3 common banking complaints (and how omnichannel solutions can help)

Most businesses face consumer complaints, but what often separates the most successful organizations from their competitors is how effectively they resolve these problems to the customer’s satisfaction.

In fact, a company’s ability to quickly solve complaints typically has a positive impact on customers’ brand loyalty. A 2015 study found that 98 percent of US consumers feel that the quality of customer service is very or somewhat important when choosing or becoming loyal to a brand.

Similarly, a UK Ombudsman Services report from January 2016 showed 92 percent of customers would be unwilling to continue using a company’s services if a complaint was handled poorly. On the other hand, 75 percent of respondents said they would be more likely to return to a brand if their grievances were addressed appropriately.

Banks received the eighth highest number of complaints among industries in the US and Canada in 2015, according to statistics from the Better Business Bureau. Clearly, there are opportunities for financial institutions (FIs) to improve services and boost satisfaction among consumers.

Let’s look at some of the most common complaints that banks encounter and how investing in the right omnichannel solutions could turn unhappy customers into brand advocates.

Trouble opening or closing an account

Data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in 2013 revealed that checking account services are the source of 78 percent of customer complaints in the US, with 36 percent of these due to troubles opening, closing or managing an account. Even if these figures have improved somewhat since this report was published, it is still an issue that needs to take priority.

Consumers expect a seamless experience when interacting with their checking accounts regardless of their location or the device they are using, so it’s not surprising that these problems were the most frustrating for people.

Ensuring that services are consistent across multiple channels is crucial for delivering a positive experience for checking account customers. The best way to achieve this is through an effective omnichannel strategy.

For example, consumers that begin opening a new account via their mobile must be able to then complete the process on their desktop or tablet at a later date without having to start again.

Complaint mismanagement 

Anyone who has ever been left on hold as they’re shunted around different departments after ringing an organization to complain will understand how annoying the process can be. This is particularly true if you have to explain the problem every time you speak to someone new.

An EY report claimed that operational silos are one of the reasons banks may be underperforming in their complaint management procedures. The research noted that silos make it difficult to centralize and integrate complaints across departments, leading to a lack of accountability and consistency.

“Some banks seeking best practice in this area are learning from other industries, where complaint resolution generates high levels of customer satisfaction,” the study stated.

“That typically means creating coordinated programs to capture problems, centralize their management, track and analyze them, report on them, identify root causes and develop multichannel solutions.”

Deposit and withdrawal problems

After checking accounts, the biggest issue for banking customers in the CFPB statistics was problems with depositing and withdrawing money. Twenty-eight percent of complaints were in this area, which included the availability of deposits, check-cashing facilities and general challenges withdrawing cash.

Providing a mix of self-service options, such as deposit ATMs and remote deposit capture solutions, means consumers have multiple ways to interact with their accounts – and they can choose the most convenient for their specific needs.

But it’s important to have the correct software and omnichannel strategy underpinning these disparate systems to ensure consumers enjoy an effortless experience whichever technology or service they use.

Ultimately, whether it’s checking account problems, complaint mismanagement or issues with deposits and withdrawals, we can see that problems often arise because banks may struggle because of a lack of integration between channels and systems.

A comprehensive omnichannel approach that removes operational silos and delivers a seamless, transparent customer experience could help FIs resolve complaints more quickly and drive brand loyalty.


Image: iStock/zimmytws

Written by Andrew Short

Andrew Short

Andrew is NCR's Mobile and Payments Solutions Manager. He has 20+ yrs experience in the software industry covering banking, healthcare and the telecommunications verticals. With past positions in finance, accounting, sales, and production management, he brings significant mobile and payment expertise to his current role.

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