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Compliance at what cost to customer experience?

It seems like not a month goes by without the introduction of some new regulatory or legislative requirements, or the addition of a new hot topic to the compliance to-do list. For many companies, it can feel as if they spend so much time ensuring watertight compliance that they have precious little time left to dedicate to their core business.

While compliance of course is a vital part of doing business today, particularly for the financial services sector, ensuring businesses operate legally, avoiding costly fines from the regulators, it definitely doesn’t provide that all-important competitive advantage that businesses are striving for in our uber competitive markets. To keep one step ahead of the competition, customer service and customer experience (CX) need to be front and centre. Even the most compliant of businesses won’t succeed if they can’t keep hold of any customers. Put simply, compliance alone isn’t enough to sustain and grow a business and, if compliance tops everything else, you run the risk of losing your customers in a web of complex, albeit compliant, processes and procedures.

Baseline compliance

To succeed, compliance needs to be the baseline from which businesses can develop their CX. For example, the FCA in the UK mandates an eight-week timeframe within which financial services organisations need to resolve complaints. In reality, that’s about seven weeks too long, giving already potentially transient customers the ideal opportunity to take their business elsewhere. Not that speed to resolution should be the ultimate aim, but CX excellence involves focussing on quality outcomes, achieved as efficiently as possible. If a business is using eight weeks as its goal, then it really should be questioning the effectiveness of its current priorities and processes.

Compliance tools are also a good starting point for improvements to CX, with complaints management systems capturing every interaction and resulting information in a centralised, accessible, fully auditable solution. Not only does this provide the levels of comprehensive transparency required for robust compliance, but it furnishes the business with a unified single view of the customer, the beating heart of CX excellence.

Reduce complexity

Increasing numbers of businesses are recognising that instead of regarding compliance measures as an onerous task, they are now simply part of doing business and need to be built into everyday processes and procedures, rather than taking priority over all other issues. In such organisations, customers are unaware of the complex nature of the multiple compliance boxes that are being ticked in the background of every interaction. Forward-thinking organisations are striving to provide a slick, robust CX without adding any more complexity to what can already be a complicated customer journey, prioritising the provision of an efficient, effective CX at all times.

While compliance and CX don’t seem the most natural of bedfellows, those businesses who recognise the synergies between the two are those who will survive and thrive in an increasingly competitive and turbulent global economy. As customer expectations continue to rise and regulatory requirements embed themselves into the core of every business, CX needs to be the priority for every organisation, honing a customer-centric culture where CX excellence puts your business head and shoulders above the rest.




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