How Banks are Improving their Complaints Management

By: Clarabridge Team

March 8, 2017

Clarabridge Analytics
Customer Experience
Customer Journey
Customer Feedback Management
Customer Journey Mapping

Financial regulatory laws strictly govern the handling of complaints in banks and other financial institutions. The Wall Street Journal reports that in 2014, US and European banks paid nearly $65 billion in penalties and fines. This record-breaking number was an increase of about 40% over 2013, which was the previous high.

Some of these penalties are directly tied to ineffective complaints reporting and management. If you are really listening and understanding customer sentiment, your customers’ feedback will not only prevent fines, but identify areas for improvement as well. But, this is not without its challenges.


Common Challenges with Complaints Management

Prior to working with Clarabridge, a large global bank struggled with analyzing and reporting on complaints data. They faced challenges, such as:

  • Rigid coding, which missed key details: The banks was using a CMS that only allowed for a rigid 3-tier drop down menu for agents to categorize complaints. This meant complaints discussing multiple issues were only bucketed into a single category, missing out on a lot of key details.
  • Manual analysis, which led to subjective and partial analysis: A team of 7 was manually reading and categorizing complaints. Categorization was inconsistent across the different team members. Due to huge volumes, they were only able to analyze a sample of 10% of all the available data coming in each month.
  • Inability to drill into the data: The team’s CMS didn’t allow them to do deep reporting. They needed to understand what was driving complaints across all complaints data. If they had this insight, they could fix the problem at the root cause and eliminate recurring complaints.

By working with Clarabridge, this bank resolved these challenges. They now produce automatically-segmented and categorized complaints reports that analyze all their available complaints data. These reports are then sent to the financial regulatory boards every week.


Accurately Reporting on Complaints to Meet Financial Regulations

Lloyds Bank also uses Clarabridge daily to understand customer complaints, why they are complaining, and the root cause of any concerns. David Tripp, Head of Customer Experience Strategy at Lloyds Banking Group, says, “With Clarabridge, we are able to eradicate the root cause of an issue faster than we were able to do so before.” Lloyds has decreased all their reportable complaints by 50% over the last 3 years.

But, what started as a focus on complaints management evolved into a strategic focus on delivering the best customer experience possible. This transition has shaped the way the bank does business –today—they are focused on the customer and continue to try and find ways to keep customer complaints to a minimum.


Making a bigger impact

Having a system in place for better complaints management is the first step. After all, banks are held responsible for poor complaints handling and lack of transparency. But that’s also why banks must monitor, analyze, and manage the entire customer experience. Understanding exactly what customers are thinking and how they are feeling about your financial brand helps to better serve account holders and address regulatory requirements and decrease complaints at the same time.

Two more banks that work with Clarabridge are great examples of how complaints management is only the start of customer experience improvement:

1-  A large US-based bank began working with Clarabridge to analyze the growing volume of text-based data collected across 13 different sources of feedback, including email data, internal bank feedback, surveys, and compliance data. The CX team identified 50+ measurable opportunities to improve the customer experience. For example, they reduced comment volume by 2.8% after improving the online banking log-in process.

2-  A leading Canadian bank’s central CX team works on cross-departmental projects to improve the company’s end-to-end customer experience. They focus on several key journey touchpoints, such as fraud, on-boarding, home financing, and trading via their discount brokerage. This team is responsible for several enterprise-wide initiatives, such as: setting Relationship Net Promoter Score (NPS)® targets, customer experience reporting, identifying the critical customer experience drivers for every line of business, and driving key initiatives based on customer experience insights from Clarabridge.


Banks are held responsible for poor complaints handling and lack of transparency. That’s why banks must monitor, analyze, and manage the customer experience. Understanding exactly what customers are thinking and how they are feeling about your financial brand helps to better serve account holders and address regulatory requirements at the same time.

Your customers care about their banking experience. They want to feel that their time and their needs are valued. Your customer experience management program gives you the opportunity to influence that relationship. You can address individual problems and close the loop with those customers, and you can also address larger, organization-wide issues that are damaging customer experience and loyalty (not to mention early warning of regulatory non-compliance).

To learn more about why a customer experience program is critical in the banking industry, read our ebook: CX for Banks.



Serina Aswani is Manager of Content Marketing and EMEA Marketing at Clarabridge. As part of her responsibilities, Serina serves as the voice of Clarabridge’s customers, highlighting customer stories and sharing proven best practices for implementing successful Customer Experience Management programs. Serina also oversees content marketing strategy and PR for the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region. She is responsible for establishing Clarabridge’s position as an industry thought leader across EMEA. Serina holds a M.S. in Commerce, specializing in Marketing and Management, as well as a B.A in French and Studio Arts, from the University of Virginia. Read more from Serina on Twitter at @SerinaAswani.