In the view of Bharath Surapaneni (pictured), a solutions consultant at Aptean Respond, effective complaints handling can be a key driver for improving the customer experience at insurance companies and beyond.
“At its core, complaints handling is a way of receiving, recording, processing, responding to and reporting on complaints, as well as using them to improve services and decision-making,” Surapaneni told Insurance Business. In his view, the prompt and clear interaction enabled by a good complaints handling system can not only help to mitigate the risk inherent in miscommunication or delayed communication, but can also deliver benefits for the insurance team responding to the issue at hand.
“By streamlining the intake and resolution processes, the team can pay greater attention towards the customers and develop more of a sense of empathy,” he said. “This improved employee engagement can, in general, lead to authentic, transparent, trustworthy and differentiating customer experiences.”
Surapaneni’s advice is timely given the Australian Security and Investment Commission’s release of updated internal dispute resolution procedures this past August. Under Regulatory Guide 271 (RG 271), financial firms will be required to provide a response to complaints within 30 days, while the receipt of complaints – even those posted on a company’s social media pages – should be acknowledged within 24 hours.
For Surapaneni, the changes outlined in RG 271 show that, more than ever, every business needs to have a consistent complaints-handling process in place.
“To do this, a complaints handling policy that outlines the firm’s approach must be defined,” he said. “The staff then needs to be trained on how to handle complaints in a fair, impartial and courteous manner. Underlining all this must be a robust complaints management system in place that complements the training, empowers the team, accelerates complaint resolution and helps improve the customer’s overall journey.”
To find out more about how you can navigate the new regulation and ensure your business’s complaints handling process is fully compliant, tune in the webinar “RG 271 – Managing customer outcomes within a new framework” on Tuesday, October 27, at 2:00 p.m. AEDT. The webinar will be co-hosted by Surapaneni and Martin Cantwell, a fellow solutions consultant at Aptean Respond, and free registration can be completed here.