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The Consumer Duty Conundrum:

Is tech the answer?

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Posted on: 16/11/2022

It’s being hailed as the biggest regulatory evolution in a decade. Yet despite the July 2023 deadline, a recent survey from Moneyhub worryingly confirms that 56%(1) of decision makers at FCA regulated firms are not prepared and do not currently have projects in place to become compliant ahead of new Consumer Duty regulations.

 

An assertive and data-led approach to Consumer Duty

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published its final guidance on the Consumer Duty in July of this year in a move to “fundamentally improve how UK firms serve customers” and mark the FCA’s new data-driven and analytical approach to regulatory compliance.

As the pressure increases on financial companies to take a more customer-centric approach, this invariably means firms must make significant business change and transition from existing company-growth focused standards to embedding the duty in their governance structure and decision-making.

But the evidence is clear. Firms are not finding this easy, with two in ten(2) stating they will not become compliant before the deadline. Even more startling, is that one in ten(3) of decision makers said they didn’t even know about the new regulation.

Is tech the answer?

The amount of data needed on the customer to comply with Consumer Duty requires a new level of operation for most businesses. Putting customers at the heart of Consumer Duty means firms are expected to truly understand a consumer’s end-to-end journey – from product design to post-sale support - with a granular analysis of enterprise-wide interactions.

But there is a clear opportunity here. With its comprehensive monitoring and analytics capabilities, data-driven conversational intelligence has already been propelling itself into the spotlight as an essential tool for maintaining compliance and uncovering rich insights to understand and augment the customer journey. In fact, 53%(4) of decision makers in firms affected by Consumer Duty confirmed they’ll be investing in technology to deliver positive consumer-based outcomes - namely in the delivery of more personalised and targeted communications. A similar 43%(5) will use their investment in technology to access customer data and insights in order to adhere with the Consumer Duty regulation.

A focus on customer experience can also impact the bottom line significantly. According to Deloitte , customers who have positive experiences with a brand spend 140%(6) more than those who reported negative experiences. The result? The best CX experiences will always win, and brands that get it right build strong loyal bonds that transcend the value of the product itself, opening up the possibility for satisfied customers to acquire more products and services from your portfolio. Not only this, but a frictionless customer journey means more content customers and happier agents. Using data and analytics to evaluate Contact Centre interactions provides a way of guiding agents based on a set of metrics you’ve seen over time. And the results can be transformative, particularly when it comes to training, support, and employee retention.

Where do you start?

The Consumer Duty Act provides firms with a springboard to the broader outcomes available through speech analytics by adding value to both customer service, agent experience, training, and governance disciplines. Based on a survey conducted earlier this year, 97%(7) of organisations are planning on implementing speech analytics within the next three to five years, and the ability for speech analytics to support compliance with the Consumer Duty Act is likely to accelerate timescales and bolster business cases for the adoption of this technology.

Automating the analysis of all your customer interactions means you can meet Consumer Duty requirements across several key areas:

Ensure the fair treatment of all customers 

Get a better understanding of how vulnerable customer requirements change over time to drive service and product improvements, by capturing, monitoring and addressing issues as they emerge. This also ensures the fair treatment of vulnerable customers. 

Know how to support your agents 

Learn from highest performing agents and nurture and coach agents with targeted insights. Score each agent and team based on the agent’s impact and on the call difficulty, and provide succinct, actionable information that tells you what your team is doing right, or what is needed to fix issues. 

Data-first compliance 

Moving from person-centric supervision to data-first evidence, use dashboards to demonstrate an improved understanding of customer outcomes and the factors that affect them over time, and what remedial action has been taken so you are ready for the regulator. 

Drive loyalty with improved complaints processes 

Understand the cause of customer complaints and not just the symptoms by using voice data to measure customer satisfaction, risk, agent behaviours, and identify areas of friction in the customer journey. These insights can drive business outcomes such as improved customer loyalty. 

Monitor all interactions

Get a score on 100% of customer conversations. By monitoring all interactions - regardless of channel - firms will be able to see which form of communication is most effective and make better decisions on the way they interact with customers and in doing so, meet Duty expectations.

Enhance Quality Assurance 

Utilising rich audio and metadata, configure chosen sets of conversational data, playback audio for accurate analysis, and track how your QA efforts are positively impacting your Consumer Duty Act obligations to significantly improve QA efficiencies. 

Take the next step

The Consumer Duty offers firms a unique opportunity to take control of the full client experience - but the clock is ticking. The FCA makes it clear that there is no wriggle room, and all firms must be compliant with the regulation by July 31 2023 to avoid the severe penalties of non-compliance.

By embedding voice-AI in the heart of customer operations, firms are presented with a broader future-proofing opportunity to improve their processes, power business growth, and ensure they meet a wide-range of regulatory responsibilities.

 

Get Compliant

 

Sources

1 - https://www.moneyhub.com/press-blog/2022/9/27/consumer-duty-businesses-not-prepared-for-deadline

2/3 - https://www.mortgagesolutions.co.uk/news/2022/11/09/two-thirds-of-lenders-are-not-yet-compliant-with-consumer-duty-moneyhub/

4/5 - https://www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk/news/two-thirds-of-lenders-not-ready-for-consumer-duty-moneyhub/

6-  https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/process-and-operations/us-cons-the-true-value-of-customer-experiences.pdf

7 -  https://www.redboxvoice.com/censuswide-report-2022/how-and-why-machines-are-learning-the-art-of-human-conversation

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