Financial service providers need to deal with customer complaints, as a circumstance of gaps between what clients expect and what they actually experience. As the gap widens, customers share their unhappy experiences causing damage to the business. The real challenge for service providers is figuring out the best way to listen to complaints so they can manage and even prevent them by closing those gaps.
The rise of online business, as aptly articulated by McKinsey, put more pressure on business leaders such as CEOs, CTOs, and CIOs. The times have never been “ more challenging as companies face a perfect storm of increasing call volumes, talent shortages, and rising customer expectations.
Progressive organizations agree that listening to customers and promptly acting on their feedback leads to a better customer experience with fewer complaints. However, as customer numbers and transaction rates grow, listening effectively becomes a challenge.
Here we look at how tech can help organizations listen to customers more efficiently by leveraging 24/7 tech tools. This will not only help organizations remedy the pain points immediately but also convert the feedback as described by Deloittes “to numbers and metrics, volume, sentiment, and influencer scores. It allows for
- meaningful customer-centric automation of processes and
- an integrated customer care strategy that detects recurring issues and facilitates real-time problem resolutions.
Step 1: Listening to complaints -monitoring
We will explore three effective tools in the article to monitor complaints and later discuss how the feedback can be addressed using the likes of CRM tools and automated notifications. The tools we suggest are:
- Social media monitoring/sentiment analysis tools
- AI-powered chatbots
- Online surveys and feedback forms
An article in Global Finance and Banking Review shows that embracing digital tools like social listening will be key for banks to stand out against the competition and draw customers in”.
Social media monitoring/sentiment analysis tools
According to Deloittes, Social listening gives brands the power to identify customers at multiple stages of the decision-making process and to start addressing issues like escalating call center costs, increased complaints, and loss of market share.
The article in Global Finance and Banking Review provides uses of social listening or social intelligence that can transform the the way financial industry operates and the following relate directly to lowering complaints.
- Improve customer experience: The valuable information uncovered can be used to positively improve the bank’s marketing campaigns, product quality, and in-branch service.
- Competitive analysis: Social intelligence helps to understand how customers perceive the competition. This enables the banks to gauge and improve their performance and build a competitive advantage.
- Identifying crises: In a highly online world, where customers post their experiences and frustrations on social media platforms, banks can limit their vulnerabilities by quickly identifying potential crises and addressing them before they cause significant harm.
Some popular social listening tools include
Hootsuite: to monitor social media conversations, schedule posts, and track brand mentions.
Sprout Social: for automated publishing, conversation tracking, social content management, and social media analytics
BrandMentions: enables tracking a brand (one’s own or competitors) or specific keywords mentioned across various social media platforms, blogs, and forums.
AI-powered fintech chatbots
These too can aid in listening to online customers and can be integrated into websites, mobile apps, and messaging platforms to provide users with personalized assistance and support 24/7. By using natural language processing (NLP) algorithms, chatbots can be configured to analyze in real-time, whether the sentiment in customer feedback is positive, negative, or neutral. For example, by recognizing keywords that convey unhappiness, such as “problem,” “issue,” or “unhappy,” the chatbot can flag the message for further review.
Although there are numerous chatbot services available in the market, it is crucial that banks and financial institutions select a fintech bot service that is specifically designed for financial services
Juniper Research has found that the operational cost savings from using chatbots in banking will reach $7.3 billion globally by 2023, up from an estimated $209 million in 2019. This represents time saved for banks in 2023 of 862 million hours, equivalent to nearly half a million working years.
Some popular fintech chatbots include names such as Tidio, Tars, Ultimate.ai, and Haptik.
Online surveys and feedback forms
Customer surveys and feedback forms are reliable methods of gathering structured solicited customer feedback. They are useful to gauge, at a high level, how the organization is faring and set benchmarks. The most common uses of these forms are to measure:
- the Net Promoter Score (to assess customer loyalty)
- customer satisfaction levels and the
- effort customers need to put in, to interact with the bank.
In the past, these forms were either sent through mail or given out in person at a physical location. When automated, these tools allow quicker data collection and interpretation. This, in turn, enables the bank to respond to customer needs faster. This can be achieved by:
- integrating a feedback request feature directly into the product interface, such as on the home screen or main dashboard.
- Including a dedicated feedback page or tab for collecting feedback or serving as a landing page for an email survey link.
- Including a web intercept- a research method used to get feedback from people on the spot. It is online equal to stopping visitors at a branch to ask them relevant questions about their experience.
Regardless of which tools banks may choose to listen to customers, they must address complaints identified quickly, regardless of their source, to prevent irreversible damage.
Step 2: Positively reacting – Managing complaints
Responding to complaints and making customers feel that their grievances were taken seriously by their financial service provider is crucial to lowering complaints. We will explore here a few tech tools that can be useful for efficiently handling complaints
- CRM software
- Automated notifications
By integrating the tools used for monitoring customer complaints with an organization’s CRM software, trouble tickets can be raised promptly. This can help streamline the complaint-handling process and ensure issues are promptly addressed.
Popular CRM software used by financial organizations includes
- Redtail Technology
- Envestnet Tamarac
- UGRU Financial
These can be helpful for banks to keep customers informed of the status of their complaints and the steps being taken to address them. Automated notifications can help with:
- the acknowledgement of complaints, reassuring customers that their complaints have been received and are being taken seriously.
- sending updates at various stages of the complaint-handling process to keep customers informed of the progress being made. For example, when a complaint has been assigned to a case handler or when additional information is required from the customer.
- Resolution: an automated notification can be sent to inform the customer of the outcome and any actions taken to prevent similar complaints in the future.
The most important part of lowering complaints is anticipating problems and taking measures to prevent them from escalating to levels that will aggrieve the customers.
Step 3: Staying ahead of customer Issues-preventing complaints
Banks have an edge over other industries when it comes to mining deep insights about their customers. A Deloitte study highlights that within the limitations of regulatory constraints and insufficient integration among different business units, there’s still a lot that banks can do “to pull customer information up and out of silos to begin creating a more broad, centralized, enterprise-level view of customers”.
Banks can avoid being bombarded with complaints by utilizing tools that provide a centralized view of customers, proactively identifying areas of concern, and promptly addressing them.
For example, they can use tools to detect any obstacles or difficulties that customers may be facing while using their portal or products.
- Google Analytics– is a user-friendly and free tool that enables financial organizations to monitor and measure their website traffic and engagement. As per Chris Nicholas, Director of Capital Markets at SouthState Bank, Google Analytics provides various metrics that can be utilized to assess user engagement on a webpage.”The “average time on page” measures customer engagement, while the “bounce rate” shows if visitors explored the site further. The “Goals Report” tracks various website goals, from applying for a business loan to requesting a consultation.
- Hotjar is a tool designed to assist in identifying any pain points or areas where users of a web portal may encounter difficulties and become stuck.
- Fullstory offers benefits such as the ability to remove friction from self-service resources, leading to increased customer satisfaction and reduced call volumes. It enables businesses to understand where users experience issues and optimize complex sign-up flows.
In conclusion, technology tools can play an important role in lowering customer complaints. From monitoring social media platforms through social listening and chatbots to managing customer requests through CRM tickets and automated notifications, tech tools provide a range of options for organizations to listen to customer complaints and manage them efficiently. Additionally, data analytics helps organizations prevent potential issues by identifying trends and patterns in customer behavior.
The state of customer care in 2022 https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/operations/our-insights/the-state-of-customer-care-in-2022 Great customer care starts with social listening https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/chief-marketing-officer/articles/great-customer-care-starts-with-social-listening.html 5 ways social listening is transforming the banking sector www.globalbankingandfinance.com/5-ways-social-listening-is-transforming-the-banking-sector 9 Best Finance Chatbots for Your Services [Reviews 2023] https://www.tidio.com/blog/finance-chatbots/ Bank Cost Savings Via Chatbots to Reach $7.3 Billion By 2023, as Automated Customer Experience Evolve https://www.juniperresearch.com/press/bank-cost-savings-via-chatbots-reach-7-3bn-2023 9 Best Finance Chatbots for Your Services [Reviews 2023] https://www.tidio.com/blog/finance-chatbots/ 2023 banking and capital markets outlook https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/financial-services/financial-services-industry-outlooks/banking-industry-outlook.html Customer feedback: What to collect and when https://www.qualtrics.com/au/experience-management/customer/collecting-customer-feedback/?rid=ip&prevsite=en&newsite=au&geo=LK&geomatch=au Net promoter score https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_promoter_score Finally: Customer Analytics for Banks https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/process-and-operations/us-cons-customer-analytics-102711.pdf 5 Leading Customer Experience Tools for Banks www.aithority.com/guest-authors/top-5-best-customer-experience-tools-for-banks-and-financial-sector Google Analytics: A Primer for Bank Marketers www.bankingjournal.aba.com/2021/07/google-analytics-a-primer-for-bank-marketers Best CRM Software for Financial Advisors www.investopedia.com/best-crm-software-for-financial-advisors-5084287 Best Ways To Handle Customer Complaints www.knowmax.ai/blog/best-ways-to-handle-customer-complaints/ How Banks Can Make Better Use of Google Analytics, Chris Nichols https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-banks-can-make-better-use-google-analytics-chris-nichols/