New Report from Stratifyd Reveals What Pandemic-Driven Consumer Feedback Can Teach the Financial Services Industry About Customer Experience in 2021
Report analyzes more than 400,000 complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2020 and explores what uncovered trends can reveal to financial services providers
CHARLOTTE — March 23, 2021 — Stratifyd, the leading provider of experience analytics solutions powered by Smart AI™, today announced it has released its first annual “FinServ Customer Experience Report.” The report offers a comprehensive analysis of the publicly available Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Database, highlighting consumers’ top complaints made to the organization about financial services providers in 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic put considerable stress on the financial services industry, with many Americans struggling to meet their financial obligations. To help consumers mitigate the challenges brought about by the pandemic, the U.S. Congress passed the CARES Act in March 2020. While the legislation helped ease some of the financial hardships placed on Americans, it also opened the door to a wide range of consumer requests. The pandemic also introduced significant surges in fraud thereby complicating existing consumer issues. In fact, hardship, coupled with other factors influenced by the pandemic, led to a 58% year-over-year increase in complaints to the CFPB and the highest level of complaints ever recorded.
The 2021 FinServ Customer Experience Report takes a deeper look at how individual struggles intersected with the customer experience at their financial institutions. To reveal key trends within the CFPB data, Stratifyd leveraged its Experience Analytics platform to analyze 436,000 complaints filed in 2020. Stratifyd’s Smart AI — which uses the power of AI to surface insights that existing approaches often miss — reviewed the unstructured data to reveal the reasons and sentiment behind the surfaced trends.
“Financial institutions can learn valuable lessons from the complaints of consumers,” said Derek Wang, founder and CEO at Stratifyd. “Too often, financial service providers rely on their own customer surveys and proprietary data to uncover consumer trends and sentiment. But to truly understand and improve the full customer experience they’re offering, financial institutions must analyze data across a variety of channels. Our report highlights one of the most siloed, yet valuable, resources for uncovering primary barriers impacting consumers’ experiences with their financial services providers. Its findings can reveal valuable insights that lead to better experience strategies and, consequently, improve bottom lines as companies look for a path forward in 2021.”
Key findings from the report include:
- As fraud skyrocketed, consumers felt credit reporting agencies didn’t react quickly enough: Increases in the use of digital channels led to historic rates of fraud which resulted in a stark increase in related complaints regarding credit reporting agencies. Of complaints with public comments, 27% were duplicates, suggesting consumers felt financial institutions weren’t reacting fast enough to their concerns.
- Complaints related to credit reporting/credit services greatly increased: Credit reporting/credit repair services accounted for 64% of all complaints and had the highest increase year-over-year — doubling from 2019. Of the complaints filed in 2020, two-thirds were consumers stating that there was incorrect information on their credit report.
- A perceived lack of empathy for certain types of debt frustrated consumers: According to the report, one of the main complaint categories as it relates to credit or prepaid cards was for “fees.” Consumers often expressed frustration that they felt their credit card issuer was not empathetic with their financial situation due to the pandemic. In particular, they would complain that late fees or interest rates were not lowered, despite other consumers benefiting from mortgage and auto loan payments being deferred.
- Digital payment complaints accelerated as online shopping increased: The switch to digital banking and purchases was not without growing pains for consumers. According to the report, there was a 59% year-over-year increase in complaints about money transfer/virtual currency. In fact, as online shopping increased, claims of fraud/scams and unauthorized charges through digital payment platforms also increased.