The Agency Insider with Linda McGlasson

How - and When - to Deliver Bad News to Your Customers

How - and When - to Deliver Bad News to Your Customers

A new survey shows that 89 percent of consumers want fraud notification through multiple channels. More, they want to know about it now, straight from you, the institution.

The survey conducted last month by Harris Interactive for SoundBite Communications, shows that an overwhelming majority of consumers would prefer to be notified by multiple and various forms of communication, including phone calls, text message, email, and letter if fraudulent activity is ever suspected on their debit or credit cards.

Talking to your customer when everything is good is easy. But effective fraud communication can make or break an institution's credibility. 

Debit and credit card fraud continues to be a major problem for consumers. The number of identity fraud victims in the United States increased by 12 percent to 11.1 million adults in 2009, according to the 2010 Identity Fraud Survey Report by Javelin Strategy & Research. Javelin also reported the total annual fraud amount increased by 12.5 percent to $54 billion last year.

Key findings from this latest study:

  • Customers want a phone call - A call to the home phone is the preferred way for consumers to be contacted if fraudulent activity is suspected on their card (84 percent), but a call to their mobile phone is the choice of nearly 60 percent of consumers, and is a more popular contact channel than email (54 percent). Receiving a text message is a preferred channel of more than one in three consumers (35 percent).

  • Text or a call to cell phone - About half of consumers aged 18 to 34 (51 percent) indicated a text message was one of their preferred ways of being contacted about fraud, yet currently only two percent in the age bracket who have been victims were notified using that channel. This also applies to calls to a mobile phone, where just 18 percent of all consumers who were victims were notified via a call on their mobile phone.

  • Make crisis an opportunity - The survey shows institutions have an opportunity to increase consumer loyalty if they respond promptly to fraudulent activity within a debit or credit card account. More than one-third of consumers who experienced fraud said their experience - the bank's quick response -- actually improved their confidence and increased their loyalty to their bank or credit card issuer.

Talking to your customer when everything is good is easy. But effective fraud communication can make or break an institution's credibility, especially in the current business climate.

When fraud happens, (and we all know it will) be prepared to communicate. Whether it is a phone call, cell phone call, text message, or a letter, when fraudulent activity occurs, reach out to make sure your customers know you're there and backing their personal interests.

About the Author

Linda McGlasson

Linda McGlasson

Managing Editor

Linda McGlasson is a seasoned writer and editor with 20 years of experience in writing for corporations, business publications and newspapers. She has worked in the Financial Services industry for more than 12 years. Most recently Linda headed information security awareness and training and the Computer Incident Response Team for Securities Industry Automation Corporation (SIAC), a subsidiary of the NYSE Group (NYX). As part of her role she developed infosec policy, developed new awareness testing and led the company's incident response team. In the last two years she's been involved with the Financial Services Information Sharing Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), editing its quarterly member newsletter and identifying speakers for member meetings.

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