RG 271 is coming: time to reevaluate complaints management in Australian financial services

Christopher Connolly

September 20, 20214 min read

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Earlier this month, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) re-released Regulatory Guide 271 for Internal Dispute Resolution (RG 271), which stipulated organizations must address complaints arising from social and messaging channels where a customer has expressed dissatisfaction with the organization or its products. Additionally, ASIC has slashed the response time for complaint processing to just 45 days.

As organizations navigate the final stages of complaints management modernisation before RG 271 goes into effect on 5 October 2021, it’s the right time to review your systems and processes to ensure your organization is ready to scale.

Table of Contents

Anticipating the rise in digital complaints handling

You might be surprised to learn that for every one complaint that is made to a financial service provider in Australia, there is one more that goes unspoken — meaning half of your customers aren't even giving you the chance to help them.

ASIC is justifying these changes based on analysis that shows approximately 3.2 million Australian adults considered making a complaint to a financial service provider in the preceding 12 months, and 1.5 million adults actually made a complaint.

What's more, Australian consumers are increasingly surfacing their complaints on social media, particularly in the target growth demographics, such as 18–34-year-olds, which are far more likely to use electronic means to communicate with your organization.

ASIC also outlined the major reasons for complaints:

  • Almost half were about fees and charges (47%)

  • A quarter were about customer service issues (25%)

  • Roughly one-in-five was about a decision made by the company (17%)

Organizations will find it increasingly advantageous — if not business-critical — to connect the front-end digital experience with their internal dispute resolution systems, along with data and analytics systems, to automate the handling and reporting of socially driven complaints. Rugged processes and practices should be implemented to ensure an accurate level of categorisation for complaints, so that common and systemic problems can be identified. This will help drive positive customer outcomes for internal teams and customers alike.

What technology enables successful complaints management?

Here are some of the most common challenges for customer service teams, which are often legacy hangovers from disconnected point solutions:

  • Limited or no social channel coverage with disjointed workflows creating a fragmented approach to customer service across multiple point solutions and a mishmash of channels

  • Perceived cost of handling every social post makes it hard for teams to get started

  • Delayed resolution = unhappy customers, due to manual and rigid case assignment processes

  • Siloed complaints and customer service teams make it hard to collaborate with other teams, leading to missed opportunities for upsells and limited insight into future research and development

Considering the latest technology when designing and improving the Internal Dispute Resolution (IDR) process will help achieve a frictionless experience for your customers. Using automation and machine learning, it is now possible to take industry-specific language and intent models to discern real complaints from background noise. Instead of laborious copy and paste from social and digital channels to internal systems — or worse still from yesterday's email — there are now solutions available that capture genuine, actionable complaints and deliver them to the right resource, whether that’s a human or an integrated system like your existing CRM tool.

Bring a complaint management system into your unified customer experience

As you consider your technology options, it’s important to look for a complaints management and escalation management solution that has been purpose built, not only to help you comply with the latest regulation, but also to connect (or ideally replace) the myriad point solutions that most organizations use to manage their customer experience. Here are some critical capabilities to look out for when evaluating and selecting such a platform:

  • Does the solution incorporate BFSI-specific machine-learning algorithms that are not only built for your industry but can be tailored to your organization?

  • Can it integrate with your established IDR system and processes to augment the escalation management processes?

  • Does it provide auditability for regulatory compliance?

  • How will it provide SLA management and reporting across multiple channels?

  • Is it built with the end state in mind by connecting current and future digital channels?

  • Will it use AI to automate parts of the process that do not require a human to be involved?

  • Is it built for a digital-first experience, or a bolt-on digital afterthought?

Using the right technology across the entire organization, customer service teams can keep their customers at the center of their processes. With the ability to automatically route, resolve, and measure customer issues in an integrated, cross-channel solution, customer service can avoid customer churn by providing positive course corrections in real time, and control cost with AI-powered automation that sifts through all messages and appropriately actions the right engagements with the right organizational resources.

Check out what today’s complaints and escalation management systems look like when reimagined from the digital perspective as part of a unified customer experience (Unified-CXM) platform. You’ll find that it’s fundamentally different from typical Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions on the market today. That’s because advances in technology have given today’s humans more choices than ever before about when and where they engage with your organization.

Learn how Sprinklr Complaints Management can drive your digital-first strategy for RG 271.

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