Throughout my career, I’ve felt privileged to help multiple lines of business profit from the hidden value in their data. While companies approach many types of data as strategic assets, they consistently overlook customer complaint data. Together with my team, I am leveraging my deep experience with customer listening and shedding light on the hidden value of customer complaints.

This week, Tal Solutions announced the launch of the PositivityTech intelligent platform, a new platform that uncovers and enables the strategic growth opportunities hidden in customer complaints. In this interview, I share the pain point that the PositivityTech platform solves and how financial institutions can approach their customer data in strategic ways, particularly to create new revenue.

What problem does the PositivityTech platform solve?

Today, many businesses approach their customer complaints in a very transactional manner. They focus on satisfying customers’ immediate needs and meeting the requirements set by regulatory bodies. But most companies do not approach complaints as strategic assets. As a result, they miss systemic patterns that manifest in complaints. They miss issues that lead to negative headlines or regulatory risks. They miss opportunities to improve and strengthen their businesses, especially as they seek much-needed revenue growth.

We believe that customer complaints can be a critical part of a business’s success, and that negative input can have a positive impact. With PositivityTech’s predictive platform, which combines human insights with advanced technology, companies can foresee future complaints and their causes, quickly and proactively address customer feedback, protect their business, and improve performance.

How has your background led you to this new venture?

I have always been passionate about voice of customer data. There is a wealth of information that can be unpacked from customers’ feedback, word choice, and tone of voice. To really know how its business is doing, a company needs to get as close as possible to its customers and become open to hearing – and understanding – its customers’ complaints.

My background is in consumer banking, and I spent my career immersed in the intersection of customer data and advanced analytic disciplines. As Citigroup’s former EVP of Decision Management, I built and ran a global function bringing advanced analytic capabilities and processes to 30 markets. Before that, I implemented customer segmentations, product offerings, marketing campaigns, action-oriented analyses, and risk management policies and tools, all supported by operational innovations. I also audited businesses, met with regulators on a regular basis, and saw the underlying issues that franchises face. Over the course of my career, I have seen the challenges that companies can experience when they are not listening to their customers, and have worked diligently to advance these capabilities.

Now that companies have better access to very large and unstructured data sets of their own customers’ voices, they have the opportunity to hone in on customer complaint data in new ways. With advanced technology to reveal unexpected opportunities, companies can take actions to proactively strengthen their businesses and keep them ahead of the competition. I look forward to helping companies use their data to reframe their customer complaints as strategic and predictive insights, which can continually reveal opportunities for action and growth.

How can your approach to customer complaints proactively strengthen your business?

Strengthening your business often entails preparing for what’s ahead and understanding industry and market trends. When a company can identify and understand the specific problems described in its customer complaints as compared to its competitors’, it can predict future risks and reveal unexpected opportunities that keep it ahead of its competition. Complaints are everyone’s challenge, and strategic growth is everyone’s opportunity.

What can financial institutions do to make better use of their customer data?

Start approaching complaints as strategic intelligence, instead of individual issues that need to be resolved. Consider where complaints may highlight risks and how their language can be used to predict future issues, too.

Identify the severity of complaints, based on a customer’s word choice, tone of voice, or duplicate complaints. Flagging higher-risk customers will help you prioritize where action will matter the most. Understand the environmental risks that come from unresolved complaints – including public relations risks, lawsuits, and enforcement actions. Know that when complaints aren’t resolved, customers do not stop complaining. They may continue to complain to your institution – or they may approach other sources that are beyond your control.

How do you interact with your customer complaints today? I’d love to hear your techniques and help you unpack those complaints in valuable new ways that increase your bottom line. Please feel free to get in touch.