Businesses and their customers alike have already been forced to adapt in fundamental ways in response to Coronavirus. And as time passes, it is becoming increasingly apparent that Coronavirus will leave a legacy that will last long after lockdown has been fully phased out.
Proactive firms are looking ahead for the best ways to provide good customer outcomes and ensure compliance amidst the pressure of this new normal.
The perfect storm
Businesses are under pressure from the Government and the FCA to treat customers fairly, particularly their vulnerable ones, in these trying times. Sometimes this means offering financial support, like the payment holidays and loan schemes we’ve seen in the retail banking sector.
Change like this always brings challenges but unfortunately, firms to not have the luxury of quiet market conditions to gradually trial, test and roll out new products, policies and processes. On top of that, many firms reported a surge in inbound enquiries from anxious, and often vulnerable, customers at the peak of lockdown. The influx of customer enquiries as mortgages and loans need to be re-arranged could well be the catalyst that sparks future remediation.
The risks made worse by remote working
Significant change management combined with heightened demand would create new risks at the best of times. But the rise of remote working – where staff don’t have the safeguards, support and infrastructure that was in place from their office space – adds a new layer of complexity.
Remote working has traditionally been unexplored territory for many organisations, particularly for frontline staff. While there’s many ways to stay connected with customers remotely, the adoption of channels like video calling is raising new risks and exacerbating older ones.
Most office-based phone calls are recorded, but a lot of remote telephony solutions do not record conversations. Likewise, many face-to-face meetings are now being carried out via video calls, which are rarely recorded. As a result, gaps in audit trails pose a major risk.
While regulators worldwide are trying to offer some flexibility so firms can continue to operate while we’re still in lockdown – for example, by allowing remote identify verification checks’ – there’s still an expectation that stringent measures should be in place to safeguard customer outcomes.
Building a robust and comprehensive infrastructure to record all customer touch points, and then making sense of the data, is the first line of defence. Recordsure’s Capture solution is specifically designed for this — recording customer conversations across video calls, telephony and face-to-face meetings before storing it securely, with metadata added automatically for quick search and retrieval.
As well as creating a robust audit trail, capturing this data provides a powerful platform for training and deeper analytics geared at improving performance, conduct and culture at scale.
Treating customers fairly, every time
The way to view this isn’t necessarily as a new challenge, but the new face of a much older one. The difficulties of documenting customer touch points, staying on top of the data and ensuring positive customer outcomes at scale existed long before this pandemic and it will continue to be a challenge long after it has passed.
But tech-enhanced solutions like TCC’s high-performance assurance are helping firms improve transparency across their customer records, flag instances where a customer could’ve been wrongly advised, and deliver powerful MI that helps supervisors improve conduct and culture in their teams remotely.
Ultimately, the pandemic has raised the stakes on the challenges that firms have faced for a long time now. As the initial shockwaves begin to pass, forward planning and keeping innovative technology at the heart of change is the key to protecting yourself against future regulatory backlash.