Solazone Complaints Procedure
A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction, made either verbally or in writing, about the standard of service, actions or lack of action by the Company or its staff, affecting an individual customer or group of customers.
Solazone values complaints and recognises that effective complaint handling will benefit its reputation and administration.
- highlight weaknesses in its programs, policies and service delivery
- stimulate us to improve our business practices
Good complaint handling will:
- reassure clients that Solazone is committed to resolving problems, improving relations and building loyalty
- improve Solazone’s accountability and transparency.
The following will not be registered as complaints:
A request for service
A request for information
The lodgement of an appeal in accordance with solar connection legislation.
Procedure – Responsibilities
The following seven stages in complaint handling are part of our internal procedures:
- A complaint will always be acknowledged promptly.
- The complaint will be assessed and assigned a priority.
- If an investigation is required, it will be planned as soon as possible.
- The investigation is to resolve factual issues and consider the possible options for the complaint resolution.
- The response to the complainant should always be clear and informative.
- If the complainant is not satisfied with the response, an internal review of the decision will be offered and information about possible external review options will be provided.
- Any systemic issues that arise as a result of the complaint will be considered and acted on to improve our systems.
The Branch Manager is responsible for the coordination of the complaints policy and procedure, including the analysis of data.
Customer Service is responsible for overseeing the process of recording, monitoring and reporting the progress of each complaint and all responses made.
Managers and Directors are responsible for the investigation of complaints directly related to their areas of operation.
As our complaints are very few in number, we use an electronic system for entering, tracking and monitoring complaints and for analysing complaint data. The system incorporates the following features:
- simple data entry
- the ability to search across various fields, such as the complainant’s name, individual-specific complaint, the staff member’s name, the type of problem, how the Company responds to the complaint, the location of the problem, and the time taken to resolve the complaint.
- regular reporting, to prompt Solazone to monitor trends and quickly identify and respond to new challenges
- simple access by all staff involved in complaint handling
- compliance with Solazone’s record-keeping practices
- compliance with legislation that regulates how Solazone is required to make, record and notify decisions or resolve complaints, as well as with information privacy principles.
1st Tier – Front Line Counter Staff / Supervisors
2nd Tier – Branch / Product Manager
3rd Tier – CEO / Director
4th Tier – Independent Review Body *
* could include the Ombudsman, a judicial review etc
Process for Complaint Handling
Complaints should preferably be made in writing, be addressed to the Manager and signed by the complainant, complete with their name, contact details and address. Telephone and verbal complaints will also be recorded in our complaints system, but wherever possible, they should be confirmed in writing to ensure the accuracy of our understanding of your complaint. Anonymous complaints can also be recorded in our complaints database and are assessed and action is taken where necessary.
Our complaints staff are trained to have the right skills and attributes for attending to complaint handling. These include
- warm and empathetic—they are able to respond to a diversity of people
- non-defensive—they can handle a complaint without being unduly protective of their organisation
- analytical—they can quickly recognise the core of a problem, weigh the evidence and arguments, and reach a logical conclusion
- unbiased—they avoid erroneous assumptions and consider the evidence objectively
- astute—they can set priorities for complaints, and they know when to escalate a complaint or allocate it to another officer
- creative—they explore alternative ways of resolving a complaint
- decisive—they decide how best to resolve the problem and manage the complainant’s expectations during the process
- firm—they politely explain and maintain a position, both with the complainant and with colleagues
- resilient—they can respond professionally to complainants who are upset or angry, without taking criticism personally
- Effective communication is the thread linking many of these skills. A good complaint handler must be a good communicator, orally and in writing. Complaint handlers deal with a diverse audience, in and outside their own Company.
In order to deal with complaints effectively and efficiently and to best resolve the problem, they are dealt with in the following manner:
1. Front-line staff (1st Tier) will receive all complaints, record the complaint details, date and your contact details in our complaints register. Where the complaint is of a relatively minor nature the staff member may attempt to sort out the problem straight away. If this complaint cannot be dealt with satisfactorily immediately, the complaint will be acknowledged verbally, and in writing, within 2 working days. A letter or email will detail what the nature of the complaint is, what action is proposed to be taken, who the responsible person will be to take this action, and a contact number or email. It will also provide details of the anticipated time for a response where this is known.
2. Complaints that cannot be handled by front-line staff are referred to supervisory staff in that work area. It is expected that the supervisor will acknowledge the complaint immediately, and will liaise with the complainant in order to keep him/her informed of the progress of the action being taken within a further three days.
3. Any follow up complaint to an original request or complaint will progress immediately to the 2nd Tier and be handled by the Branch / Product Manager
4. Where a complaint involves a number of different issues which require action by different members of staff, the Tier 1 Staff will send an email or letter of acknowledgement and then enter each complaint as a separate Customer Action Request entry to be forwarded to each relevant officer who will follow up on each complaint within three days, until its completion.
5. All written/email complaints will first be registered in the Customer Relationship Management portal, and then referred on to the respective officer for acknowledgement and response within 3 working days.
6. Serious complaints involving inappropriate behaviour or staff (eg. rudeness, discrimination or harassment) will be directed to the relevant Director. As in (1), the initial acknowledgement by the responsible officer, detailing the procedure to be taken, will occur within 2 working days.
7. Serious complaints involving personal injury, a breach of the law or financial implications, a Company decision, and complaints which involve the need for detailed knowledge of the Company’s operations and procedures, will be directed to the responsible Branch Manager in the first instance (2nd Tier), followed by the CEO / Director (3rd Tier) where necessary. Once again, the initial acknowledgement should be made within 2 working days by the responsible officer.
8. Any appeal against a response from 1st Tier staff can be referred to a 2nd Tier manager, director or the CEO for resolution. Any appeal against a response from 2nd Tier staff should be referred to CEO / Director for resolution.
9. Should the CEO / Director consider that a complaint is of a nature that requires the involvement of an independent mediator/facilitator, this process could be employed to assist in a 3rd Tier review.
10. In cases where the customer does not accept the outcome achieved by the Company as a result of following its complaints procedure, the complainant should be advised of alternative options open to them. These include approaching the Ombudsman or the Clean Energy Council. In this case, the record of events regarding the complaint may be made available to the complainant, upon request.
Customer service training is provided to all staff as a part of their on-boarding and regular training schedules. Front-line staff receive additional training in complaint handling and in complaint resolution. If required, specialized training in conciliation and mediation may be provided to those staff involved in more serious complaints with customers.
30-day Customer support
Customer service will follow-up with the complainant as a part of their regular schedules 30 days from the date of the original customer complaint to check whether the problem was satisfactorily resolved, and to gather any feedback about how the customer felt that their complaint had been listened to and acted upon. This response to be recorded in the database and the case closed if satisfied. If there is still an issue it should be escalated to the responsible manager to resolve.