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How Banks Can Avoid Disappointing Their Customers During Fee Disputes

Improving customer satisfaction during disputes isn’t just about saying “yes” more; it’s about saying “no” better.

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How Banks Can Avoid Disappointing Their Customers During Fee Disputes
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When customers have a dispute with a bank, such as asking for a credit card fee to be removed, they are, of course, happier when the company agrees with their dispute.

But recent data from Bain’s NPS Prism® benchmarking platform reveals that agreeing with customers or making exceptions to policies aren't the only options. Saying “no” doesn’t automatically mean that customers will have a negative experience. In fact, there’s only a moderate correlation between how often a customer agrees with the outcome of a dispute and the company’s Net Promoter ScoreSM, a measurement of a customer’s likelihood to recommend a store or brand, for how it handles disputes (see Figure 1).

Several other factors influence whether customers are happy with their dispute experience (see Figure 2). For example, the speed with which a company says "yes" or "no" has significant implications for overall satisfaction. According to NPS Prism data, when companies do say "no," they can follow a few guidelines to improve customer satisfaction:

  • Say “no” faster. When companies resolve a dispute in the same day, they can improve their Net Promoter Score by 19 points.
  • Be empathetic. When representatives are friendly and empathetic during the dispute, they see an 80-point boost in Net Promoter Score.
  • Empower customers. When customers report that they feel empowered to avoid incurring the same fee again in the future, companies see a 50-point jump in Net Promoter Score.

When it comes to disputes, it’s a common fallacy that companies must face a trade-off between providing a good customer experience and protecting profits and policies. Leading companies are maintaining both customer satisfaction and their policies through a faster, more empathetic, and empowering approach.

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Net Promoter®, NPS®, and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld. Net Promoter Score℠ and Net Promoter System℠ are service marks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.

NPS Prism® is a registered trademark of Bain & Company, Inc.

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Net Promoter®, NPS®, NPS Prism®, and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks and Net Promoter Score℠, NPSx℠, and Net Promoter System℠ are service marks of Bain & Company, Inc., NICE Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.