By Scott Thompson
FS firms face severe fines and reputational damage if they fail to pay heed to new FSA complaint rules. That’s the warning from complaints management software outfit, managemycomplaints.com, which says companies will struggle to adhere to the new regulations, coming into force on 1 July, if they don’t put the right systems and processes in place.
The company believes that many financial services companies, particularly smaller and medium-sized businesses which currently use Excel spreadsheets to look after complaints and feedback, need to adapt to the rules by installing a specialised system which meets the new guidelines. And it is urging companies to exceed basic levels of compliance, to prepare for an expected clampdown when the Financial Conduct Authority takes over in 2013.
Andrew Aldred, head of marketing at managemycomplaints.com, says that, with the right system in place, firms can steal a march on their competitors by using the management information from complaints and feedback to effect positive changes throughout the company.
“Sectors like insurance are already undergoing more reviews by the FSA and it’s having an impact on these businesses. When the FSA is reformed the scrutiny will get even closer and it’s going to cause some companies a problem. But customer complaints and feedback also provide a rich pool of business intelligence about your company that can help you identify new ideas, ways to improve and additional income streams to let you stay ahead of your competitors,” he says.
“Companies that don't take advantage of this ‘free business advice’ are really missing out. The internet and the rise of social networking mean that the potential for bad news to spread fast has increased enormously. Unhappy customers will take their business elsewhere and tell others to do the same,” Aldred adds.