Do you know what a best practice approach to complaints looks like, and how your firm’s approach compares to competitors?

The requirement for firms to report all complaints to the regulator — including their treatment of complaints and complainants — means that a firm’s performance in this area will be far more visible to the FCA and, by association, the public. This creates a greater pressure on firms to ensure they adopt a best-practice approach.

Lack of sharing of best practice across the industry around complaints operations means that, historically, it has been difficult to determine what good looks like. Recent Huntswood research has shown that 83% of firms feel the new complaints rules introduced by the FCA — which firms were required to implement by July 2016 — will increase the cost of complaints handling in the long-term.

An accurate view of performance

Firms looking to learn from their industry peers – and even those from other industries – need to understand exactly what drives performance, including the role of variables such as the size of the firm, the type of customers it serves, the specific types of complaints received and the different risks it is exposed to.

Complaints data gathered by the FCA is subject to a contextualisation process which serves to reconcile the above factors and provides some useful insight for firms. However, on its own, it is not sufficient to enable accountable executives to make robust decisions about their firm’s approach to complaint handling.

To translate the comparisons into actions, it is critical for firms to understand the links between their operating model and the performance it drives. This will help inform short-term complaint handling strategies and guide long-term transformations.

The Huntswood benchmark

Our complaints specialists have developed a comprehensive benchmarking approach to give senior decision-makers insight into how and where to make improvements to their complaint handling processes.

Our benchmark provides both quantitative and qualitative insight which together help drive effective change, should it be needed, or evidence the robustness of a firm’s existing approach. The service involves:

  • Benchmarking the firm’s complaints processes from end-to-end, making sure that all aspects of performance are captured
  • Reviewing the firm’s performance against industry best practice, ensuring specific, meaningful and realistic comparisons and recommendations, ensuring appropriate comparisons, enabling robust analysis and a clear path to change, if it is needed
  • Looking at overall processes rather than divisions and departments, so results are not skewed by differences in organisational models
  • Thorough reporting on performance in order to help firms identify constraints and evaluate potential for improvement on an ongoing basis

This approach allows us not only to have a discussion about what you should change, but also about how you can make those changes.

Through participating in the Huntswood complaints benchmark, firms can achieve cost efficiencies, raise the profile of their complaints department, lead in embedding regulatory change and understand consumer behaviours and market evolution.

If you would like more information on what benchmarking can do for your complaints department, speak to Huntswood today.


Key Benefits

  • Establish a reliable and relevant set of metrics for ongoing measurement of complaints performance
  • Gain a clear view of your complaints performance versus your peers
  • Better understand the impacts of proposed changes on your complaints performance

Why Huntswood

Complaints handling, regulatory and operational experts supporting clients since 1996

Prominent industry contributors, including producing White Papers, other thought leadership and numerous events relating to complaints management in regulated industry