Winning Strategies for Managing Complaints and Disputes in Financial Services – Sponsored Content

Customer service is still important, but in today’s remote working world, having more and better options for handling service requests, complaints and disputes is no longer “nice”, but a necessity to avoid reputational damage, potential regulatory exposure and loss. work. Essentially, the ability to manage complaints and disputes effectively and compliantly is now critical to success.

Explore how Australian organizations could improve their complaint and dispute management processes, iTNews recently held a webinar where Matthew Talbot (Head of Financial Services, APJ, ServiceNow) and Rahul Zarabi (Director, Financial Services Technology Consulting, EY) discussed the issue and also interviewed business leaders about their management. The results were revealing…

Customer expectations have changed rapidly

The webinar and survey showed that since the start of the pandemic, there has been a surge in customers’ use of digital channels to interact with organizations. This change, according to Zarabi, has led to a drop in trust in general, as customers feel more disconnected. He says, “There are different views on what normality is and what customers prioritize. Today’s customer is more educated and has more ways to complain.

Meanwhile, EY has tracked an overall increase in customer complaints and disputes, and at the height of COVID it was “astronomically high”.

Customers today will not hesitate to cancel a service in response to query delays: Search Source, iTNews and ServiceNow.

There are also heightened expectations when it comes to getting a resolution. Products are rated on a more critical scale than before. According to EY research, a 12% use of digital channels (before COVID-19 and in 2021) has now jumped to 45%. Additionally, disgruntled customers are now telling twice as many people about negative experiences compared to pre-COVID.

Talbot says the “new consumer” now expects a modern, Facebook/Amazon/Google-like customer experience from traditional service providers, like banks. He adds, “Handling complaints and disputes should be a consistent experience, with customers needing to know where they are in the process and when it will be resolved. From the customer’s perspective, every little problem is a big problem.

What is done well and what needs improvement

Presenters agreed that the biggest capacity gap around handling customer complaints and disputes is that practice should mirror policy. While the majority of financial services organizations have policies based on RG 165/RG 271 regulations (which define what financial services firms must do to comply with ASIC’s complaints and dispute resolution requirements ), the reality is that they are not compliant in many areas. . Zarabi makes the following observations:

  • Complaints and Dispute Management Systems: A common approach is to go directly to the CRM. Organizations that do this well bridge the gap between CRM and regulatory requirements and have a dispute resolution process in place.
  • Complaints and disputes operating model: Before COVID hit, this relationship was nearly linear. But, there is now an emerging trend where organizations are moving towards a hybrid model where they elevate frontline support staff to handle the majority of complaints and disputes before a second tier deals with complaints or specialized disputes.
  • Management of vulnerable customers: This is still unregulated, but there will be higher expectations in the future as organizations want to know what vulnerable customer complaints are and why.

Talbot added that lack of resources, training, and COVID-related issues in general, are accelerating complaints and litigation issues. For example, when COVID hit New Zealand’s Kiwibank was forced to temporarily close its branches, but this saw its call centers come under fire. Talbot said: “Very quickly, the Bank had to start automating its customer service processes, from handling complaints and disputes to reporting. »

Develop a culture of end-to-end complaint and dispute handling

How do organizations bridge the gaps between their CRMs, case management systems, and compliance systems? Talbot believes that handling complaints and disputes should be part of end-to-end business processes – not isolated in separate systems as they have been in the past. Talbot says, “We see opportunities to automate risk control in complaint and dispute management processes and integrate it with real-time CRM.”

Organizations can also improve by incorporating effective complaint and dispute handling Culture across the business. Zarabi comments, “For a very long time, organizations have not viewed complaints or disputes as an important source of information and have not invested enough resources to manage this data.

Without information about complaints and disputes, organizations cannot act on them and the root cause of the problem is not addressed. To improve the situation, it is important to clarify that one person is responsible for the complaints and disputes framework and has effective delegation of responsibilities to other team members in an end-to-end complaints framework. end.

“We need to remind staff that we value complaints and disputes and what they tell us about our products, our services and our people,” Zarabi said. “It allows us to solve the underlying problem. This is a fundamental advantage.

Presenters agreed that financial services companies should bring processes and people together, then use technology to support them, not the other way around. The consensus was that while it is important to better manage complaints and disputes, it is also important to reduce the number of complaints and disputes an organization receives in the first place.

Counting the Benefits of Better Claims and Dispute Handling

Both the discussion and the survey showed that better handling of complaints and disputes will deliver tangible business benefits, with Talbot saying it also helps employees and reduces costs by improving efficiency. “Many organizations have siled solutions and manage them separately, which is difficult. But, from the consumer’s point of view, they don’t care. Addressing the omnichannel approach has become very important for financial services companies because you cannot achieve a consistent user experience if you use siled systems.

This is why it is more common to see now aligned with customers’ digital experiences. According to Zarabi, the broader business risk of mishandling complaints and disputes is clear: whether it’s loss of business, reputational damage, or risk of regulatory non-compliance , it can have significant financial and social impacts.

“What’s critical is that he doesn’t just lose that particular customer, he loses all potential future customers,” Zarabi said.

Ultimately, the panelists agreed that there is now strong traction at the board level regarding the handling of complaints and disputes, and that this issue is finally being resolved. To see the recent webinar from iTnews and ServiceNow, watch the livestream recorded here.