The Full Feedback Cycle at Contactar

PoorBest

After experiencing a period of rapid growth, Contactar realized it needed to be more aware of the needs and concerns of its ever-expanding client base. In January 2013, Contactar decided to upgrade its overall strategy to listen to client complaints and concerns after realizing that their suggestion box was clearly not enough.

contactarAfter experiencing a period of rapid growth, Contactar realized it needed to be more aware of the needs and concerns of its ever-expanding client base. In January 2013, Contactar decided to upgrade its overall strategy to listen to client complaints and concerns after realizing that their suggestion box – the only client-accessible complaints channel that was being used – was clearly not enough. Clients were not using it regularly, and it was often even mistaken for a trash bin! Contactar tasked Customer Service Specialist Fernando Viteri and Marketing Coordinator Eliana Belalcazar with transforming the organization’s Complaints Handling Mechanism and developing an action plan to answer Questions, Complaints, Grievances, and Suggestions (PQRS is the Spanish acronym) which included the following three key steps:

  1. Design and Implementation of a Smile-o-Meter. Contactar’s cashiers provided a sample of 30 percent of the clients with new loans a feedback form containing happy, indi”erent, and sad faces. Customers were asked to describe the way they felt about how they were treated by staff. It also provides a space in case they would like to include additional comments. After implementing this mechanism, written feedback from clients has not only increased, the overall content of the feedback is also much richer than the few received previously using their already established channel. As a result, the institution decided to phase out its suggestion box entirely. Cost: One week sta” time to develop new form, approximately 1,000 smile-o-meter forms (three forms per page) to 32 offices.
  2. Establish a Toll-Free Number. One of the recommendations of the Smart Campaign assessment was the need to install a toll-free number as an additional channel to its complaints system. Setting up the number was easy and the institution sta”ed and managed a direct line. The person sta$ng the line is blind and has successfully memorized the institution’s sales pitch and is inquisitive of client’s reasons for calling. The person writes down reports and submits it to Loan o$cers and management for follow-up. Through this channel, the institution has generated 193 loan applications, 51 of which have been accepted generating more than $40,000 in new loans. Cost: ¢25 per minute per call to the toll free number (around $1,000/month) and the salary of entry-level person sta#ng the line.
  3. Advance Client Focus Groups. Contactar also implemented focus groups to better address their clients’ needs with internal resources. Understanding that the results would not be wholly representative of their client-base, they decided to hold meetings at each of their 23 o$ces with six or eight clients. These meetings have shed light on the fact that clients were unaware of the existence of home improvement, educational, consumption, or environmental loans. The institution since has developed a product marketing spreadsheet to assist its loan o$cers in their sales pitch to clients about services available. Cost: One day per focus group from Marketing Manager, one month e”ort by Marketing Manager to develop focus group methodology. Transportation, client gifts, and refreshments approximately $15,000. 

Total Cost: Approximately $16,850. Total Staff Time: Approximately 160 Staff days. Total Business generated: $40,000 in new loans.

This story was originally published in the Smart Campaign State of Practice Report Study of Client Protection in Latin America and the Caribbean.