Working on our new complaint policy/procedures. There is a lot of heated discussion about the gray area of determining whether or not a call/comment in writing is a complaint, which should be logged rather than an inquiry, which we would still address but not log on our complaint log. Examples thus far are:
Customer received escrow statement Calls us "I do not understand this document at all". We will walk through the doc. with him, of course. But, is this a complaint? Is any comment beginning " I received X. I do not understand it. I need someone to explain it to me. We see this as an inquiry.
Another example. Customer calls. "I want to know how to get off PMI". We see this as an inquiry.
Another example: I received my statement. I do not agree with..." We see this as a complaint, although, after explanation, the document may be correct. In that case, it is an inquiry.
In many cases, banks track even inquiries because doing so can point out a trend....many customers are confused by "x", perhaps we should go back and review the document. Since the bank has gone to the trouble to set up this process, it might be worth establishing levels of complaints and inquiries. View it as data gathering that gives insight into customer behavior, problems, etc.
"I received my mortgage billing statement. I don't agree with ____." You're correct: that is a notice of error, if in writing. It remains a notice of error even if the information on the bill turns out to be correct.
_________________________ John S Burnett BankersOnline.com
I have been monitoring, logging and analyzing complaints for a couple years now at my bank and I can assure you the simple call in question of "Why was I charged this fee?" has led to many changes at our bank. My point being, while that is not a screaming, in your face, complaint, when looking at the trends or volume of questions re: a fee we were able to determine a few problems that had the customer complained to a regulator, we might have found ourselves in hot water.
Yes, this creates a large volume of "complaints" for monitoring, but it is worth it in the end if you proactively identify issues that otherwise would have been overlooked as an "inquiry" or written off as "properly disclosed".
It's not that I take life for granted. It's only that the good won't make it. Innocence dies, while Villany Thrives.
Loc: South Carolina
Piggybacking on Tesla - I believe that it was Bill Gates who had made a statement years ago that legitimate complaints are the heartbeat of progress (my words, he phrased it differently, but he said it a long time ago).
In essence, customers who take time to "legitimately' complain have discovered a problem, or a better way to do something. By listening to them and analyzing the problem, you have created a shortcut to fixing it.
Loc: Northern California
We have a system where we track in "tiers". We have actually sent out comment cards, so we're trying to draw in the entire spectrum, from good to bad. In our comment tracking, we have tiers for Positive, Suggestion, Negative, and Escalate to Formal Complaint.
Formal Complaints get additional research, handling, and reporting, but sometimes the "suggestions" are things like, could you lower your fees, or could you open an ATM. They aren't really complaints, but definitely something on the customer's mind. The negatives are often things like, I don't like your fees, or your interest rates suck. Okay, valid negatives, and we report them, but we're not going to launch an investigation.
The positive comments get anonymized and then shared with the entire bank in our monthly newsletter (which got REALLY LONG the first few months after we instituted this). And that was a lot of fun!
This process has really helped not only to solicit feedback from our customers (both positive and negative), but also reduced the need for filtering stuff coming through. The front line doesn't have to worry about whether to send something through or not--it all comes through, and only the people managing the tracking database have to worry about where to place it. This process also ensures that suggestions from customers don't get lost on the front line - they get encouraged to write it down. Better yet, some serious complaints that might not have made it through at all under our old complaint process now get identified and escalated.
We've been able to identify trends, both positive and negative, and we've been able to do some really cool things that management hadn't thought of, because our customers had really good ideas.
Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. --all opinions are my own--