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


Grievance Redressal Mechanism – Process Note

Scope

The following document serves to provide the details of grievance redressal mechanisms for customers and the procedure the employees at ASIRVAD need to follow when such a complaint arises.

Mode of Complaints

Considering customer profile, their literacy level and vulnerability, ASIRVAD has identified various channels of sourcing customer complaints proactively

  1. Customer Enquiries / Complaints received at field

Customers can submit their written or verbal enquiries / complaints to any ASIRVAD staff who meets them at any forum such as center meetings, CGTs, GRTs and exit interviews, dedicated CGR phone number etc. These enquiries / complaints shall be forwarded to Divisional Helpdesk for further follow up and resolution. If any complaints are received during center meeting visit then visitor should update the same in Center Meeting Checklist, in the Divisional Helpdesk, which will investigate the issue with the assistance from DM’s and provide resolution to customer.

2. Customer walk-ins at branches/DOs:

  • Verbal Complaints –  Nodal officers or contact persons at Branches/DO will record the complaints and provides the solutions
  • Written Complaints – Customer can obtain Complaint Form (enclose format) and fill her complaint details (branch staff will assist if customer is not literate), deposit the same in the complaint box, provided in each Branch & DO. All written complaint forms shall be sent to Complaint Resolution Officer thru post/courier, every week. Branches should keep copies of customer complaint forms for assisting the customer

3. Customer call-ins

Customer calls to CGR phone number – who will record the complaint, does follow ups and provides the resolution. Customer calls to Complaint Resolution Officer  dedicated for collating the customer grievances– Customers can call or write to CRO to escalate their unresolved grievances

4. Whistle Blower

A Whistle blower is an ASIRVAD employee who gives 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. A whistle blower would also be a customer who gives complaint against an employee or/and customer of ASIRVAD who allegedly involved in prohibited activities, mentioned above. In this regard, internal staff or customer of ASIRVAD 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).

However, 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.

5.External Complaints :

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. Hence, any staffs who receive complaints from such agencies should escalate them to Complaint Resolution Officer immediately.

Complaint Resolution Process & 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 CRM and Divisional Helpdesk is given below.

Steps CRM
Step 1 Fill Excel Complaint Tracker and send to Divisional Helpdesk
Step 2 Helpdesk will fill the complaint in the software and provides CRM with reference number
Step 3 Helpdesk send complaint details to the “Owner” who will be responsible for resolution and keep Complaint Resolution Officer in Loop
Step 4 Helpdesk will log resolution details in Helpdesk software
Step 5 Helpdesk will convey resolution details to customer/CRM

Turn-around Time: – All complaints will be resolved within 5 days unless and otherwise there is a reason for verification and enquiry.

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.

Assessing completeness of resolution: –

Repeated Complaints: – Each time a customer calls, there must be 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: – Divisional Service Quality Team is responsible to call complainants on random sample basis to assess satisfactory and timely resolution of complaints.

FLOWCHART (General Process of Complaint Resolution)

Internal Process

All grievances will be segregated based on their severity and criticality. Severity here is defined as the intensity of loss to the customer and to the company. Grievances if necessary will be forwarded to concerned departments for further action.

The grievances of the customers will be categorized in three levels based on their severity. For example,

Issue Level 4 Level 3 Level 2 Level 1
Fraud Cases Yes
Staff Misbehavior Yes
Service Delays or Service Defects Yes
Others Yes

NOTE: This list will be amended as per need

LEVEL 4: Integrity Issues, Revenue loss, etc.

LEVEL 3: Disciplinary, Misbehavior concerns, Harassment etc.

LEVEL 2: Disbursements delays, loan application delays, center meeting delays, etc.

LEVEL 1: Others, such as Co-ordination concerns in customer’s group, centre, meeting place, etc.

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.

Roles & Responsibilities

The following individuals and departments have tonus when a complaint is raised.

  1. Customer Care Representative: The BM/AM present at the branch are available for the customers to place their complaints directly through walk-ins or phone calls.
  2. Branch Staff (CRM/CRS/Cashier/Others): If there is no Customer Care Representative, the BM/AM should record the complaint in tracker and should forward the same to divisional helpdesk. During CRM’s absence, the branch staffs have to provide the customer with the contact information of the divisional helpdesks and Complaint Resolution Officer, despite the fact that the same is being displayed in the office Notice Board at all DO’s/Branches..
  3. Help Desk Representatives: Each Divisional Office has a Help Desk team that works from 10:00am to 6:00pm on week days. All complaints will be registered and resolved through phone. They will follow the grievance redressal escalation process, if the resolution is not found in the given time frame. Helpdesk is also responsible for calling customers (who registered their complaints at branches) on random sample basis to cross-check on customer’s satisfaction & timeliness of complaint resolution.
  4. Chief Operating Officer (for Final Escalation): Grievance officer shall escalate all complaints which are unresolved after standard TAT to COO of the respective division. COO shall take up the complaint with concerned supervisor for immediate resolution.
  5. 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.
  6. Human Resources: When there is a proven fraud case or customer abuse case against an employee of ASIRVAD, this information has to be forwarded to the HR team so that further action can be taken. 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
    1. Warning Letter
    1. Transfer on Disciplinary Grounds
    1. No Increment or Promotion for 1 year
    1. Suspension
    1. Termination
  7. 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.

DISSEMINATION OF FPC & GRM GUIDELINES

  1. Human Resource Dept 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)
    1. The importance of Grievance Redressal Mechanism
    1. Their role in effective implementation of above policies
    1. Various methods and best practices of FPC implementation
    1. 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 also 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.