in complaint management and sets clear objectives for driving change leading to service improvement. There is clear accountability through the governance structure.
- Leaders and senior managers are committed to achieving positive outcomes and learning from complaints.
- Adequate resources are available for complaint handling.
- Complaint handling is open, in that processes are accessible to tenants and expectations are properly managed.
- The clear purpose of the complaints handling process is to reach appropriate resolution at the earliest opportunity and to ensure organisational learning from the outcomes.
- Everyone involved in the process understands their role and responsibility and has the authority to make decisions.
- People dealing with complaints have the skills, ability and support to consider the individual circumstances of a complaint and reach a fair outcome at any stage.
- Diversity is taken seriously to make sure that tenants are treated fairly whatever their circumstances.
Why is ‘culture’ relevant?
- We encourage landlords to have a positive complaint culture. We look for opportunities to promote such a culture and its benefits. For example, fewer wasted resources, better relationships with tenants, improved services and a better working environment.
- Tenants’ actions and behaviours contribute to the culture. Having realistic expectations of their landlord will help to contribute in a positive way.
- Scrutiny and tenant panels can hold landlords to account using the principles. What they do and how they behave will have direct impact on the organisation’s complaint handling culture.
- Can consider a landlord’s cultural attitude towards complaints when reviewing its complaint handling.