The recent $100 million Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) fine levied on a leading financial institution in the US marks the largest penalty imposed by the CFPB to date and makes the case for implementing a complaints management solution. With potentially millions of customers affected by the systemic fraud from the company’s employees over a five year period of time, it makes sense that some of these customers complained to this financial institution at some point before contacting the CFPB to help them find resolution. The CFPB assists thousands of consumers each week with complaints related to financial products and services like mortgages and credit cards, serving as an intermediary between the consumer and the financial institution. All of those complaints are aggregated and published in the CFPB Consumer Complaint Database after 15 days, whether the company responds or not.
For a bank or credit union, having complaints made public can be embarrassing and may affect current and future customers with a negative brand perception in the market. As companies increasingly compete on their positive customer experience, a process for handling complaints efficiently, and in a timely manner, is a way to distinguish themselves from their competition. Completely missing a trend or pattern of related customer complaints, as evident in the recent fraud case, takes the negative impact of reputational damage to exponential levels.
However, there are some best practices companies can follow to ensure they are protecting their customer relationships by providing timely responses to customer feedback. First, close the loop on customer feedback by automating your complaints process and funneling complaints from all channels to a single system. Complaints can come from a variety of sources -- social media, phone calls, email, or even in person -- and each of these sources should be captured in one place for coordinating responses. The ability to analyze incoming complaints information is critical to determine where action is needed to improve your company’s customer experience. The ability to aggregate data and overlay analytics leads to quickly identifying the root causes of positive or negative experiences, and spotting the hidden trends that could be used to improve customer experiences.
The key takeaway for professionals responsible for handling customer complaints is to understand that while keeping customers happy can often be challenging, the feedback they provide is a treasure trove of information that can help improve their customer experience, protect their company’s reputation, and potentially be the indicator for underlining problem areas in their business. Utilizing the right tool puts that valuable information in their hands, and the ability to use it to transform customer complaints into positive differentiators in their market.
To learn more about how Respond can help with CFPB compliance, click here.
In January we were given some outstanding news—Respond was selected as one of CUSTOMER magazine’s Products of the Year! Receiving the award from a magazine focused entirely on the CUSTOMER certainly means a lot to us, as everything we do, every version, every update, is geared to driving more value for our customers. Our customers, and their customers! Respond was launched in the United States exactly 12 months ago and we’ve made significant strides since that launch, including notable customer wins with companies like Volkswagen Financial Services, our growing voice in the importance of compliance and of course the launches of 5.11 and 6.0 in just a few months. As a tier 1 enterprise solution, Respond has also seen validation from industry analysts, specifically Renee Murphy from Forrester Research, who included us in her July 2014 report “Listen To Your Customers To Meet Financial Regulations--The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Is Changing The Face Of Customer Care.” A key takeaway from her research:
“Leverage technology to manage and report on customer complaints. The CFPB requires that covered firms manage customer complaints centrally across all lines of business to create a holistic view of common issues and metrics. This is nearly impossible without some kind of software to facilitate complaint management workflows, documentation, and reporting.”
This is the essence of what Respond does for our customers, and we’re thrilled that Renee has taken a leadership role in the analyst community regarding companies working with the CFPB and finding improvements to the complaints management process that can be applied across every industry. We’ll have additional exciting Respond news coming in the months to come as the new launches are prepared, but for now this CUSTOMER award is a chance to take a moment and reflect on how far we’ve come as we look towards a bright future for Respond and the growing voice of customers everywhere.
The 2014 Aptean Consumer Complaints Compass is the first research study of its kind to dig into how organizations are reacting to the CFPB and what U.S. financial service executives think the impact will be on consumers. Under the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB supervises banks with more than $10 billion in assets, as well as certain nonbanks including mortgage companies, private student loan lenders and payday lenders.
Below, you can check out some of the findings of the
study, along with a fun infographic. The full survey report is available for