Customer Complaint Resolution

Banker Resource
June 3, 2014 — 2,602 views  
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Best Practices for Resolving Customer Complaints

Now more than ever, excellent customer service is vital for the proper functioning of the banking industry. If customers lose faith in the process of banks, they may resort to alternative currency methods like BitCoin. Banking professionals must try to deliver excellent customer service on a consistent basis in order to retain clients. 

When a customer has a complaint, banking professionals should try to fix the issue at the initial reporting stage. If the problem is not remedied during the first reporting stage, the customer may file a report with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This Bureau handles allegations of fraud, overcharges and other complaints that banking customers have. As a result of complaints filed with the CFPB, Bank of America was forced to pay over $772 million to customers with complaints about unwarranted fees and deceptive banking practices.

In general, banking professionals should be prepared to immediately respond to a customer’s concerns. Customers frequently complaint to banks when they have issues like erroneous fees, misapplied payments, identity theft, missing payments and failed checks. When a customer calls a banking professional with one of these issues, the professional should be prepared to consider the history of the customer’s account. Merely logging into the customer’s account usually provides enough information for a banking professional to proceed in the proper fashion. If the customer’s identity has been stolen, he or she may require a temporary credit card for access to funds. A customer who has erroneous fees may require an immediate credit to cover the cost of the fees. 

Handling a Complaint After Submission to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

After a complaint has been filed with the CFPB, bankers may want to assess the reason for the complaint’s filing. If there are legitimate reasons for the complaint, such as a bank’s deceptive fee practices, then a bank should immediately implement a compliance program to abide by CFPB regulations. The bank should show that it has taken proper steps to remedy the situation. These steps may include providing a refund to customers or discontinuing deceptive programs. 

A bank also has the right to appeal certain matters that have been filed with the CFPB. A bank may wish to appeal the examination rating that it has received. Violations of law, loan ratings, fair-lending decisions and licensing decisions are other matters that may be appealed. Banking professionals may need to work with the bank’s attorneys to resolve matters that are on file with the CFPB. Matters that may not be appealed are the appointments of conservators, formal enforcement-related actions and requests for agency records. 

Maintaining Strong Relationships with Customers for the Future

Banking professionals should try to consistently improve their relationships with customers for the future. This means that banking professionals may want to maintain open communication lines with customers and immediately respond to their inquiries. By maintaining excellent customer service practices, a bank will be less likely to face sanctions by the CFPB. A bank may also be able to resolve customer complaints before a frustrated customer decides to file a complaint with the CFPB. 

Banker Resource