If customers report fraud or suspicious charges on their accounts, what might seem like a challenge can actually be an opportunity for your business. Handle these disputes efficiently and you can regain — and even strengthen — customer loyalty. The alternative: angry customers, damage to your reputation and financial losses.
Your customer dispute resolution processes should move quickly to get to the bottom of possible fraudulent activity. For results that satisfy your customer and benefit your business, follow these eight best practices:
- Publicize your processes. Post clear and easily accessible information on your website, social media accounts and other communication channels detailing how customers can report suspected fraud on their accounts. These notices should include contact details, any relevant forms or documentation required and steps in the resolution process.
- Handle disputes efficiently. In addition to acting promptly and responding quickly to customer communications, provide customers with a resolution timeline so they know what to expect. Make sure your business adheres to that timeline.
- Be rigorous. Thoroughly investigate disputes to ascertain root causes. To ensure consistency and build a robust document trail, you should require employees to record everything, including transaction records and account information and details of electronic, phone and in-person communications with customers and other involved parties.
- Protect customer data. Your dispute process must be secure and confidential. Protect data at every stage and only share it with authorized people. Your business should already have the technology to prevent data breaches and identity theft. If your network security isn’t up to snuff, address this major vulnerability immediately.
- Maintain transparency. Keep customers informed throughout the entire process. Provide them with updates on your investigations and inform them of outcomes as soon as they’re available. If you deny a claim, explain your reasoning and consider allowing the customer to submit supplemental information.
- Show empathy and understanding. Listen patiently and acknowledge to customers the inconvenience of potential fraud or errors on their accounts. Be sure to keep an open mind and don’t automatically assume a customer is making a false report.
- Repair records. If a dispute is found to be in favor of the customer, quickly make the necessary corrections, including refunds or account adjustments. Make sure you notify customers that a credit has been applied.
- Learn from investigations. Analyze all disputes and fraud claims to identify any patterns or recurring issues. You can use this data to improve your internal controls and work processes, upgrade technology, and train customer-facing teams. By doing so, you may be able to prevent similar disputes in the future.
If a dispute ends in a finding of fraud and you suspect you have a widespread issue, contact us. Maintaining customer trust depends on secure and transparent operations.
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