Last week, the Information Commissioner’s Office announced it has issued fines
totalling nearly half a million pounds to four companies making nuisance calls to numbers registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). It is against the law to make marketing calls to numbers that have been registered with the TPS for more than
28 days, unless people have provided consent.
The businesses in question were found to have made a staggering 2.4 million illegal calls between them. These fines are a welcome reminder that there will be consequences for businesses that still use nuisance calls as part of their customer communications
strategy, even after crackdowns on
PPI calls and when people have specifically taken steps to protect themselves by signing up to the TPS.
Now that we’ve entered 2021 and a third national lockdown, there are more consumers trapped at home and on the edge about possible news. It is more crucial than ever that businesses communicate responsibly, so how can those in the financial sector ensure
their conversations with customers are constructive and help reduce stress?
It doesn’t just stop at checking TPS lists. Other examples of communication that frustrates consumers are banks ignoring personal preferences by calling during working hours or insurers sharing new T&Cs through the post, rather than over email. Companies
risk losing customer goodwill as a result of their poor communications and need to start thinking of the bigger picture. The question shouldn’t be to call or not to call, but are you being as customer-focussed as possible? If financial organisations successfully
consider the wider experience they are giving, they will avoid complaints and build secure, long-term relationships with their customers.
Even consumers who consent to being contacted will be irritated if their bank cannot provide the information they want, when they want it, on the channel they request. As such, customer communication teams need to put the groundwork in, proactively asking
new customers for their contact preferences from the beginning. They must also ensure that key details such as which channels customers prefer, and what time of day suits them best, are logged in a secure and efficient manner. Making this information available
to all departments that interact with customers means that contact remains consistent, relevant and useful. Businesses who fail to do so risk causing unnecessary stress to their customers, wider reputational damage, and losing competitive edge.