Do Your Agents Know a Complaint When They Hear One?

​Understan​ding complaints is not always as easy as you might think. You never know when your customer might be Cosmo Kr​amer. In a bank. With a com​plaint. ​

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So, when your customer is “taking that much too literally,” are you in the “hey is hello” camp? Or maybe you’re more the problem solver (“You got a greeting. It starts with an ‘h’. How’s 20 bucks sound?”). More importantly, in your organization, who decides what a fair complaint is? 

And when to take action? Is Kramer’s “I want to speak with the manager” the right moment? 

For many companies, these decisions are left up to front office employees. But important cues or context may be missed or not handled early enough due to a busy or distracted agent. And this places unnecessary strain on the complaint and compliance teams, as they have to clean up the mess.  

What this has meant, also, is inconsistency among organizations, even in the same corporation, trying to identify, quantify and qualify complaints. Volumes, methods and assumed risk levels of complaints are a few of the aspects that institutions are unable to agree upon. 

The NICE Analytics-Driven Complaint Management Suite (download the brochure) solves these problems. It automatically gathers information from all aspects of a customer’s interaction, detecting dissatisfaction at the earliest stages using speech and desktop analytics. 

Part of what makes the analytics-based solution so effective is that we know what a complaint sounds like. With decades of experience in the field, we have developed a ‘complaint lexicon' – a ready-to-use library of industry-specific words and phrases that identify an interaction as a “complaint”.

And since this detection happens in real time, the Complaint Management Suite also provides agents with pop-up notifications indicating the next best action to help their dissatisfied customer and to log the complaint. This halts the escalation of complaints and proactively addresses issues that can lead to more serious customer grievances. 

Of course, since all this is dependent on speech and desktop analytics, companies that are already using those solutions are already one step ahead of the game. As we move to ‘Complaint Management 2.0’ – with customer experience at center stage - root cause analysis is centralized and proactive, complaints are clearly and consistently defined, and agents are given the tools to take timely and sustainable corrective action.  
 
While the financial services industry is ahead of the curve on this one, analytics-driven complaint management is also becoming a hot issue for other businesses, such as telecommunications firms​. Even the leading global companies have been chastised by government agencies​ that they need an “alert mechanism that could have revealed flaws in their monitoring systems…. to provide full and prompt remediation to consumers….” 

To get an idea of what all this means on an industrial scale, let’s remember that, to date, the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has handled over 650,000 consumer complaints. This has led to more than $10 billion in relief for millions of dissatisfied customers. 

That’s a wee bit more than 20 bucks, isn’t it? 

Detection is a real challenge, but the buck doesn’t stop there. Companies need not only detect and report complaints, but they also need to resolve them fully within 30 days. And for that to happen, you need to be able to manage the entire lifecycle of the complaint. 

Stay tuned for the next blogisode, as we highlight some good practices for managing complaints - from detection to resolution. And then – spoiler alert – we’ll see how to predict complaints so we can short-circuit them before they happen.
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