Stratifyd is proud to announce its first annual State of FinServ Customer Experience Report, a comprehensive analysis of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Complaint Database. Using Stratifyd’s Smart AI™-powered Experience Analytics Platform, we analyzed over 436,000 feedback records to understand the trends and anomalies driving the historic increase in consumer complaints. This report highlights industry trends and provides insights for Customer Experience professionals who are working to listen to the customer in new ways beyond surveys alone.
The last year was tough for FinServ companies and their customers alike. On top of the closure of in-person banking in many areas and the switch to digital-first experiences for more consumers than ever, there were massive, sudden regulatory changes that impacted nearly every line of business from mortgages to student loans.
With so many changes, it was inevitable that customers would have things to say about it. One of the ways this feedback showed up is in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Consumer Complaint Database. This service provided by the federal government allows consumers to register complaints about their financial institutions to ensure they receive a timely response to help fix errors. It also helps inform regulators about systemic issues that may need to be addressed in legislation and regulation.
Last year, complaints to the CFPB increased 58% year-over-year to the highest levels ever—a massive increase compared to the 11% rise from 2018 to 2019.
Most of the time, Customer Experience professionals don’t see the content of these complaints. FinServ companies have teams dedicated to responding to the complaints to remain compliant with federal law. But these teams often work in a silo.
Using Stratifyd’s Experience Analytics Platform, we analyzed all the publicly available data from the database to uncover the insights that most CX teams are missing out on to help improve everything from digital transformation to the Contact Center.
Some Surprising—and Unsurprising—Insights from the CFPB Database
Our analysis turned up some surprising insights about industry trends and the impact individual institutions had on complaint volumes.
It’s not surprising that many consumers felt the impact of Covid-19-related financial hardships. But what was surprising is how many people perceived that there was a lack of empathy at times from FinServ institutions for their situation. Whether it was a sense that instances of fraud were not being taken seriously enough or dealt with in a timely manner or frustration with the fact that other forms of debt like mortgages were receiving relief while credit cards debt and interest rates were largely ignored, consumers made their feelings heard last year.
While it's also not surprising that complaints around student loans fell sharply since the 2020 CARES Act suspended payments for most of the year, it was surprising that credit reporting and credit repair services had the highest year-over-year complaints, up 64% from 2019. As more consumers fell into financial hardship or became victims of fraud, these services were inundated with an increase in complaints.
On top of that, you’ll see new tactics that CX professionals can adopt to listen more deeply to consumers from more sources of consumer feedback, like the CFPB complaint database. Surveys alone can’t capture the nuances of the customer experience or the reasons and emotions that drive their engagement with your brand. The lessons learned in this report can help you develop a proactive approach to monitoring changes in the customer experience in uncertain times like during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The analysis and lessons in this report were provided by our SVP of Customer Experience Strategy and Analytics, Kurt Trauth, who prior to that role spent time as a CX leader at USAA. Stratifyd has helped many leading FinServ companies to uncover the real story behind their customer, employee and operational data.