Some financial services companies are exploring ways to engage directly with consumers when it comes to complaints
Dispute resolution is tricky in financial services, where most often the product manufacturer and the consumer do not interact directly under most circumstances. For instance, an insurer sells through an agent or an aggregator who is not directly employed by them. However, in case of any problem with the product or the service, the consumer approaches the insurer to resolve the case. These days with social media being an effective tool, some financial services companies are exploring novel ways to keep in touch with consumers by looking at ways to engage directly with them when it comes to conflicts and complaints.
Recently, Citibank announced the launch of instant chat services for customers logged in to Citibank Online (CBOL) in India; it is a real-time chat facility that focuses on resolving queries instantly across cards, domestic and non-resident accounts and loans. Customers can get their doubts and complaints resolved through the chat facility while they are logged in. The CBOL also offers a regular chat facility for resolution of generic queries. It provides information on product features, branch locations etc.
Similarly, Exide Life Insurance has rolled out a Twitter-based ‘Self-help’ service, which aims to let the company’s customers manage their policies through Twitter. According to the company, Twitter constitutes over 30 per cent of queries received by it through social media. Essentially, Exide Life has created a dedicated Twitter handle – @ExideLifeCares – which handholds customers through the process.
In case of Exide Life, once the policyholder initiates the interaction by tagging the handle, the conversation moves into the private or Direct Message (DM) box, where policyholders will be required to enter key details and complete one-time registration. The services currently being offered include renewal premium payments, download premium payment receipts, update contact details, check policy status, policy due date, policy premium and survival benefit details. Here is a route for companies to adopt so they can directly interact with consumers and resolve disputes.