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Complaint handlers can also experience vulnerability

Friday 16, Oct 2020

With the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, many people will remain in vulnerable circumstances for some time yet. Conversations can be difficult with emotionally stretched customers, and over time complaints handlers may experience professional burnout. ‘Consumer professionals are more exposed to possible triggers due to the very nature of their work,’ says Cutty Felton, Lifeline crisis supporter and SOCAP program trainer. ‘A good connection with a client can expose a staff member to distress or trauma experienced by that client, so it’s especially important that service providers understand what vulnerability is and what it looks like — not only in their clients but in themselves as well.’

‘Vulnerability is complex, changeable and unique to every individual, and teaching staff how to recognise it and respond appropriately, compassionately and ethically, within strictly defined boundaries, is a crucial first step in building a strong and resilient workforce,’ urges Felton.  To read the complete article on ‘Caring for ourselves while caring for others’, revisit the Autumn 2020 edition of Consumer Directions

Complaints professionals are continuing to work under high pressure with consumers becoming increasingly frustrated about services or the ongoing effects of the pandemic on their business and family life. Yet complaint professionals often feel they are unable to share their own burdens, to ensure focus remains on the customer, which can lead to cumulative stress and the critical need for professional resilience support to avoid burnout.

SOCAP is proud to be working with so many member companies on delivering resilience frameworks and supports for teams including training programs and support structures to develop response skills for difficult conversations, to respond to an agitated caller, and to learn debriefing and self-care strategies. 

Join SOCAP on 9 November for our short virtual course on ‘De-escalating the Agitated Caller for Complaint Handlers’ to explore factors that can result in a person becoming distressed, communication roadblocks, and respectful, appropriate and empowering response skills.    

For a tailored approach for your business and team needs contact us on 02 9167 8119 or email: socap@socap.org.au