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How Can Organizations Manage the Rise in Complaints in a Pandemic Climate?

How Can Organizations Manage the Rise in Complaints in a Pandemic Climate?

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How Can Organizations Manage the Rise in Complaints in a Pandemic Climate?

Mar 2, 2021

Jonathan Gavey
Puzzle piece saying Complaint

The Financial Services sector has seen a large rise in complaints during the pandemic. The number of complaints filed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in the US has risen by 44 % compared to the same time period last year. There has been a similar rise in Australia, where the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has recorded 3,180 coronavirus-related complaints between March and May alone.

The recent judgement in the UK’s business interruption insurance test case, something that is thought to affect over 370,000 UK businesses, could well see an increase in insurance-related complaints too. This isn’t limited to the UK either, with similar cases occurring in South Africa and Australia already, with more set to happen elsewhere.

These rising figures coincide with new challenges for customer service teams, like depleted staffing levels and remote working. Where complaints management processes and practices might have been holding up just fine before the pandemic, this increased workload paired with dwindling resources could overwhelm teams.

But with the right tools in place, complaint handlers can find the efficiency and refined processes they need to capably respond.

Complaint management system

One such tool, a centralized complaint management system, allows workers to manage the end-to-end customer complaint journey in one place, capturing all customer interactions and information in a single location. Complaints can come in via a variety of channels — email, telephone, letter, social media — but they’re all logged and managed in the same way.

This means instant access to a single view of the customer for members of the complaints team, allowing them to hit the ground running armed with any relevant background data when it comes to addressing a specific complaint. The addition of intelligent workflows helps to guide the user as to next steps to take to facilitate an effective resolution, avoiding unnecessary and time-consuming escalations where possible. This level of guidance can prove invaluable for situations where front-line staff lack the skills and experience to manage more complex complaints, particularly where regulation is involved.

Quality first

While swift outcomes are often seen as the holy grail of complaint management, there’s certainly a risk that a speedy response might compromise quality. It’s vital that effective outcomes are the priority. This is where a robust complaint management system comes in, ensuring that resolutions are not only timely but satisfactory for all involved. Built-in quality assurance checks and balances underpin these quality resolutions, with an eye firmly on the best — rather than the quickest —resolution.

Valuable feedback

The ability of a comprehensive complaint management tool to generate valuable feedback should not be underestimated. With the right system in place, financial services businesses can create and maintain surveys within the case management platform itself. This allows case data and in-context survey data to sit side-by-side, ensuring the direct correlation of information in near real-time. This timely, in-context feedback can inform and drive improvements to the business, for products, processes and services, enhancing the entire customer experience (CX).

Regulatory compliance

The right system can make all the difference for regulatory compliance. A robust complaint management underpins watertight compliance with pre-defined parameters for mandatory resolution timescales built-in. As well as communications templates designed in-line with the latest local regulatory requirements, such as the CCPA in the US and RG 271 in Australia. Advanced reporting capabilities support increased transparency, providing hard evidence of compliance achievements to satisfy even the most stringent of regulators.

While the rise in complaints worldwide might be yet another unexpected consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, it doesn’t have to spell disaster for financial services organizations. Making real process improvements to the end-to-end complaints journey won’t immediately decrease the amount of complaints received, but it will enable businesses to better manage the complaints when they do come in, resulting in enhanced compliance and an increase in satisfied customers.

For more information on how Aptean can help with your complaint management requirements, contact us, we’d love to talk!

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