ஆசிர்வாத் மைக்ரோபைனான்ஸ் லிமிடெட்          Asirvad Microfinance Limited          आशीर्वाद माइक्रोफिनॅन्स लिमिटेड         ആശിർവാദ് മൈക്രോഫിനാൻസ് ലിമിറ്റഡ്          ಅಸೀರ್ವಾಡ್ ಮಿಕ್ರೊಫಿನನ್ಸೆ ಲಿಮಿಟೆಡ್          ਅਸਿਰਵਾਦ ਮਿਕਰੋਫਈਨਂਸੇ ਲਿਮਿਟੇਡ          ଆଶୀର୍ବାଦ ମଇକ୍ରୋଫାଇନାନ୍ସ ଲିଃ          আশির্বাদ মাইক্রো ফাইনান্স লিমিটেড

Grievance Redressal Policy

Purpose:

The purpose of this document is to outline the process and procedure followed by grievance redressal department.

Scope:

This document provides the procedures in detail of the Grievance Redressal team to be followed to resolve the customers issue when received.

Complaint Sources:

ASIRVAD had provided various mode for the customer/member to contact the Grievance desk in order to resolve their issues.

1.Internal Sources

a) Call Center / Toll Free Numbers:

  • Customer calls to the Call center wherein the calls are recorded and First Time Resolution (FTR) is provided by the customer service executives. In case, if the issue could not be resolved as FTR then the same is escalated to the Grievance Redressal officer.
  • Call center will share the consolidated report of all the calls received everyday EOD to the Grievance Officer

b) GRM Help Desk:

  • Loan card is provided with the direct help desk number of the GRM Officer for the customers to contact if any complaints are not addressed

c) E- Mail / Written Complaints:

  • Customer can send a written communication to the ASIRVAD office. The Email ID of the GRM is also available in the Website and loan cards for the customers to send their concerns through email.

d) Touch Points (Branches / Divisional Office/ FDO / Field):

  • Customer can give a written or verbal communication with the Customer representative / Branch Manager / FDO in the branch or during center meetings, CGTs and GRTs.  The Employee who address the customer query need to provide the resolution or escalate to the Grievance Officer

e) Whistle Blower:

  • An ASIRVAD employee can give complaint against a colleague who allegedly involved in prohibited activities and breaches code of conduct such as fraud, misappropriation of funds, unethical behavior, mistreatment of customers etc. The staff can call Divisional office or Dedicated Whistle blower in charge and submit their complaint. Investigations will occur and appropriate actions will be taken. (Caller name will be kept confidential if requested).
  • The caller should have enough evidence on correctness of the customer grievance and should avoid raising unrealistic complaints. A whistle blower reporting unrealistic complaints shall not be punished if the complaint was raised with good intention and if there enough grounds to suspect a colleague. A staff reporting unrealistic complaints with a bad intention/motivation is liable to receive a disciplinary action i.e. oral warning on first instance and a written warning in case of repetition.

2.External Sources

a) Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN) / Sa-dhan

  • Customer might approach the micro finance organization with their grievances 

b) Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO)

  • Customer can also approach the state level microfinance regulatory organization with the complaints

c) Reserve Bank of India (RBI)

  • Customer can directly approach the RBI if the response or resolution is not provided from ASIRVAD Grievance team

Complaints received from (on behalf of customer or on the basis of public interest) general public & other stake holders such as Govt agencies, RBI, police, lawyers, industry ombudsman (AKMI & MFIN etc) & social activists will also be recorded at either branch level or divisional helpdesk level and provided with appropriate solutions. 

All the above mentioned sources will directly communicate with the Grievance Redressal officer to resolve the customer complaints. All complaints will be analyzed by the grievance officer and based on the severity the issue will be resolved as per the timeline.

Roles & Responsibilities of Asirvad Staff:

1.Call Center: Customer calls to Toll Free Number – who will record all the calls, does follow up and provides the resolution. Customer calls to Complaint Resolution Manager (at Customer care) dedicated for collating the customer grievances– Customers can call or write to GRM – HO to escalate their unresolved grievances

2.Branch Manager / FDO: The BM/ FDO present at the branch are available for the customers to place their complaints directly through walk-ins or phone calls.  If there is no FDO/BM, the AM should record the complaint and forward the same to GRM – HO. A separate Help Desk is not assigned to handle customer complaints at branches/DO.  Document all the queries (FTR & Complaints) raised by the customer and share it with the Grievance officer.  It is the responsibility of the branch staffs to provide the customer with the contact information of the Customer Care Number,  Grievance Redressal Manager Details, Nodal Officer details & Officer-in-Charge of the Divisional Office of DNBS of RBI – Chennai despite the fact that the same is being displayed in the office Notice Board at all DO’s/Branches.

  • Verbal Complaints – Complaints received from customers at Branch, BM should inform the same through phone to GRM – HO for further process. GRM – HO will assign a reference number to the complaint and will inform the DM/BM once it got resolved. It is the responsibility of the DM/BM to communicate the resolution of the complaint to Customer and GRM – HO will mark as “Closed” in GRM Master once he/she gets the confirmation from DM/BM.
  • Written Complaints – Customer can obtain Complaint Form (format enclosed) and fill her complaint details (branch staff will assist if customer is not literate). All written complaint forms shall be sent to GRM – HO through post/courier, every week. Branches should keep copies of customer complaint forms for assisting the customer.

3.Divisional Manager / Cluster Head: To coordinate with the customer and branch and provide the resolution within the timeline to the customer and to the Grievance Officer.

4.Insurance Team: To provide the status of the claims reported to them by the Grievance officer.

5.Operation Team: All queries which require coordination with the branch will be routed through Operation team. The team will coordinate with Divisional Manager or Branch Manager (if required) to resolve the customer query and communicate the resolution to the customer and provide the resolution report to the GRM-HO.

6.Disciplinary committee and Internal audit Department: If the grievance raised is related to a fraud accusation against a customer or an employee of ASIRVAD, this is escalated to the Field Internal auditor for their respective procedure. 

7.Human Resource Team: To provide confirmation on the action taken against any ASIRVAD employee based on the proven documents provided by the Grievance team within the stipulated timeline. HR should take the action based on the report submitted by Internal Audit Team and investigation done by HR Team (if requires). The following are the actions can be taken by HR Team against the employee who falls under L3 & L4 category.

  1. Oral Warning by Sr DM & Above
  2. Warning Letter
  3. Transfer on Disciplinary Grounds
  4. No Increment or Promotion for 1 year
  5. Suspension
  6. Termination

8.Audit Department: Audit Managers, during their customer meets, shall check customer awareness level on grievance redressal process (whether customers are aware of toll-free number and GRC concept) and advice branch accordingly. If there is any service defects or customer complaints found in the field should be updated in center meeting visit checklist. Audit shall also check whether the branch displayed latest FPC posters properly or not? Are there any pending customer complaints for more than prescribed TAT? Crosschecking with few customers on satisfactory and timely resolution of complaints can also be done by Auditors.

9.Managing Director / Chief Operating Officer (for Final Escalation):Grievance officer shall escalate all complaints which are unresolved after standard TAT to COO/ MD. COO/MD shall take up the complaint with concerned supervisor for immediate resolution.

Process Procedure & Documentation:

CCRs and Divisional helpdesk will use the Helpdesk software solution for documenting and tracking customer grievances. In case branch does not have access to the software, branch should use a simple excel tracker to document and report customer complaints. The process to be followed by CCR and Divisional Helpdesk is given below.

StepsProcedures

Step 1
Fill Excel Complaint Tracker and send to GRO – HO

Step 2
GRO will tracker all the calls received into different category Query, Request, or Complaints with severity levels with a unique reference number

Step 3
GRO will assign the complaints (as per the issue) to the respective owner or departments for investigation and resolution within the timeframe

Step 4
The respective owners or departments (Operation, Insurance, Cross selling, BDT, and DM) will resolve the complaints and inform the customer with the resolution and the GRO

All queries are categorised as Enquiry, Request and Complaints. Based on the severity and criticality, the queries are further bifurcated into 4 Levels. Please find the below scenarios covered under different levels and the TAT.

All complaints will be resolved within 7 days unless and otherwise there is a reason for verification and enquiry.  Complaints pertaining to frauds which require analysis/investigation, legal cases, cases which require retrieval of documents and records will be closed within 10 working days.  If any case needs additional time, the customer will be informed of the reasons for and provide expected timelines for resolution.

NOTE: This list will be amended as per need   

LevelsCategoryCategory in DetailsTAT
Level 1 (L1)All Enquiry & Request1. Branch Details

2. Payment Receipt Confirmation

3. Customer KYC information

4. Loan status

5. Difference in the disbursed amount

6. SMS not received
FDO requirement for collection

7. Foreclosure procedure

8. Insurance claim procedure

9. Interest Rates

10. Reason for loan rejection

11. Pending loan tenure

12. Details to take additional / Top up loan, etc.
On the call (FTR)  or Forwarded to GRM-HO for resolution  
(7 days)
Level 2 (L2)Service Delays or Defects1. Insurance claim delay

2. Late arrival of officers/ GL for center meetings

3. Loan documents not provided

4. Forceful cross selling of product

5. Advance Collection of EMI
7 days
(Max 10 days)
Level 3 (L3)Staff Misbehaviour1. Complaint on Group leader

2. Disciplinary

3. Misbehaviour concerns 

4. Harassment etc.
7 days
Level 4 (L4)Fraud Cases1. FDO seeking commission

2. FDO collecting excess amount

3. Loan not taken but due SMS is received

4. Integrity Issues

5. Revenue loss, etc.
7 days

 

All levels of grievances will be treated equally with the same sense of urgency and speed. However, the resolution given, and the action taken might vary depending on the severity. 

All customers (including Physically Challenged and Disabled) of Asirvad will be treated equally & on par and will not be discriminated on the ground of their Religion, Race, Caste, Sex or Place of Birth.

If the complaint / dispute is not redressed by ASIRVAD within a period of one month, the customer may appeal to the Officer-in-Charge of the Divisional Office of DNBS of RBI – Chennai. Branch display on grievance redressal mechanism should also contain contact details of both ASIRVAD Complaint Resolution Officer and the Officer-in-Charge of Divisional Office of the RBI.s

Escalation Matrix:

All levels of grievance which are forwarded to GRM-HO for resolution will be resolved within 7 days.                         In case, if there is any delay on the closure of the issues within the stipulated timeline, it will be escalated to the higher levels in the management for speedy resolution.

Escalation matrix is followed as per below table:

Escalation – 1Escalation – 2Escalation – 3
No. of Days7 days2 days2 days
ResponsibilitiesHO Departments – Ops /Audit / Insurance /Cross selling teams/DMAVP / SVPCOO / MD

Resolution Procedure :

Process Flow chart:

Assessing Completeness of Resolution:

Repeated Complaints:  Each time a customer calls, there must be a check to determine whether the call is regarding a new issue or a “follow up” call. Each personnel who receive the complaint must ensure that a follow up call can be traced back to the original call using the call reference number or the customer details. There must be immediate action and resolution sought in case of repeated complaints 

Cross Check:  CRM Team & GRM – HO are responsible to call complainants on random sample basis to assess satisfactory and timely resolution of complaints.

Dissemination of FPC & GRM Guidelines:

  1. Human Resource Department should have code of conduct for field staff recruitment, training and supervision. There should be minimum qualification necessary for the field staff and shall have necessary training tools identified for them to deal with the customers. Guidelines provided in Industry Code of Conduct by MFIN & Sadhan, which was already approved and adopted by Board, should be implemented effectively
  2. Staff Education: All field staff shall be mandatorily trained on below mentioned concepts as part of their Basic Level Training (Induction) and refresher trainings at periodical intervals: 
    1. The importance of Fair Practices Code (FPC) 
    2. The importance of Grievance Redressal Mechanism
    3. Their role in effective implementation of above policies
    4. Various methods and best practices of FPC implementation
    5. Basic communication and soft skills to inculcate appropriate behaviour towards borrowers without adopting any abusive or coercive debt collection / recovery practices
  3. Compensation methods and performance review of staff should have more emphasis on areas of service and borrower satisfaction
  4. Penalties shall also be imposed on cases of non-compliance of field staff with the Code of conduct
  5. All branches, divisional & head office of ASIRVAD shall prominently display a simplified Fair Practices Code & Grievance Redressal Mechanism in English and vernacular language for client’s information
  6. A copy of this FPC & Grievance Redressal Policy should be put up on the website for the information of various stake holders
  7. Client Education: Customers should be educated on the Fair Practices Code, grievance redressal mechanism and escalation matrix for their unresolved complaints, options, choices and responsibilities vis-à-vis financial products and services available. Client education to be made thru both printed education materials and effective verbal communication as the literacy level among clients is generally low
  8. New clients must be informed about the organization’s policies and procedures to help them understand their rights as borrowers