Where and when?

Date: Wed 22 May 2024

Time: 09:30 - 12:30

Location: Online

Learn how to use more human language and psychology to stop complaints escalating.

The way you respond to complaints is crucial. Sound too corporate and they can escalate and become impossible to fix. Try to dismiss them and they can keep bouncing back. The most effective way to resolve them is to sound human, open and sincere.

After this virtual training course Team Leaders, Managers and Complaint Handlers will be able to write better complaint responses – whether you use standard letters, standard paragraphs or just start from scratch each time.

Course Description


You’ll understand the huge impact that more human written communication has and the role it can play in reducing complaints and building back relationships with your customers.

We’ll get you and your team writing faster, better and with confidence.

Working live – on your own material

We’ll work – live – on improving your own customer-facing material too. Send an example of your contact centre’s complaint responses you’re happy to share and we’ll work on a couple of examples from the group and show you how to improve them in real time.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this workshop you will know:

  • Why people really complain and what they really want.
  • What they actually end up getting instead.
  • What the Desire for Consumer Vengeance is (yes, it’s a real thing!) and how to deal with it
  • That how you deal with a complaint is actually more important than the tangible outcome
  • 80% of solving a complaint is emotional, it’s basically a row
  • How to get on the customer’s side
  • How to write back when someone complains
  • Avoid the passive voice (passing the buck) and cliches (which annoy the reader)
  • How to sound human and empathetic rather than like a robot

Benefits to your business

It’s just a fact that, no matter how amazing you are, there will always be complaints as nobody gets it right 100% of the time.

What matters is how your business handles complaints and turns them round.

  • Reduce the negative fall out from customer complaints, including lost customers, lost business, and bad word-of-mouth,
  • Boost customer satisfaction and loyalty– most customers become more loyal to businesses that handle their complaint in the right way,
  • Improve your systems for dealing with complaints and get faster at responding to customers by developing templates that make you sound human,
  • Reduce escalations and the amount your business pays out in compensation or refunds by understanding what customers really want when they complain.

Course content

  • Tone of voice – sounding more human to reduce escalations and resolve complaints more effectively
  • Why sounding ‘professional’ can be the wrong thing to do
  • Communicating with your audience with empathy and respect
  • Having more impact by writing less
  • Saying ‘no’ nicely
  • Content – what to say and what you don’t need to say
  • Structure and formatting
  • How people form an opinion of you from your comms – and how to stop them getting the wrong one
  • Buzzword Bingo – getting rid of common phrases that don’t work
  • Passive and active voice and how to use them
  • Plain English and why it’s OK, but only just a start
  • Writing to help customers understand – not make yourself look good

About the trainer

Mark McArthur-Christie

When was the last time you thought about your everyday emails to customers, the tone of your complaint responses, standard paragraphs or even how your statements are written?  What would happen if you started treating them like powerful customer experience tools that could boost satisfaction and first contact resolution as well as reducing complaints and queries?

As an ex-adman working in customer experience, Mark realised the same behavioural psychology tools and techniques that can sell a product or a service can help you make customers more loyal, make complaints disappear, stop unwanted query calls, and even deliver bad news without getting aggressive feedback.

He’s been helping organisations like The National Trust, The Electoral Commission, Aston Martin and Nando’s, amongst others, do exactly that since 2002.  They’ve seen complaint numbers halve, first contact resolution double and customers become more loyal.

Mark now runs The Think Human Consultancy, a customer experience business specialising in helping you get the most out of your everyday, operational comms.  As well as being a consultant and trainer, he’s also a published Oxford University Press author, speaker, and columnist.

What delegates say

“I like the fact that the training focused on changing your thinking, rather than focusing purely on response-writing content. I have attended many complaint responses courses before but this one was quite different and had the perfect amount of content using a different approach. Mark is fantastic and was very engaging and interesting. ”

Book your place(s)

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Please fill in the form to place your order. If your CCMA membership account has sufficient Training Credits we will email you to confirm.

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Where and when?

Date: Wed 22 May 2024

Time: 09:30 - 12:30

Location: Online


3-hour online session using Zoom or Teams.

Who is it for?

Contact Centre Managers, Team Managers, Complaint Handlers, and anyone who responds to complaints in a contact centre.

Why should you go?

To make your complaint responses more effective, reduce escalations and sound more human.

How much is it?

CCMA members: £249*

Non-members: £349*

*excludes VAT

Additional discounts available for group bookings

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