How good are you at listening? I mean really listening? I thought I was good listener. After all, on top of my well-intended impatience and confidence, I was sure I already had the answers and didn’t need to listen any closer. I was nodding, smiling and solving the problem I perceived to be at hand.
Then I had kids. And then they started communicating with me, and miscommunication abounded, as is the case with most early listeners. That experience was eye opening, and it made me question: How well do I actually listen and absorb accurate information at work?
In many ways, sitting down to read your customer complaints – line by line and everything in between – is a similar exercise. Yes, you’re bound to encounter plenty of complaints akin to “you’re the worst mom ever” – because they don’t like your rates or want to pass the blame – but if you really listen, you’ll also see real people with real problems, often caused or exacerbated by your organization.
By taking time to listen to your customers, your business can take a critical eye toward its policies, procedures and employees, and, from there, truly envision how to better care for customers and develop a “good” experience, which translates into fewer complaints.
That’s essential today, as federal regulators increasingly are pressuring financial institutions to put customers first by better managing complaints. When a Top 10 bank was struggling across the lifecycle of complaints, they tasked our team with designing a customer-centric program to better identify, track and resolve complaints – with the capability of leveraging data insights to make needed internal changes that could ultimately reduce complaints.
To start, our team grounded the bank’s own definition of a customer complaint against regulator, industry and internal expectations. We also ensured every front-line employee knew how to consistently identify and escalate complaints.
Leveraging our business analytics horsepower, we compiled complaint datasets from across the organization, which allowed us to introduce tools that could dig deeper for insights and opportunities. We built and deployed a text-analytics model to more accurately categorize complaint type and regulatory risk, leading to greater accuracy during reviews and training. We also launched a reporting suite to arm senior leaders and associates with actionable insights. Finally, the team introduced monthly reviews and tracking processes to ensure the bank could understand the root causes and align resources to drive improvements.
Our client now has a single, shared definition of complaints for use across the organization, including operations. With ready access and confidence in comprehensive complaints data, the bank can leverage interactive analysis and reporting to identify hot spots and emerging trends and sort complaints based on attributes. With this integrated view of complaints and related customer feedback, the bank can now respond faster to regulatory requests, and provide leaders with critical information to understand customer pain points and work to make changes to ease that friction and, in turn, reduce complaints.
To learn more about our data-driven approach to complaint management and the meaningful outcomes we generated, check out our Complaints Management case study – and how we positioned our client for rave reviews from regulators for its new oversight program that puts customers first.
The Big Picture We remember spending hours (if not days) each month in mind-numbing tedium as junior analysts, producing regular reporting for our business lines. The recurring exercise had us piecing together data from various sources, manually updating Excel files and praying fervently that none of the associated formulas got corrupted along the way. Excel would generate new graphs, which we transferred over to PowerPoint, and, more often than not, further manipulation would be required to fit them into the approved templates to avoid formatting glitches. Copy-Paste was both our dearest friend and greatest foe.
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Change is about the only constant in banking today. Inside the organization, you’re processing a steady stream of requests for new products or customer services. Coming from the outside are regulatory updates and unpredicted pressures, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The Big Picture Whether we’re talking about a policy or the processes your bank has put in place to support its intent, the connection between the two often erodes over time.
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