Tuesday Tips – Four Ways to Help Clients Fight Discrepant Charges

by on May 08, 2012

Every Tuesday, Corporate Insight releases recommendations to help financial services firms improve a key aspect of the online user experience. Recommendations are taken directly from our Monitor Reports and Consulting Services research, which cover the banking, brokerage, credit card, asset management and insurance industries.

This week’s recommendations come from our Credit Card Monitor report titled Online Dispute Tools: Helping Clients Fight Discrepant Charges on the Private Siteand focus on ways financial services firms can aid their clients when disputing a charge:

Provide easy accessibility to the dispute center – The best firms allow clients to dispute individual transactions within the Account Activity section as well as search for a specific transaction within a dedicated dispute center accessible from the customer service section. All firms covered in this report allow clients to access the dispute center from an Account Details or Activity page, however only five of the eight firms provide a link within individual expandable transactions. CitiCards does a great job providing access to its online dispute center from within transaction details as well as through the main navigation Help & Contact Us flyout menu.

Offer live chat tool within dispute center – Currently, only two firms offer live chat tools within the online dispute center – CitiCards and Discover – which not only provide assistance throughout the dispute process, but even allow clients to initiate disputes directly through the chat. All firms should offer a live chat tool as it helps clients navigate through the dispute process offering help along the way.

Include progress meter and verification pages – The addition of a progress meter and a verification page within the online dispute process allows clients to not only gauge the length of time the process will take and what steps are needed to inquire about a transaction, but also allows clients to review all content provided about the transaction in question before submitting the inquiry. Many of the firms in this report offer either a progress meter or a verification page, with 63% of the firms offering both. American Express not only provides a progress meter outlining the three steps (though the meter only appears in Step 2) and informs clients how long the dispute process should take (approximately five minutes), it also provides an Inquiry Tracker where a progress of responses selected is listed throughout the process, in addition to a verification page before submitting the inquiry.

Integrate transaction information within online dispute process – When card holders have a transaction they wish to dispute, the process by which they do this should allow for the most ease. When finding the transaction in question, all information should automatically be generated within the online dispute forms so that clients should only have to explain their reasoning for dispute and not have to input all transaction details and information by hand. Though the majority of credit card firms provide this feature, not all do, with some firms making clients input all information manually, while others only integrate basic transaction information with clients having to fill out part of the information, such as the amount of the transaction.