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Customer Complaint Management Lacking at Banks

A new survey from Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group finds that complaints often take multiple interactions to resolve.

The survey also found that there is a direct correlation between bad experiences and the future banking relationship. First call resolution can often lead to more business. 22 percent of consumers said they would do more business with the bank when their issue is resolved with one interaction, the report found. However, two or more interactions, or not addressing customer concerns can lead to high levels of dissatisfaction, with 24 percent of consumers reporting that they would do less business or end the relationship if their issue was not resolved.

Sahm also notes that banks don't often take advantage of customer complaints and "really listen to what the customer has to say. This can be very valuable feedback to have."

Customer complaints "can show you a lot about your messaging and how it's perceived." she says. "The customer should be a big driver of innovation in your firm, banks would probably do well to be listening to them."

Sahm acknowledges that banks can't compete right now with customer experience leaders like Amazon or Zappos, in large part because they have a difficult time getting a single view of the customer across silos. Still, banks can take steps to improve their customer complaint management. Sahm recommends initially focusing on achieving "one-touch resolution" when it comes to complaints, as well as really listening to complaints and taking them seriously.

"You should value your complaints over your compliments," she says.

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as a municipal and courts reporter for daily newspapers in upstate New York, Bryan has ... View Full Bio

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User Rank: Author
12/16/2013 | 2:20:11 PM
re: Customer Complaint Management Lacking at Banks
You have a point there - banks probably allot more resources for customers who purchase advanced products and bring more business. However, it shouldn't take that much hassle to resolve issues with simple products. If I had to call my bank more than twice to fix a problem with my checking account, I'd be annoyed too.
User Rank: Author
12/16/2013 | 1:24:46 PM
re: Customer Complaint Management Lacking at Banks
That is true, a lot more people have free checking than say, a Roth IRA, and thus there is bound to be more complaints. At the same time, customers who only have these "basic" products also tend to be the least valuable to banks, maybe institutions just put more resources to tending to their customers that have more complicated financial products?
Becca L
Becca L,
User Rank: Author
12/16/2013 | 6:41:38 AM
re: Customer Complaint Management Lacking at Banks
"The study also found that core banking products tend to frustrate customers the most." I wonder if that's just due to the frequency of use - as a hazard of high volume they are bound to attract more trouble and attention. Still, these are disappointing results that are in support of an earlier BS&T article on the slight uptick of customer satisfaction in the last year.
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