ICasework, the case management system providers, has recently launched UsefulFeedback! for Finance, the on-demand Complaints Management system for the financial industry.
The software includes pre-configured applications available for all sectors of the Financial Services sector - including insurers, banks or building societies, and investment companies - to become and remain compliant with FSA requirements in their handling, resolution and reporting of customer complaints.
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) expects and requires regulated firms to deal appropriately and fairly with any complaint made by a customer. Should a complainant exhaust a financial organisation's internal complaint management process and still remain unsatisfied with the outcome provided, the complaint can be escalated to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), incurring costs of £500 each time, making successful and reliable management of inbound complaints crucial to avoid the charges.
This need to manage complaints effectively so that escalation does not occur, and therefore minimise the risk of charges, is now all the more pertinent as the rate at which the FOS is upholding customer complaints is on the increase, and the average complaint uphold rates for individual financial organisations are being regularly published (see details in Notes to Editors).
UsefulFeedback! for Finance is therefore launched as an FSA-compliant online complaints management system that structures and records the receipt, allocation and suitable response for complaints and informal feedback received across the business, including monitoring and managing comments posted on social media sites. The software is designed to automate the customer engagement process and management of complaints across each channel, including frontline employees, the customer service team and the wider business network, for example insurance brokers or financial intermediaries.
Effective and transparent processes are expected by the FSA to be implemented in order to deal with each complaint in a prompt and efficient manner, with root cause analysis performed in order to identify systemic or recurrent problems. In addition, firms are required to report back to the FSA twice yearly on their complaints management statistics and must follow a standard format, with the information categorised according to FSA requirements.
UsefulFeedback!'s automated reporting, which is supported by threshold alerts that highlight areas of concern, provides financial organisations with precise and accurate data on their complaints, as well as detailed complaint classifications specific to their business needs. Mapped against the FSA's own category requirements, these classifications allow companies to meet the requirements of the regulator but also deliver a clear view of root causes and common issues across the organisation.
Hans Grefte, Product Development Director at iCasework, comments "If an organisation is found to be in breach of the FSA complaint regulations, the manpower cost of reopening the cases in question, teamed with the fine means the total penalty incurred can be quite substantial - a serious concern for many smaller companies that may not have such time or funds available. Deploying the right complaints management system, such as UsefulFeedback!, eliminates the risk of losing track of complaints or failing to respond within the regulated timescale or in the appropriate manner."
Grefte continues "Many small financial firms rely on spreadsheets or non-specific software to manage complaints, increasing the likelihood of details being mislaid, incomplete or mismanaged, and with no reporting facilities they are unable to identify root causes or systemic problems. With no upfront license fees, UsefulFeedback! provides companies with an efficient, reliable complaints management system with which to comply with FSA regulations, without the typical cost or deployment overheads."
UsefulFeedback! is deployed as a web-accessible solution, which brings with it the low costs and low risks that cannot be delivered in a standard on-premise deployment. Available on-demand, UsefulFeedback! is able to provide all the functionality, scalability and security required of an enterprise-level system, yet without the usual high costs or the need for technical specialist knowledge or skills - all that is required for immediate use is web access.