If your firm receives a complaint, trying to handle the matter without specialist advice and support could cost you more in the long run. Not to mention the potential reputational damage and disruption to your business if a complaint is handled poorly.
Read on to find out how seeking professional help when handling a complaint could benefit you and your business.
1. Deliver a final response letter that clearly sets out your position and is fully compliant
The FCA requires firms to provide a written response within eight weeks of receiving a complaint.
If your firm investigates the matter within this time frame and is in a position to accept the complaint, reject the complaint or offer redress without accepting the complaint, it must send a final response letter to the complainant.
There are many elements to drafting an effective final response letter including:
- Setting out your firm’s understanding of the complaint
- Adhering to timescales
- Considering the Financial Ombudsman Service’s (FOS) jurisdiction
- Appropriately referencing the client file
- And much more.
Without specialist knowledge of complaints handling procedures, you might struggle to write a letter that clearly states your position and complies with FCA rules.
Because each case is unique, writing a good final response letter is not as simple as following a checklist. What you should include and highlight, and in what order, will depend on the individual complaint. As a result, to produce a strong final response is likely to require an independent investigation.
Furthermore, the quality of your final response letter could affect the claimant’s decision. Crucially, this could sway whether they accept your findings or refer the matter to the FOS for further investigation. The latter of which could lead to having to expend substantially more time and money.
As specialist consultants, we are well-placed to lead a thorough investigation of the complaint and produce a polished response grounded in the findings of this investigation.
2. Get an accurate understanding of the potential costs involved
It can be easy to underestimate the potential costs of handling and resolving a complaint, making a DIY approach seem appealing.
We’ve probably all been guilty of thinking we can fix a problem ourselves and save money, only to find that we end up wasting more time and money when we have to call on an expert for help.
Handling complaints is no different. Costs could quickly spiral beyond your expectations. There might be an insurer’s excess to pay, compensation could be awarded to the complainant and if you choose to handle the matter without professional help, it may take a considerable amount of time to complete an investigation and the associated paperwork.
You might consider the fees of a specialist consultancy to be an added cost, but this could be an investment that ultimately saves you valuable time and money.
Furthermore, seeking help from a professional with expertise in complaints handling could help you gain a more accurate understanding of the costs involved from the start of the process, helping you to decide where to direct available resources.
3. Handle the complaint in the most time-efficient manner
As an FCA-regulated firm, you must comply with the eight-week time frame for providing a written response to a complaint.
Putting off dealing with a complaint could make the whole process far more stressful than it needs to be. And with less time to handle the case, completing a thorough investigation and crafting an effective response might be more challenging.
Also, if you attempt to navigate the complex waters of the FCA’s complaints handling rules without the relevant knowledge and experience to do so, you could create extra work when you finally call in specialist support.
Seeking help as soon as your firm receives a complaint allows you to take advantage of the full eight weeks to work towards a fair outcome and minimise reputational damage.
4. Reduce the stress of receiving and handling a complaint
Being faced with a task to complete under a strict deadline can be stressful under any circumstances. If you’re unfamiliar with the processes involved and lack the relevant expertise to complete the task successfully, this could create additional pressure.
Outsourcing the complaints handling process may help reduce the stress that often comes with a customer complaint and allow you to maintain focus on your business.
Jencap Partners are specialists in handling all levels of complaints for FCA-regulated companies. We can take care of every aspect of the process. Our extensive experience means that we appreciate the potential impact of a complaint on your firm and will take the time to understand your individual needs.
Acting fast and reaching out to us as soon as you receive a complaint could help you avoid the stress of a last-minute panic as the eight-week deadline approaches.
Get in touch
Jencap Partners ensure a pragmatic approach to dispute resolution. From evaluation of the complaint to the “final response”, and beyond, we take care of every aspect of the process and, subject to your PI insurance policy, your legal defence costs may be covered.
Find out more about how we could help you resolve a complaint by talking with one of our experts.