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Improving complaint handling and the customer experience

We helped a regional bank evaluate the end-to-end customer complaints experience, deploy the right solution, and develop a roadmap for implementing improvements over the next 5 years.

Research & Analytics
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Goal

A regional bank based in Western NY needed to improve their complaint-handling experience for their customers and for their internal staff. They needed help identifying the needs of their customers and employees, evaluating potential technology solutions, and creating a roadmap for what they wanted to achieve.

Not only did they want to make dissatisfied customers happy and keep them in the fold, they also needed to ensure the complaint-handling process met regulatory requirements. They also wanted to:

· enhance collaboration between the complaints department and business units;

· reduce silos and duplication of efforts;

· quickly deliver complaint reports to business so they could improve products and services.

Their existing process involved multiple teams, from front-line employees at contact centers and branches to the business units.

 They chose to partner with g2o because we had already collaborated with this bank to improve processes that helped their business — including designing and developing an internal messaging hub that standardized customer communications across the bank at a significantly lower implementation and maintenance cost, while also providing customers with more consistent messaging.

Solution

Our team collaborated with the bank to evaluate its entire customer complaint process. We started with a stakeholder alignment workshop to identify the ideal outcomes for the bank with quantifiable metrics for success. This helped them to uncover underlying issues with their customer complaint process they hadn’t seen before, as well as to see the process from their customers’ perspective.

Then we observed their customer complaints process from every angle and identified the problems employees experienced at different stages. We also conducted field research with customers that included in-home interviews to learn what frustrations customers experienced and where they overlapped with employee problems.

As we conducted this research, recommendations began to emerge. Our internal research showed that employees are often reciting policy or 'resolving with explanation' instead of resolving problems for customers. This results in call backs and sometimes regulatory complaints.

Our recommendations were to empower employees to do things like waive fees or connect customers to the right team that can resolve issues for customers the first time that they call, resulting in higher customer satisfaction and less handling cost for the bank.

We learned that a technology solution could help some issues, but that company process and policy also could play a large role in improving both the customer and the employee experience.

In particular, an omnichannel experience for customer complaints would be optimal, so that customers could choose to resolve their issues through their preferred channel — and have a consisted experience across channels.

We collaborated with the financial institution on the software solution they wanted, but also delivered a roadmap for how to improve their complaints process overall over the next 2-5 years. The roadmap included immediate steps the bank could take to gain quick wins and keep momentum.

Outcome

An important outcome of this project was the collaboration across the bank’s organization that laid the groundwork for breaking down silos internally in the customer complaints process. This will be important to moving forward with the roadmap.

The results of our collaboration will also help the bank improve their products and services by creating a good source of data that business units can reference when making changes to products and services. Business units will have a better wellspring of complaint data as well as customer feedback.

But more than data, the bank has a plan of action to improve their customer experience — and in turn to reduce the costs of handling a complaint.

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