Macquarie Bank using tech to fix how it handles complaints

Turned to Salesforce with the overarching goal of gaining a '360 view' of its customers.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

As a financial services institution in Australia, the way Macquarie Bank handles complaints is regulated in a way that drastically differs from other retail services.

"It's a regulated industry … and complaints management is much more than just the extent of goodwill we'd like to choose to give to customers as it might be in some other retail industries," Rosalind Coffey, head of people, culture, and client experience at the bank, said.

Speaking at the virtual Salesforce Live for Financial Services event on Wednesday, Coffey said that there are a lot of rules surrounding the way that complaints must be handled as banking is a heavily regulated industry.

"For example, we're required to acknowledge every complaint on the day that it's received, we're required to respond to clients within a certain time frame, and we also have rules and regulations around the way that complaints relating to certain scenarios such as hardship or insurance claims need to be handled as well," she explained. "So there's a lot of scrutiny around the complaints management process in retail financial services."

If a customer is unhappy or dissatisfied with the outcome of their complaint with the retail financial services company, they can turn to an external body, the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), to escalate their concerns.

As the way Macquarie Bank handled complaints had left a lot to be desired, Coffey said the organisation needed a system to help.

"When we looked to a complaints management system and technology to help us with that process, we had to not only look at technology that handled workflow but [it needed] to enable visibility and [allow] us to be able to track things very, very carefully at every stage of the process and also to measure our own internal performance," she said.

Macquarie Bank turned to Salesforce, as the US CRM giant was already the primary customer engagement platform used across the bank's sales, marketing, servicing, and customer experience teams.

"We've also made use of Salesforce as a platform to support reporting and analytics and the data which is already available in the Salesforce platform and Marketing Cloud," chief data officer Ashwin Sinha added. 

"We are looking at ways of how we can use Salesforce as a platform to engage better with our intermediaries and partners."

The complaints management system took 12-18 months to implement, with Sinha saying the new system has given the organisation visibility of the entire complaints process, through to resolution.

He said it also gave Macquarie visibility into the cause of the complaints it gets to improve how things are done internally.

Coffey said Macquarie is also working towards a "360 view" of customers in Salesforce, which it hopes will capture all of its interactions, feedback, net promoter score, data on their marketing preferences, and preferred communication channels.

"Everything that helps us to really know our clients and to personalise experiences for them, all designed to be housed in Salesforce," she added.


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