Dealing with financial services complaints – top 5 tips

Dealing with financial services complaints – top 5 tips

Published on: October 19, 2011
Author: Epticablog
Figures just released by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) show that the number of complaints made by consumers increased by 24% in the third quarter. 31,386 complaints were made to the FOS, which deals with issues escalated by consumers beyond their financial services provider, between July and September 2011.

Commentators have highlighted factors such as the worsening economic situation for the increase, with financial uncertainty making consumers keep a closer eye on all their financial affairs. Whatever the drivers the wide range of competition in the financial services industry and growing pressure on incomes means that customer service is obviously going to continue to be a key differentiator when it comes to winning and retaining business.

So how can financial services organisations deliver the highest levels of customer service and avoid being referred to the FOS? Here are five key tactics, based on Eptica’s experience across Europe:

1              Be joined up

Nothing annoys a customer more than having to repeat their details or what they are calling about when they cross channels. Therefore ensure that all your agents have the ability to access up to date details of the customer journey so they have all the facts at their fingertips.

2              Don’t neglect email

Despite the rise to prominence of channels such as social media and chat, companies are now receiving more emails than ever before. Essentially this is because email is faster than a letter and easier than a fax, while providing an audit trail of any enquiry or complaint. So financial services organisations need to make sure they deal with emails in a timely yet satisfactory manner. However, research by Eptica earlier in 2011 found that it only 6 out of 10 insurers surveyed responded to emails sent to them, showing there is still much room for improvement. 

3              Be consistent

Many customer complaints stem from being given information that is either unclear or inconsistent with company policy or what a product actually does. Make sure that everyone dealing with the public – from branch staff through to customer service agents has access to updated, consistent information from a single knowledgebase that they can use to respond clearly and without ambiguity.

4              Use your experts

Today’s customers have questions that can be extremely detailed and specific. So ensure you have the ability to forward queries onto subject experts or branch banking advisers to access their knowledge, all within the customer service workflow.  

5              Provide fast responses

Consumers want the right response, and they want it quickly. Therefore give accurate deadlines for providing an answer – and ensure you keep your promises. Use technology such as web self-service to enable customers to find answers to basic questions without needing to phone or email, freeing up your agents to focus on more complex cases.

In a complex market like financial services, complaints cannot be eradicated, but following these tips should help to minimise upset customers, reduce churn and grow your business.

Tags: banking, Customer Service, email management, Eptica, Financial Ombudsman Service, Financial services, FOS, knowledgebase, Social media, workflow
Categories: Contact Center, Customer Service, Email Management, Finance, Multichannel Customer Service, Self-service

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