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Guest Blog: Complaints Excellence - An Opportunity to Lead the Industry

Stephen Humphreys, Head of Propositions, Huntswood Stephen Humphreys, Head of Propositions, Huntswood

Huntswood will shortly be publishing The Complaints Outlook 2016. Containing the output of a survey of 5,000 financial services customers, interviews with 45 firms (representing 80% of complaints about financial services firms), and insight from Huntswood’s experts, the results are fascinating:

Mixed feelings on the new rules among firms Nearly two-thirds of firms think that the new regulations will increase the total costs associated with handling complaints – 11% believe the cost will remain unchanged, while 15% anticipate a decreasing cost.

In addition, whereas 20% are extremely prepared for the new rules, 20% describe themselves as ‘somewhat unprepared’. Interestingly, there are differing views on how firms will apply the complaints definition following the rule changes – with over one-third planning to adopt a broad view and just over a quarter looking to take a narrower view.

Britain is a nation of silent complainers This has become clear from our recent research. Firms are only aware of a fraction of the issues their customers are experiencing. Within all sectors of financial services, the likelihood of a complaint being made following a customer issue proved to be very low. However, most customers that do not make a complaint still take some form of action, albeit indirect.

Areas for attention

All of the firms we spoke with believed that complainants can be turned into advocates for their business, yet only 12.5% were willing to rate their complaints handling process higher than “compliant”. Firms need to identify key areas for change and make focused investment there.

Our market analysis saw us identify 16 issues that were on the agendas of leaders in complaints. Through our dialogue with the industry we narrowed this down further to the following seven areas to delve into:

  • The implementation of PS15/19
  • Management information and effective oversight
  • Root cause analysis
  • Quality assurance
  • Training and competence
  • Vulnerable customers
  • Emergence of new technology such as social media

Huntswood will be sharing results from the paper at the forthcoming ABI Complaints Outlook event on the 1st December.

HumphreysBlogIf you would like to receive a copy of the report on publication please send an email to Rebecca Masinja

Stephen Humphreys is Head of Propositions at Huntswood

Last updated 29/06/2016