Complaints Management Process

Learn about the complaints process start to finish in Trail!

Angel Chessum avatar
Written by Angel Chessum
Updated over a week ago

Trail has a built-in internal complaints register and processes to assist you manage complaints & feedback from your clients. This will help you with your compliance obligations moving forward.

Make sure you customize your compliance settings first before starting to use Trail to manage your complaints!

Before you can start receiving and handling complaints in Trail you will want to make sure it is set up properly to fit with the process your business will follow.

In this article you will learn:

  • Step 1: Lodging a complaint

  • Step 2: Acknowledging a complaint

  • Step 3: Completing the initial review of a complaint (& escalating)

  • Step 4: Refining complaint information

  • Step 5: Closing a complaint

  • Complaint Register

Step 1: Lodging a complaint

Complaints can be lodged in a number of ways, making it easy for your clients, and your staff to follow a set process.

  1. Clients can make a complaint directly from the client portal

  2. Clients can make a complaint through a button on your website, which links to Trail

  3. Clients can verbally or by email, communicate a complaint to you or your staff, which can then be logged in Trail.

How a client lodges a complaint from the Client Portal

How to set up a complaints button on your Website

Read how to customise your complaints settings and create a button for your website here.

How to lodge a complaint as an adviser or assistant on behalf of a client

Similar to an opportunity, you can choose to lodge a complaint when creating an opportunity.

When a complaint is made the details of the person making the complaint are confirmed and information about the complaint can be filled in.

Step 2: Acknowledging a complaint

When the complaint is lodged - you will have the option and prompt to send out a Complaint Acknowledgement email. This is meant to be sent to the client who has made the complaint or raised the feedback.

This email template is ONLY able to be edited by the Compliance Officer (based on your Compliance Settings), within their Email Template settings.

The default wording of the template (seen below) has some input from your Compliance Settings e.g. the number of business days your organisation will take to contact the complainant, and your chosen dispute resolution service.

Your Complaints Disclosure will also be attached to this email as a PDF - so make sure it is set up in your Settings!

Either the adviser or the designated Compliance Officer in charge of handling complaints will be notified that there has been a new complaint lodged based on the notification settings and can get in contact with the client to begin the resolution process 👍

Step 3: Completing the initial review of a complaint

Complaints can be found in their own pipeline similar to other opportunities but unlike other opportunities, you can not manually move a complaint between stages but must instead follow a set process for handling and resolving the complaint.

When you access a complaint you will be taken to the complaint summary which provides information about the stage of the complaint and gives options to either reassign the complaint to another user, escalate the complaint, or begin the initial review of the complaint.


You can "Escalate" the complaint at any time during the process of review. It will mean the following depending on the situation:

If an adviser/ assistant (not Compliance Officer) escalates a complaint (internally) it will be reassigned to your Compliance Officer. The complaint tile in the Pipeline will then land in the "Internal Escalation" stage.

If your designated Compliance Officer escalates a complaint (externally) it reflects that this complaint is to go to your dispute resolution scheme. Within the pipeline it will be land in the "External Escalation" stage.

Initial Review

When the review begins the person managing the complaint will be asked questions to decide if the complaint can be informally resolved and closed immediately or if further action is required.

If you cannot resolve this complaint informally, then you must send out the Complaint Acknowledgement email (if you haven't already). A prompt/ reminder will appear regardless:

After the initial questions, it must be decided if the complaint will be reassigned or escalated, or if it can be effectively handled by the user currently assigned to the complaint ("continue").

Step 4: Refining complaint information

At this stage, further details about the nature of the complaint will be collected, and if further information is required from the complainant then there is an opportunity to record what is needed.

At each stage in the process there is an opportunity to continue, reassign or escalate the complaint, if appropriate.

Step 5: Closing a complaint

The last stage of the process is to close the complaint and record any actions that have been taken to resolve the complaint and if the complainant is satisfied with the result. The complaint can be reassigned or escalated at this point or resolved if appropriate.

Only the organisation's designated Compliance Officer can fully close off a complaint from the pipeline. If someone who is not the compliance officer attempts to resolve the complaint it will be reassigned to the organisation’s Compliance Officer where they can review the complaint and resolve it if they are satisfied with how it has been handled.

Complaint Register

In the reports section of the software, you can find a list of all complaints made and the status of each complaint which will allow you to review all past and active complaints made against the organisation.

A summary of any report can be viewed and downloaded from here.

With this feature you will be able to easily manage and resolve all complaints following a structured process and continue to meet your compliance obligations! 👍

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