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Features to Look For in Customer Complaint Management Software

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Features to Look For in Customer Complaint Management Software

Jan 5, 2023

Eric Brown
Reviewing tablet and financial data at meeting table

When it comes to customer complaint management software, all solutions are definitely not created equal. As we all strive to achieve complaints excellence, making the right choice is paramount. With a multitude of solutions available on the market for the financial services sector—all promising a whole host of functionalities, capabilities and benefits—what are the key complaint management system features and attributes you should be looking for to help you choose the best solution for your business and your customers?

At a minimum, your complaint management system should be able to:

  • Facilitate multiple customer communications channels across a variety of media

  • Automate time-consuming, error prone manual tasks

  • Deliver comprehensive, real-time data reporting in-line with regulatory compliance and business need

  • Provide valuable insight into root cause analysis, identifying systemic issues

  • Give frontline staff the tools and skills to identify vulnerable customers

  • Guide frontline staff with built-in intelligent workflows

  • Be delivered securely in the cloud

  • Scale in-line with your changing business requirements, and much more

Let’s delve into each of these areas and a few more, pinpointing exactly what your chosen solution should deliver.

Facilitate Multiple Customer Communication Channels

As we all know, customer choice is key. Already disgruntled customers face being further upset if they’re unable to complain via their communication channel of choice. Be that email, chat, web form, telephone, social media or letter, it’s imperative that businesses not only enable customers to complain using their preferred channel, but that all complaints are captured, recorded and resolved, regardless of how they come into the business. And, with regulatory pressure to ensure all complaints are captured, providing an omni-channel complaint function is key. That means having the systems in place that can support such a model, with the right complaint management software able to do just this.

The best software will treat all channels equally, enabling team members to capture every complaint, no matter how it’s received. By recording every identified complaint, you’re guaranteed a reliable, traceable record of customer complaint journeys. As such, all complaints or "expressions of dissatisfaction" are recorded, processed and tracked—however they enter the business and regardless of who is on the receiving end of the initial communication.

Automate Time-Consuming, Error-Prone Manual Tasks

If we're trying to achieve that often elusive first-point-of-contact resolution, efficiency is of the essence. A good complaint management solution will boost efficiency by automating some of the more time-consuming and error-prone tasks.

For example, automated email, letter and SMS templates are specifically-built to reduce both task time and errors. Another example is address validation, which uses automation to ensure address details are correctly entered. You can also accurately match the complaint aspect to the regulator's requirements automatically, again, cutting your risk of errors to meet regulatory standards and assist with reporting.

Deliver Comprehensive Data Reporting in Line With Regulatory Requirements

Your complaint function undoubtedly generates a great deal of information and it’s not always easy to distinguish what’s useful and what isn’t. A good complaint compliance software will provide a broad range of tools for extracting the right information for your business, in an accessible and user-friendly format. Interactive, customizable dashboards should provide at-a-glance visibility into the metrics that matter the most—from case pipelines and outstanding tasks, to performance metrics, root cause trends and more.

Real-time reporting is a must, delivering in-depth insight into complaint handling performance, as well as helping to form a solid understanding of the root cause of complaints, identifying systemic issues and the proximity of cases to service levels. Ultimately, your solution should report back on the complaints data that matters to you—with the best systems allowing you to configure your reports to suit your specific business requirements, be that performance monitoring, complaint tracking or evaluating outcomes.

Provide Valuable Insight Into Root Cause Analysis

There’s a real need to delve deeper than ever into the cause of complaints, with robust root cause analysis (RCA) helping to uncover and identify the systemic issues that can plague so many financial services organizations. Understanding the reasons behind each and every complaint allows a business to fix any problems and prevent such issues arising again, thus reducing the potential for additional customer complaints. To this end, facilitating effective RCA is a must-have capability for a complaint management solution, helping your business to not only identify the often-systemic issues that cause customer complaints, but to take the necessary steps to eradicate these problems. A good complaint management solution will underpin the comprehensive RCA capability that should lie at the very heart of a business’s complaint function, acting as a real driver and informer of continuous organizational improvements.

What’s needed is the ability to investigate and pinpoint fundamental issues that lie at the heart of complaints. At the same time, the mechanism to feed this information directly back into the organization is a must. Even the most comprehensive RCA is rendered almost useless if the results aren’t used to inform organizational change.

Frontline teams are best placed to record the necessary customer information, collected at every possible customer interaction, but they need intuitive, easy-to-use complaint management systems to enable them to record not only the key themes of every complaint but contextualized customer feedback, too. The ability of a complaint management solution to facilitate the recording of recurring themes and instances, with specific codes for certain issues, for example, makes the identification of wider issues and problems both quicker and easier.

Identify Vulnerable Customers

Customer vulnerability is a pressing concern for all financial services businesses and, whilst checks and balances may be in place to ensure the fair treatment of vulnerable customers, often the most difficult task is identifying customer vulnerability in the first place. These might be customers with a long-standing but as yet unidentified vulnerability, newly vulnerable customers or customers who are loath to identify themselves as vulnerable. Empowering frontline complaint teams to identify customer vulnerability is crucial, highlighting verbal cues or certain patterns in behavior that can signal vulnerability.

Typically, complaint teams are well versed in identifying and supporting vulnerable customers, trained to perhaps a higher standard than other areas of the organization. The right complaint management solution can augment staff skills, with intuitive software able to support every stage of the customer journey, supplementing skill sets with intelligent workflows to ensure optimum outcomes for customers, whatever their circumstances. With Aptean's complaint management solution (Aptean Respond), customer vulnerability detection technology is embedded in the system, boosting the capabilities of an already skilled workforce to ensure no vulnerable customers slip through the net and greatly improving customer support.

Effectively Manage Remediation

Successful remediation can help to rebuild much-needed trust with customers, delivering good customer outcomes as well as helping financial services businesses to learn from past failings. However, it can certainly prove to be a challenge. This is where the right solution can help, delivering a robust remediation engine to help choreograph the multitude of moving parts that make up any remediation exercise.

Dedicated system capabilities can minimize the inherent risks involved in remediation, helping to provide the oversight and control that can underpin consistency of process, while delivering greater efficiency right across the remediation journey. Built-in reporting tools can provide up-to-date status visibility at any moment in time, informing the rest of the business just how the remedy case is progressing. This reportable insight also helps to ensure consistency of outcomes, boosting the ability to constantly monitor not only customer outcomes but customer remediation journeys too.

Intelligent Workflows Built-In

Complaint volumes may be rising but it’s often just not possible to increase complaint management resources accordingly, especially at the moment. Again, technology can help. Intelligent workflows within the right complaint management system can help to speed-up resolutions with good outcomes, increasing efficiencies when you need it most. Such user-friendly technology can guide complaint handlers to the next course of action pertinent to that specific customer and complaint, preventing any unnecessary delays.

This capability also helps to avoid unnecessary escalations. You may have had to redeploy more experienced and supervisory staff back to the front-line to deal with rising complaint volumes, meaning less resources to manage more complex complaints. Intelligent and intuitive workflows can help give front-line complaint handlers the confidence and skills to independently manage customer complaints without having to escalate them to the next level, alleviating the pressure on your entire complaint function further. And, these workflows ensure all mandatory and relevant data is captured accurately and consistently, in a single, accessible location.

Secure Solutions in the Cloud

If the last three years have taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. As such, business solutions need not only the scalability but the flexibility to deliver anytime, anywhere and against a backdrop of even the most challenging circumstances. Complaints volumes aren’t consistent and complaint management software should reflect this, being able to flex and scale in-line with business needs.

In light of this, it’s not surprising to see more businesses heading for the cloud when it comes to their complaint management solutions. Indeed, at the start of the pandemic, it was those businesses which had already made the move cloud-ward that were best placed to rapidly adapt to a homeworking model. A cloud-based deployment gives employees access to the right tools and solutions to do their job from home. Users can access systems wherever they have an internet connection, with browser-based solutions accessible on mobile devices or home laptops and PCs.

Cloud security is no longer the concern it once was, enabling geographically dispersed teams to access secure data and business systems from home. Additionally:

  • Systems are kept up-to-date without the need for costly and time-consuming upgrades.

  • Planned downtime is scheduled for when it will have least impact on operations.

  • Advanced Disaster Recovery and back-up capabilities as standard mitigate any risk further still, with cloud-based solutions providing the robust, flexible and secure framework that all businesses need.

Quality Assurance as Standard

For effective complaint management, in-built quality assurance (QA) processes are vital. Putting the necessary checks and balances in place not only helps to boost customer satisfaction, but identifies staff training and development needs too. The right complaint management system can provide an accurate, real-time view of staff performance enabling supervisors to pinpoint where teams and individuals can improve. This helps to flag errors and allows you to judge whether employees have the right tools to access the information they need in the most intuitive format at the right time.

Such QA capabilities can be crucial in on-boarding new starters too, an exceptionally tricky task to carry out from afar. For new employees, 100% of their work might be reviewed within a QA framework but as their work improves and the quality increases, the flexible QA process begins to step away, becoming less intrusive as employee ability and confidence in employees increases.

Fully-Integrated Customer Surveys

Customer feedback is also an incredibly useful source of information. In combination with a robust QA framework, customer feedback can drive real improvements across your business, not only in terms of customer interactions, but for products, services and processes as well. With the right complaint management system in place, it’s possible to create and maintain surveys within a case management platform, allowing 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, underpinning a strategy of continuous improvement and informing best practice.

This in-context feedback can increase the value of RCA too, delivering even more insight into any underlying issues, enabling your business to identify problems more accurately and quickly. A good example of this interaction is Aptean Respond, which has a dedicated survey module that furnishes you with timely and in-context feedback, further informing continuous improvements, lowering complaint levels and boosting customer satisfaction in the process.

Why Aptean Respond?

Having worked with the financial services industry for over 25 years, Aptean understands the daily pressures your sector faces. With the right complaint management system in place, it’s possible to nurture long-term customer relationships, manage complaints and leverage feedback to drive real business improvements, all while optimizing customer service and ensuring water-tight compliance with stringent regulatory requirements.

Our complaint management solution, Aptean Respond, helps you to achieve complaint management excellence, allowing you to focus on your core business, staying efficient and profitable, whilst boosting customer satisfaction and delivering better outcomes for your business and for your customers.

To find out more about Aptean Respond, get in contact with our team today.

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