Complaints Handling Training for Office of Police & Crime Commissioner

‘They were a pleasure to deal with from beginning to end.  Highly professional, experienced and very knowledgeable.   The training was delivered in an effective way which engaged all of my staff and each and every one of them took something away from the day.  I would recommend this training for any organisation or team that deal with complaints and are looking for innovative ideas on how to deal with those complaints effectively.’

Stephen Hughes, Chief Executive



Facilitation of Team Awayday for Children’s Dental Service Guernsey

‘Alison (and her team) recently came to provide us a day on communication, not only with challenging clients but also within our team. By the end of the day,  in addition to  the team actively  thinking about  how we could improve our communication  techniques with our clients,  she also  had us  developing our own Team Values.  This was my third training day with Alison.  Her days are proactive and thought provoking, she guides rather than leads thus ensuring ownership ends up in the right place.  She is an expert in her own field and identified the challenges we had recently been facing  perfectly after a fairly minimal brief – this in itself was impressive.  Thank you!’

Sarah Lyle, Head of the Children’s Dental Service Guernsey



Strengthening Customer Service Training and Customer Capability – For World’s Leading Insurance Broker and Risk Adviser

The Challenge

A regular client of ours since the early 1990s, Marsh approached us with a specific brief to transform the customer service ethos and skills of two distinct internal audiences as they were going to be experiencing a significant change in business practice.

A new way of thinking and behaving towards key customers and stakeholders was required, along with new techniques and improved soft skills. The client anticipated some resistance to change and in particular to any training interventions.

The target audience included managers, team leaders and staff, many of whom had been working in the same way for years and who had not necessarily had roles involving a high degree of customer contact.  It was imperative that new approaches and fresh perspectives were embedded.

The Solution

We worked in partnership with the client over several months to design and prepare the optimum bespoke solution.

As this was a substantial change programme we selected senior people in the client business to join our focus group.  They brought and shared the internal tacit, technical and business knowledge and context.  We added our expertise in change management and soft skills programme design, development and delivery.

Together through our customer service training we identified team champions to aid the transfer of training and help change stick after the events.

A key success factor was also securing the involvement of business leaders on each workshop.  We even got them rolling their sleeves up and taking part in the interactive theatre exercises and telephone simulations!

The Results

This proved to be an extensive programme which was very well received by all the delegates.  The client achieved the results they were seeking:  Team leaders and technicians who were:

  • able and willing to think differently about customer service
  • use new approaches and skills successfully and
  • champion change in business practice.

The customer service training programme hit all deadlines and exceeded expectations.

As the client said “Exceptional feedback….A great success”.

Exceptional Feedback… a great success!



Complaints Handling Case Study in an FCA Regulated environment –  Insurance and Reinsurance

This complaints handling case study describes how we have helped equip a leading insurance company with business critical skills and competencies.

The Challenge

Our brief was to help this client equip more than 100 Underwriting and Claims managers, team leaders and staff to handle complaints both over the phone and face to face.  They had no previous formal training in complaints and the need involved strengthening customer care skills as well as giving them the tools and confidence to improve complaints handling, and meeting current FCA regulatory requirements.

Regulatory compliance included accurate recording of complaints, keeping records and adhering to mandatory timescales.  Additionally the challenge included a cultural change piece around customer service, which was to be a key driver for the 2015 vision.  Treating customers fairly was core to the client brand and reputation.

The client had recently updated their complaints policy and our solution had to dovetail with this too as well as take into

account the differing business needs of stakeholders, the complexity of the Lloyd’s market, DISP, and the very different roles undertaken by the delegates

The solution

We designed a series of one day courses, with a mix of roles and levels in each group, across Business Classes.   We ran two different versions of the programme.

One version catered for the claims and underwriting nominated complaints handlers, team leaders, and managers.  This focused additionally on handling complaints in writing.

Other delegates attended a version, which whilst ensuring consistency of message, devoted more time to the behavioural skills required over the phone to avoid and diffuse complaints and difficult behaviour.

We used our unique experience in both this sector and this subject area to provide opportunity to practice new skills, and build confidence as well as gain a sound understanding of the complaints procedures and how to apply them.  We worked on ‘live’ issues as a vehicle to enhance the learning and help make the change stick.

The Results

Over 120 Claims and Underwriting staff understood the new complaints policy and procedures and were clear on their respective roles and responsibilities.  The programme had also started to transform the culture and attitude towards clients and complaints.  Our client received such good feedback that we were  invited to support a future change programme throughout the Company, involving employee engagement, and management and organisational development.

“Better in dealing with our clients in the future”

“120 claims and underwriting staff with a sound understanding of complaints handling in FCA regulated environment”

Complaint Handling Case Study. A Series Of Workshops For The NHS

This complaint handling case study demonstrates how we have developed the skills set of front line NHS staff to deal with difficult situations, complaints and behaviours.

The Challenge

Having worked extensively with NHS clients over the years on a variety of people management and development projects, we were a natural choice for NHS Tees.  Their Head of Governance had a requirement which involved ensuring that staff and managers in key teams fully understood complaints handling requirements when dealing with patients and carers.  The training had to be very specifically tailored to their customer service ethos, their own complaints policy and procedures and the wider regulatory framework within the NHS.  In addition, they needed some expert support in extending the skills base for those who had some pretty difficult situations to cope with, face to face, and over the phone.  The training was to take place in a series of locations throughout the North East, to a tight time-scale.

The solution

We used our in-depth knowledge and understanding of the NHS Incident, Complaints and Claims Reporting and Investigation policies, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, key lessons learned from the Francis Inquiry, and PALS, and an independent patient advocacy service.  We added to this our 23 years’ experience and understanding of people’s behaviour when they are in stressful situations and our complaints handling expertise.  Our bespoke solution included high impact group sessions, tailored to the needs of specific teams, experiential learning methods and peer review.

The results

This proved to be such a successful complaints handling training programme that we were asked back to roll out a similar solution for different teams within NHS Tees.  As a result we were also selected to provide similar programmes for GP Practices and the West Midlands specialist dental care team.

As the client said  “It was a real gamble for us choosing an external provider but we were reassured throughout by the service we received.”


“Assured throughout of the knowledge, skills and quality of the training we were commissioning”