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Reinventing the Credit Bureau Disputes Customer Experience

Data furnishers continue to actively address the need for enhanced oversight and compliance management of their consumer reporting practices as part of their credit bureau compliance strategy.

Evaluating credit bureau dispute processes can help resolve and address the root cause of reporting inaccuracies while enhancing the customer’s experience during the process and ultimately driving toward credit bureau dispute compliance.

A Back-Office Processing Approach Can Cause Unintended Confusion and Frustration

Credit bureau dispute handling—the customer-facing function of credit bureau dispute management—is commonly a back-office processing function. Yet treating credit bureau disputes as a back-office processing function ignores the opportunity for data furnishers and Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) to capitalize on sensitive customer-facing interactions and offer a more personalized customer experience.

A lack of direct and customer-specific communication in certain situations can cause additional confusion, and potentially create the unintended perception that limited effort may have been exerted to resolve the dispute.

In most cases, however, a significant amount of investigation does take place to review and determine the appropriate outcome. Without offering additional touch points throughout the process, the customer has a lack of visibility and limited ability to be involved in the process, which in some cases can lead to a frustrating and inefficient customer experience.

A Customer-Facing Approach to Credit Bureau Disputes

The key to effectively handling credit bureau disputes is empowering the customer throughout the process–they should be able to understand where the credit bureau dispute is within the resolution process and provide additional information and value-added feedback when needed. In addition, it will be important to educate customers who are new to the process and/or credit reporting in general.

Organizations can evaluate aligning the disputes and complaints processes to obtain economies of scale and leverage the infrastructures both processes require. Often complaints processes are more mature than disputes with flexible workflow management solutions to manage the inventory more closely and well defined trend/root cause analysis routines to reduce the level of repeat complaints or disputes. Yet they use a similar skill set and infrastructure, which can expedite implementation of an effective customer-facing model. This may require an investment in technology and the potential increase in processing time and resource requirements—all can be justified through:

  • Increased accuracy in dispute handling, and thus, credit reporting
  • Reduced number of repeat disputes
  • Reduced number of complaints
  • Increased precision of frivolous and irrelevant identification
  • Expedited resolution of disputes requiring additional information
  • Enhanced customer experience reputation
  • Reduced number of indirect disputes (disputes made through the consumer reporting agencies) when successfully resolving disputes the first time and eliminating the customers need to find other avenues

Conclusion

In an effort to achieve credit bureau dispute handling excellence, now is an ideal time to take advantage of the customer interaction opportunity, and use it to improve the customer’s experience during the dispute handling process. Address these enhancement opportunities in conjunction with improvements to credit reporting processes to provide an additional point of differentiation during a time of potential customer concern or confusion.

Download the full Bridgeforce white paper, Reinventing the Credit Bureau Disputes Customer Experience to learn more about how to transition to a customer-facing credit bureau disputes management approach.

Category: Compliance