Listen Up!

Felix Thomson

Content Executive

The Financial Services Forum

John Watton explains why complaining customers are an asset rather than a nuisance, and can be a source of greater loyalty.
modern life has become more stressful, customers are becoming increasingly frustrated by incompetent and inefficient service. Everyone has tales of abysmal service, often so bad the story becomes comical and the phrase “help desk” takes on ironic connotations. In today’s competitive world, all financial services organizations need to deliver strong products and outstanding service to ensure repeat business and
continued growth. It is simple common sense that a company that ignores or is slow to act on its customers’ concerns is helping its rivals.
However, banks and insurers are only slowly realizing the importance of putting the customer first. The climate in which some providers operate may have changed profoundly, with customer service now seen as a major differentiator, but many are still stuck in the past.
Figures from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) illustrate how willing customers are to complain about poor service and mis-sold products. More than 60,000 people now visit the FOS website every month, with a third of those downloading the complaint form. During 2003, the FOS’s customer contact division referred a record 62,170 new cases to adjudicators for more detailed dispute resolution work, a 44% increase on the previous year. The numbers complaining about financial services firms and products has reached such a level that the FOS has almost doubled its staff to 660.
To read the full article, please download the PDF above. 

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