Remember when your grandma would tell you that if you didn’t like something, you should change it—or change your attitude about it—rather than complain?
I’ll venture a guess that she wasn’t thinking about consumer complaints.
When you don’t like something a financial services company is doing, and you don’t work for the company, the only real way to to effect change is to file a complaint. And in the context of financial services, the issues consumers complain about tend to fall into the “illegal activity” category more than the “annoying inconvenience” category. A shift in perspective doesn’t prevent unauthorized transactions or unwanted phone calls.
This is, after all, one of the reasons the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was passed and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created. Complaints provide the fodder for regulation. If consumers never voiced their problems, there’d be no reason for oversight.
Which is why lenders need to pay close attention to every complaint they receive. As Emma Sandler writes for The Center for Auto Finance Excellence:
“Complaining is an age-old habit of customers, but too many complaints about lending can lead to oversight from regulators.
As such, there are some key ways to mitigate customer complaints—such as introducing some dedicated internal policies that show tangible examples of what a lender is doing to address complaints, for instance. To address complaints, lenders can start with a committee that looks at macro-level issues, followed by initiatives taken to address the underlying issue that leads to complaints.”
In her article, Sandler offers 3 best practices for complaint management. Tips include forming a complaint committee, opening up the lines of communication with regulators, and having multiple sets of eyes review responses.
Aside from, you know, keeping your company on the right side of the law, there’s an equally important reason to optimize your complaint management system: complaints can be good for business. If you’re not harnessing the power of customer complaint tracking, you’re losing money.
Learn why regulators and your capital partners care about complaints, and how to use them to gain a competitive advantage. Register today for our upcoming webinar: Consumer Complaints: Your Company’s Broken Windows.