Customer service teams face a tremendous responsibility in managing difficult feedback and handling many front-office and customer-facing business tasks. Customer service teams serve as the face of an organization to the public while handling large amounts of incoming information.
They have a duty to their organization and customers to handle consumer data responsibly. Efficient customer service is not only a business requirement, but also a legal one. Agencies such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) exist to cultivate healthy business practices throughout the financial industry and enforce consumer safety measures.
The CFPB’s primary goal is to regulate such financial offerings as equity products, credit cards, and student loans to ensure a healthy lending economy. The CFPB also fields consumer complaints regarding financial products or organizations to “promote fairness and transparency for mortgages, credit cards, and other consumer financial products and services.”
The agency maintains a publicly available online customer complaint application and database that supplies the CFPB with an immense amount of consumer data and promotes transparency in the market. While the CFPB is a resource for consumers encountering issues with their banks or financial products, the Bureau expects and will enforce compliance with consumer protections. This is where a financial institution’s customer service team can play a significant role.
While customer experience managers may face difficult situations when trying to address customer complaints, they also possess a unique opportunity to gather information on business services and use that knowledge to improve their organization’s processes. Customer service teams can employ several strategies to meet this goal:
Communication poses a significant and immediate challenge in almost all customer contact situations. Customers who contact an organization may not be able to clearly articulate the nature of the problem or important information. Conversely, customer service teams can easily fail to communicate issues clearly, perhaps using internal jargon or firsthand process knowledge to diagnose an issue without properly explaining it.
Often, a customer’s chief complaint may ultimately boil down to an impression of lack of attention by the party responsible for their issue. By demonstrating ownership, teams can increase customer satisfaction.
Customer service teams should set proper expectations, demonstrate accountability, and take initiative with customer complaints. Internally, teams should utilize the data and insight gained through interaction with their clients to help address problem areas in their products or services.
By implementing an issue management system, teams can understand their workload and collect data that equips them to effectively allocate resources and prioritize issue resolution. Data collection on customer complaints and other issues allows management to make informed, risk-based strategy decisions.
Proper issue tracking allows for better follow-up from customer service teams and a more cohesive experience for both parties. A comprehensive system also supports compliance efforts, as teams can utilize the system to properly document transactions or provide data for audit purposes.