Consistent with its reputation for adopting best practices in all facets of its operations, Access Bank Plc has upgraded its customer service function, Ombudsman, for the purpose of resolving service issues between the Bank and its customers.
The Ombudsman is an Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) platform wherein an aggrieved customer of the Bank may lodge complaints or grievances over the telephone to the Ombudsman and get an amicable and final resolution of the complaint within the shortest possible time. Access Bank established the Ombudsman desk in order to boost its dispute resolution mechanism. However, the Bank has reviewed the function of the Ombudsman to include immediate resolution of customer’s complaints alongside the primary function which are Arbitration and other ADR mechanisms such as Conciliation and Mediation. A statement from the Bank indicated that the aim and objective of the Ombudsman initiative was to resolve all customer complaints and issues on the same day irrespective of where the complaint is issued from or the officer responsible for resolution. The primary function of the Bank’s Ombudsman will be to investigate and resolve customer complaints relating to credit issues and broader service issues. The additional focus will be on immediate resolution of customers’ complaints with the Ombudsman being empowered to directly engage customers and ensure complaints are attended to immediately. It is noteworthy that Access Bank was the first Nigerian bank that independently and voluntarily implemented a robust customer complaints resolution mechanism designed specifically to mediate fair settlement between the Bank and its customers. These strategies emphasized the customer-centric culture of Access Bank and promote one of its focus on treating customers fairly. This pioneering initiative by Access Bank represents another contribution by the Bank towards the elevation of practices within the Nigerian financial services industry.