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An analytics approach to managing consumer complaints

A unified approach can improve a CX team’s ability to handle customer feedback and allow them to quickly share insights with a financial institution’s internal stakeholders.


To help reduce risk and uncover insights that can help drive customer loyalty, financial institutions will need to analyze complaint data across a variety of channels and unify those insights when appropriate.

Listening and responding to consumer complaints is a critical way for financial institutions to remain compliant with laws and regulations—and it also provides an important perspective on customers’ experiences with products and services. Whether complaints require an investigation to ensure compliance or it’s a quibble with an app’s functionality, each complaint should be seen as an opportunity for customer experience (CX) teams to deliver value across the organization.

CX teams are tasked with having a pulse on how consumers feel.  But by relying on surveys, they can’t meet the demand for proactive approaches to improving experiences, products and services. According to McKinsey & Co., only 7% of the customer voice is shared with CX leaders, meaning a survey-centric approach can lead to a biased sampling and obscure the real customer experience.

Consumer complaints, whether they’re written or recorded audio, are part of the growing share of enterprise data that is unstructured. Consumer-generated content like complaints can tell you what’s happening, why it’s happening, and how its making consumers feel.

But the scale of the data means that it can’t be handled manually, and most CX teams at financial institutions don’t have the tools, like AI-powered text analytics and natural language processing, to efficiently or accurately extract the necessary insights. Adopting a unified, omnichannel approach to consumer complaints and feedback with these tools can help CX teams get a better sense of the customer experience.

By bringing in more and diverse sources of consumer complaints and feedback, financial institutions can unlock new insights into the customer experience and see where there are gaps and shortcomings, with insights even from unexpected places.

Earlier this year, Stratifyd analyzed complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for 2020. Normally, these complaints are addressed by an internal team and few outside the bureau see the insights. By analyzing these complaints, we uncovered insights that can help inform broader customer experience and marketing efforts.

One finding, for example, was that 27% of the complaints with public comments were duplicates, suggesting financial institutions were not reacting fast enough to consumer concerns.

There were no doubt signals along the way that were missed before the issue was elevated to the point of requiring consumers to register multiple complaints with the CFPB. The disconnect happens when consumer complaints (and consumer feedback more broadly) and the teams responsible for them exist in a silo.

At one financial institution, for example, consumers were having login issues. The login issues left a digital trail of frustration, and it led many consumers to call into the contact center. That’s two real-time signals—digital and in the contact center—that there was an issue. Eventually, the contact center noticed an increase in login issues and it was resolved after a few days. The CX team, on the other hand, was alerted to the issue nearly a month later through their surveys.


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With a unified analytics solution to handle consumer complaints and feedback, CX teams would be able to find these signals faster, which could help uncover anomalies and trends that they can then escalate to the appropriate internal team, be it product, marketing, or risk and compliance.

The status quo is often too slow for CX teams to proactively affect CX issues. While a view of the past is helpful, knowing what’s happening now (and predicting likely outcomes) is how companies stay ahead of the customer and the competition.

CX teams will need the ability to unify data, analytics, business intelligence and automation in order to rise to the challenge of extracting value from consumer complaints and feedback. This unified approach will not only allow CX teams to scale up their ability to handle customer feedback beyond surveys, but it will also allow them to quickly share out those insights to the stakeholders that need to know.

Kurt Trauth is SVP of CX strategy and analytics at Stratifyd.