The Commonwealth Bank Is Fielding More Complaints Than Ever Thanks To Its New Feedback Channels

The Commonwealth Bank logged 70% more customer complaints this year than last, after encouraging customers and staff to use its 3-year-old feedback management system FirstPoint.

The bank today reported receiving a total of 446,224 customer complaints in the 2013 financial year, up from 268,756 in 2012.

Customer compliment numbers fell slightly to 11,012 from 11,337 in 2012, which means that Commonwealth Bank received 40.5 percent more complaints than compliments this year.

A bank spokesman attributed the increase in complaints to it collecting feedback from more channels than ever, including Facebook, Twitter, branches, telephone banking and online.

Commonwealth Bank uses Salesforce.com’s Radian6 to monitor Facebook and Twitter for comments about the bank for the past year.

“Social media is an easier medium [for customers] to provide feedback,” the spokesman said. “We have a large presence in the social media space and customers know we actively monitor those channels.”

The bank had also broadened its definition of a complaint, he said, explaining that the new definition now encompassed individual disputes over fees, or people complaining on Facebook that an ATM wasn’t working.

By widening its net for recording customer complaints, Commonwealth Bank hopes to improve customer satisfaction, which has been one of its key performance metrics for the past 6 years.

“We actively encourage feedback from our customers and regard complaints and compliments as opportunities that enable us to improve our customer relationships and our business,” the bank wrote in its Sustainability Report today.

“As we continue to raise the awareness of firstpoint among our frontline staff and encourage customers to provide feedback through promotion of our complaint handling services, we have seen an increase in the number of recorded complaints.”

The Commonwealth Bank introduced FirstPoint in September 2010, replacing a centralised Satisfy4 feedback management system.

From the bank’s past two Sustainability Reports, here’s how its complaint and compliment numbers have tracked since then:

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