Good customer outcomes are crucial for promoting customer loyalty, building a great reputation for your business, and ensuring you stay on the right side of the FCA in particular, given the implementation of Consumer Duty earlier this year. But with recent FCA complaints data showing a rising number of complaints—1.88 million opened complaints in H1 of 2023—it’s clear there is still some work to be done to satisfy these requirements. Not to mention, that with the colder, wetter, and more severe weather conditions already settling in and winter on the horizon, we’re due to see insurance complaints rise even more so.
With all this to consider, now’s a better time than any to ask yourself whether your complaints teams are ready and able to handle the unavoidable rise in complaints during this peak season.
The seasonal surge period for insurance claims and complaints is looming on us, but taking the time to prepare your teams can give you greater chances of ensuring good outcomes are maintained through these busy months.
In the case of many of our clients, insufficient resource to get through mounting complaints during peak periods is common, and going into surge season with an already existing backlog can make things even more difficult. But equally, recruiting and training new complaints handlers when you’re already time-poor and under seasonal pressure adds fuel to the fire.
We can help remove the risk and hassle associated with sourcing and training talent by providing you with pre-trained complaints handlers during your surge period that can be easily flexed up and down to align with volumes.
The importance of a flexible and efficient complaints process
Complaints should provide an opportunity for businesses to do the right thing and to win back customer trust and loyalty.
Given the recent Consumer Duty and the focus on customer outcomes, now may be a good time to do a review of your complaint process to make sure it’s hitting the spot with both customers and the regulator. This will also help you to identify any areas where potential efficiencies can be gained.
Even if a full end-to-end review isn’t possible given it’s the busiest time of year for many firms, it may be worth doing a review on particular areas of challenge to identify any quicker wins. These could be:
- Volumes – analysis of trends and drivers, resolution times and capacity
- Resource & performance – productivity, quality and consistency (across all sites)
- Vulnerable customers – assessment of identification and treatment
- Use of data, technology and automation
- Capacity models, resourcing, and planning team structure
- Induction and training review
We are currently supporting firms with these tactical reviews as well as full scale operational reviews and have seen our recommendations make a significant impact already. We’d be happy to share these case studies on request.
Reduce the impact of complaints
Working out why complaints are happening via a robust Root Cause Analysis process will help to reduce the impact of complaints and lower the volumes of those that probably didn’t need to happen in the first place. It’s important to make sure the loop is closed though, and getting buy-in to make the necessary changes from other areas of the business can be a challenge especially if there is no clear ownership identified during the RCA process.
It can also help you to proactively prepare your teams to deal with these much more efficiently and effectively. By informing complaints handlers of these common pain points for customers and training them on how to deal with them, will ensure all customer complaints get dealt fairly, quickly and in the correct way.
If you’re struggling to find the underlying issues within your complaints, we can help. Our experts can conduct a review of your Root Cause Analysis process to provide an independent assessment and spot gaps for improvement and help manage rising complaints volumes.
The insurance sector is no stranger to automation, with many firms already using it effectively within some of their integral processes, such as their claims processes. However, there are still many insurers who aren’t leveraging the power of automation for their complaints process, resulting in a potentially slower, disjointed, and frustrating complaints process.
Although there will be some complaints that need human intervention and some customers who will need more tailored support, there are elements of the complaints process where automation can help take on some of the heavy lifting, in turn helping to resolve issues quicker and more cost-effectively.
If you’d like to have a chat about what the options are for automation in your complaints process, our team of experts can help. They know exactly what makes for good customer outcomes, and how to use AI and automation to achieve these.
Strategic Client Director – Insurance
If you need any help with complaints or just a chat about any of these areas, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our insurance experts to discover how to get you ready for the upcoming peak period and beyond.