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By Jaidyn Crookston | April 18, 2023 | 8 Minute Read

5 Things Stopping Your Financial Institution From Responding to Customer Complaints

Responding to a customer complaint

You’ve likely heard that your financial institution needs to respond to customer complaints. But to take that a step further, your goal should be to respond to every complaint, in every channel, every time. This can be a daunting task, but if you’re going to take the time to respond to customer complaints, you should go that step further and do it properly. 


Responding to complaints will not only help to improve your financial institution, but may also turn a disgruntled customer into a happy one. And happy customers are customers that continue banking with your institution. 


So if you know you should respond to every customer complaint and understand the benefits of doing so, why do so many financial institutions let this fall to the bottom of the to-do list? Here are five things stopping you from responding to customer complaints and how to fix them.


1. You aren’t collecting feedback (or aren’t looking at it regularly)


The first mistake your financial institution may make is not even collecting customer feedback. There should be a form on your website, social media pages, and emails where customers can submit their feedback (positive or negative). Even a basic form is better than nothing, but it’s a good idea to brand this form and make it feel like a formal part of your institution, not something you threw together last minute. 


And what good is feedback if you don’t take the time to look at it? Ideally, someone on your team will read every piece of feedback and take the time to respond. And this should happen regularly, not every time you happen to think about it. While this can take up a lot of your team’s time, reading this feedback will be worth it if you take steps to improve your institution based on what customers have experienced. 


2. You don’t have an organized system


If you’re going to respond to every complaint, in every channel, every time, organization is key. Without an organized system, complaints will likely fall through the cracks and be forgotten. And that can lead to angry customers. 


There are several ways to keep your institution’s feedback organized. You might try:


  • Assigning one team member to each channel (i.e., different team members dedicated to finding complaints on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, email, in-person interactions, etc.). This will increase your chances of finding every complaint and responding quickly.

  • Tracking all complaints in one system, whether that be spreadsheets, Kadince, or another tracking system. This will keep everyone on the same page and help identify trends.

  • Setting a time of day or day of the week dedicated to diving deeper into complaints and tracking down those that are difficult to find. While your team should always be on the lookout for complaints and handle them as soon as possible, scheduling time for this task can encourage team members to take it seriously and get it done. 


Keeping your feedback process organized is no easy task. But the more organized your team is, the easier it will be to find and respond to customer feedback and improve your institution. 


3. You don’t know who should respond


A problem you may face is not knowing who should respond to customer feedback. If an email comes through with a complaint, does your team know who should respond? Or is everyone expecting someone else to do so? If that’s the case, your customer may never receive a response! 


Defining roles and assigning responsibilities is an important part of properly handling customer complaints. Without this crucial piece, your team will scramble to answer complaints and will never know whose job it is. 


How you define roles and responsibilities is entirely up to you and your team. If you’re a small institution, maybe one person handles all complaint responses. Maybe the team member over each channel is in charge of responding on that channel. Or maybe they’re just looking for the complaints and will pass them to another team member to respond. Maybe you have some sort of “taking turns” system so everyone gets a chance to respond. As long as you have a solid strategy in place and nobody on your team is confused about their role, you’re doing great!