Strategies to help comply with the new Consumer Duty regulation
The introduction of the FCA Consumer Duty regulation places increased responsibility on businesses in the finance industry to prioritise consumer protection and improve their standards of conduct. Unlike the principles-based approach followed by the TCF (Treating Customer Fairly) initiative, Consumer Duty features a new consumer-outcomes-focused approach. This places compliance and Quality Assurance responsibility equally on the three main market participants: providers, platforms, and financial advisers. As part of their Consumer Duty adherence, firms will need to demonstrate that they have all the necessary controls and procedures in place. Gathering this level of information can be challenging. Contact centre quality assurance teams play a crucial role in mitigating Consumer Duty risks.
To mitigate Consumer Duty risks through Quality Assurance (QA), consider the following strategies:
Establish a Robust Quality Framework: Implement a comprehensive quality framework that covers the end-to-end customer journey. This framework should ensure that consumer needs are met, interactions are fair, and vulnerable customers are protected. It should encompass multiple channels and touchpoints.
Regularly Review Interactions: QA teams should regularly review and analyse the human interactions between employees and customers across various channels such as calls, emails, live chats, or service interactions. This helps identify potential risks, compliance breaches, and areas for improvement.
Training and Education: Ensure that employees are well-trained on the principles of the Consumer Duty and understand how to apply them in their day-to-day work. Regularly update training materials to reflect any regulatory changes and provide ongoing education to employees.
Use Technology Solutions: Leverage technology solutions like QA software to automate the analysis of customer interactions. These solutions can help identify instances of non-compliance and provide insights for targeted coaching sessions. They also offer a central repository for documentation and evidence of Consumer Duty compliance.
Conduct Focused Coaching Sessions: Use the insights gained from QA evaluations to identify agents or advisers who are not adhering to compliance regulations. Develop coaching sessions tailored to address specific compliance issues and provide guidance on how to improve.
Document Compliance Efforts: Keep a central repository of documentation to demonstrate compliance with the Consumer Duty requirements. This documentation should be easily accessible and provide evidence of how the organization has fulfilled its obligations.
Continuous Monitoring and Improvement: QA efforts should be an ongoing process, continuously monitoring and improving compliance with the Consumer Duty. Regularly assess the effectiveness of the quality framework, training programs, and coaching sessions to identify areas for enhancement.
By implementing these measures, organizations can mitigate Consumer Duty risks through effective Quality Assurance practices, ensuring good consumer outcomes and regulatory compliance.