The Governance Perspective
Corporate Governance leaders in the Banking sector understand the challenges of ensuring customer communications are technically accurate, clear and not mis-leading. With multiple systems all generating customer focused output, keeping on top of every document that is sent can be a significant challenge. This is made more so given the close scrutiny of the regulator and the challenge on operating budgets.
Matching of products and services to customers relies on employees fully understanding the customer profile with a comprehensive view of financial status, correspondence history, call centre interactions, credit ratings, etc in short, as much relevant information as the bank has within its systems to make an informed decision on suitability of product and customer.
With political action attempting to address trust issues, Banking is now recognised as one of the most regulated sectors in commerce, often with challenging lead times to implement new or changed compliance notices and rules. If compliance is such that it affects implementing new customer service and marketing initiatives, there can be significant consequential effect on revenues and market share. The essential challenge will be how to rapidly ensure inclusion of revised legal or regulatory terms in all customer correspondence within deadline periods. But the commercial challenge is performance relative to competition in all core areas, whether new account opening, overdraft processing, charge notifications, etc. Ensuring compliance is not an easy task without a full view of customer interactions, empowered staff, robust processes and effectively managed customer correspondence management.
Even trusted employees may pose an attrition risk, increasing the importance of a full record of all correspondence and client interactions to best enable continuity of customer relationships if and when key staff move on. However if the management of risk exposure and litigation defence rely on the preservation of all customer communication whether by letter, e-mail, SMS or call centre interaction how can companies avoid this becoming data dumps with little information? Even if everything is digitally stored, how quickly can the appropriate documents be accessed when needed? Too often, the answer is ‘too long!’
The benefits of a comprehensive, responsive and properly implemented Customer Communications Management strategy for corporate governance include:
- Elimination of uncontrolled cost exposure to communication discovery
- Speed to launch global correspondence with material changes
- Downward management of litigation risks
- Easy absorption of necessary legislative compliance terms
- Real-time access to key data, whether it lies in live or archive systems.
In short, control of risk costs, minimisation of management distraction, speed to execute legal and rule changes.
The execution must be flexible enough to cater for these and business critical drivers such as fresh marketing initiatives and personalised customer contact. At Icon UK we specialise in creating customer communications solutions, working with organisational leaders and senior management teams to guide them through the right choices to realise significant improvements in customer service, whilst ensuring regulatory compliance and substantial returns on investment - in some cases over 100% in year one...
Lack of comprehensive management and capture of communications can result in:
- Exposure to litigation through simple errors in customer correspondence
- Uncontrolled cost exposure for “discovery” of communications in the event of litigation
- Potential loss of complete customer interactions’ picture
- Business impact of time to implement regulatory changes
- Competitive impact of time to deploy marketing initiatives
All leading to additional costs, customer dissatisfaction and negative market image…
Being able to communicate to customers clearly, accurately and relevant way whilst remaining within operational budgets is a key challenge:
- Document content must be technically accurate, drawing together multiple sources of data to present to the customer quotes, projections and scenarios in way that is compelling to the individual and their circumstances.
- Documentation must be clear, unambiguous and well presented, while at the same time being technically correct. This requires careful drafting, with systems that provide re-use of existing approved content. It also enables a clearly auditable path from staff writing customer communications to those reviewing them
- The historic introduction of new products, systems and merger impacts means there is often a complex array of core policy based systems. These can range from the latest web based systems to those over 20 years old. Most have their own document generation tools. Since these are often different, keeping these multiple systems all compliant is costly and time consuming.
- Presenting consistent branding and appearance for documents and electronic communications is challenging due to such complexity and systems duplication. It is too easy to make fundamental mistakes in output processing, or overlook critical system performance issues when implementing changes.
Against the backdrop of these challenges, Governance leaders in this sector need to an enterprise tool that will tackle these issues whilst under the watchful eye of regulators, legislators and influencers such as the BOE, FSA, HMRC and BBA. This means not only is their reputation and customer confidence at risk, but they may be subject to fines and loss of operating licences if these issues are not dealt with promptly and satisfactorily.
How Icon Helps
Icon Suite offers Banking organisations the opportunity to address all these challenges in one solution platform. Practically every type of document can be flexibly constructed from pre-approved templates, incorporating powerful re-use and multi-lingual features. The types of output that can be produced include almost every style possible including Proposals and Quotations, Order confirmations and Policies, Statements, Customer Self-Service, Correspondence and Agent Communications. Different modes of customer engagement are supported: pre-planned, interactive or on-demand across all media types. Through deploying this platform, with transformational change and operational services where required, we help organisations change the way they engage with customers. Customers can benefit from highly personalised, flexible and positive experiences they are pleased to recommend to others.
The use of customer communications management to minimise risk and enhance corporate governance in Banking sector is wide ranging.
- full 360⁰ view of all customer related correspondence, structured and unstructured, even buried in discrete silos, relevant to a particular situation, easily retrievable and easy to act on vital to address litigation
- one local change with global reach add or modify a key term to meet legal obligations and have the term perpetuated through all relevant documents and interactions
- respond to customer requests self-service, call centre or written, with complete audit trail of interactions a one hit response to customer queries helping to eliminate spurious complaints early
- Social Media collaboration is enabled as the ‘command and control’ governance approach of the ‘Systems of Record’ era morphs into the ‘Systems of Engagement’ era, helping a new future to be carved out with personalised but compliant customer communications.
Icon UK can assist in the all areas related to improving customer communications including:
Improved Sales and Customer Service
- More personalised automated & interactive communications
- Speed and accuracy of communication
- Instant access to current and archive customer information
- Improve cross-selling and up-selling
Cost Savings and rationalisation
- Simplify & consolidate IT systems and output streams
- Reduce paper, print and postage costs
- Retire legacy systems and platforms
- Increase staff productivity
Increased content efficiency
- Radical consolidation of templates
- Improve workflow and case management
- Greater re-use of content
- Reduce document development time and skills
Reduced compliance risk and governance efforts
- Enforce document & regulatory standards
- Compliant audit and rapid search capabilities
- Improve control of document storage and access
- Enable multi-level workflow approvals
Icon UK’s Customer Communications Management solutions can deliver these benefits and more besides. Companies that engage Icon find they can understand what customer communications are really costing and translate this into a compelling Return on Investment case. By investing in the right solutions they can improve content and policy control, increased customer loyalty and achieve top-quartile performance in customer communications management. In doing so they develop a robust platform for meeting both strategic objectives [such as rapidly re-branding following restructuring] and tactical delivery [such as large scale personalised messaging on a multi-lingual, multi-country, multi-channel mass communication basis delivered cost-effectively].
Some of the world’s largest and leading Banking organisations use our technology solutions. Call us to find out how we can help your organisation.