Citizens Bank wants to hear your complaints. So much so that it created an entire department within the bank specifically for that purpose.

Well. Sort of.

Actually, Citizens has a Customer Experience Team, which is devoted exclusively to examining customer complaints and seeing what the bank can do to fix those problems that its customers are having, Lori Dillon, the bank’s head of customer experience, told me.

 “We have a broad definition [of complaint],” Dillon said. That means a complaint could be something as simple as a customer mentioning to a teller that he’s been having trouble logging into his online banking.

Their research team collects complaints fed through the bank’s frontline employees, through 500,000+ surveys conducted on a yearly basis. The team then compiles those complaints and figures out how to address them in the bank’s business line.

They’ve improved operations in a couple ways, too.

Here’s an example: Previously, when a customer lost her debit card, she would have to phone in to the call center by 10 a.m. in order to get a new card overnighted for next business day delivery, but after hearing out their customers’ dissatisfaction with that policy, Citizens pushed the card provider to accept those requests until 3 p.m., buying the frantic customer just a little more time.

Customers who failed three times to enter their ATM or debit PIN can now have the failed PIN counter reset at the branch – something that Citizens previously did not do.

And before the Customer Experience Team addressed this issue, Dillon said, the bank would send a customer a new card when he or she was upgraded from a Circle to a Circle Gold customer. The problem was, the cards looked exactly the same, so many customers would get confused and toss the new card instead of the old one. The bank no longer sends out the new card, but instead just lets the customer know that he or she now has access to the Gold line.

“A lot of them didn’t require capital expenditures and major changes,” Dillon told me. “It was just listening to what the customer was telling us, sitting back and thinking what we could do differently.”    

Listen to me, already!

by Banker & Tradesman time to read: 1 min