How to improve your treatment of vulnerable customers with AI technology

How to improve your treatment of vulnerable customers with AI technology

The circumstances we’ve faced, not only in this country but also globally, over recent years can seem almost unreal when we take a moment to look back. 

From the Covid pandemic to the current cost-of-living crisis, these truly challenging times show no sign of reprieve for many as we move into 2023.

Testing times

Such challenges have unfortunately led to an increase in the amount of consumers with characteristics of vulnerability – with over one million more customers meeting the criteria than two years earlier. The Financial Lives 2022 survey showed 47% of UK adults had one or more of the characteristics in May 2022 likely due to an increase in the amount of UK adults with low financial resilience. 

And in real terms, the cost-of-living crisis has left many households facing mounting bills, increasing food prices and soaring energy costs– which has only exacerbated the strain on peoples’ purse strings and left many facing financial hardship.

So, it’s clear to see why the FCA’s Consumer Duty is placing such emphasis on providing good outcomes for customers and protecting those that are most vulnerable.

Effective evidencing with AI technologies

Having a robust process in place to identify which of your consumers show signs of vulnerability – bearing in mind that this can happen to anyone at any time throughout their customer journey – has never been more important. 

But how can firms effectively demonstrate this and evidence fair treatment of vulnerable customers? Well, the good news is the FCA has already cited one solution in a recent speech: by embracing the use of AI.

Quality Assurance teams can implement RegTech to great effect when addressing the challenges of vulnerability.

New feature to address vulnerability challenges

Recordsure’s unique ConversationReviewAI product – founded on intelligent speech analytics – now offers a new innovative feature that aligns with your own internal vulnerability QA policies and processes. Combining speech analytics and machine learning with the latest technology, you can apply a consistent approach to vulnerability identification and assessment and revolutionise your firm’s support for vulnerable customers. 

Under the Consumer Duty, the FCA will increasingly be asking for data focused on consumer outcomes with the fair treatment  of vulnerable customers high on their checklist – so firms will need to maximise the oversight of all their customer interactions, with a particular focus on how they are assessing vulnerability.

Want to learn more about how Recordsure’s unique solution can help ensure fair treatment of vulnerable customers? Download our Fair treatment of vulnerable customers information below.
Broadening oversight of customer interactions with tech and AI webinar recap

Broadening oversight of customer interactions with tech and AI

In recent weeks, we brought together Consumer Duty experts, in partnership with the BSA, to consider all things Consumer Duty and what it means for the mortgage market. 

In our concluding webinar of the three-part series, Garry Evans, Recordsure’s Chief Product Officer, and Olivia Fahy, Recordsure’s Senior Product Manager, considered how the sector can use RegTech to effectively support Consumer Duty compliance and provide evidence for the FCA’s “show me, don’t tell me” approach. 

Here we take a whistle-stop tour of the webinar’s highlights, including a closer look at the role that tech and AI can play in helping get the mortgage market ready for the new Duty.

Watch the webinar on-demand:  

A better method of oversight than random samples

To put it succinctly, there are two problems with random sampling – the method currently used by many mortgage Quality Assurance teams: it’s random, and it’s a sample.

By reviewing just a small sample of customer interactions, a large proportion of consumer data is left un-analysed, which can make it difficult to paint a true picture of where real issues may lie. Often, there is the myth that upscaling to review 100% of all customer calls requires a dramatic increase in resource. This scenario may certainly be true if relying on human resource alone, but utilising the right kind of intelligent technology will mitigate this need – and actually give QA teams 100% oversight of customer interactions. In turn, this means their focus can be on those calls that need most attention. Our client evidence suggests that using ConversationReviewAI doubles team productivity.

Speech analytics with a difference

Ensuring good, consistent consumer outcomes will be more important than ever under the FCA’s new Consumer Duty. And that’s where Recordsure’s ConversationReviewAI can revolutionise how QA teams achieve call quality assurance whilst gaining full oversight of customer interactions.

The ConversationReviewAI model leverages machine learning and thousands of hours of manual training by our in-house linguistic analysts. The analysts meticulously examine customer calls and teach the Recordsure AI model to understand the context around the language used in conversations. 

And Recordsure’s unique ‘neural network’ solution goes beyond speech analytics that rely on identifying key words and phrases. Such models often only achieve a true positive for every five false positives. Recordsure’s solution goes way beyond this, with accuracy around the 90% mark.

Effectively oversee 100% of customer calls

To capture your firm’s customer interactions, Recordsure can do this in one of two ways

  • An API straight through to your company’s telephony systems
  • Via an audio capture app which can be used in face-to-face or remote customer conversations

The captured audio is converted to a transcript for analysis and then visually classified by our ConversationReviewAI model, where results can be seen on the Recordsure portal. The AI breaks the call down into key topics  so it’s easy to see what has been discussed when and where. From here, QA reviewers can select from classified topics to align with their checklist and systematically jump to the relevantly themed parts of the audio. The transcript aligns to the selected section so that reviewers can read, as well as hear, their chosen topic and area.

Classifications and beyond

Our AI goes one step further than classification. ConversationReviewAI will break your audio’s classifications down into further individual risk points, so it’s even simpler for the reviewer to check associated areas with the most relevant content.

As 100% of customer calls are reviewed, our model will scale and group calls based on their level of risk, meaning reviewers can spend the majority of their time looking at the most problematic calls. This gives invaluable oversight and also flags high-risk areas whilst allowing a deep dive into specific cases.

This kind of analysis would not be possible via random sampling alone. ConversationReviewAI’s scope to find trends and themes in interactions gives the tools to address the root cause of problem areas, so continuous improvement across your customer journeys can be made.

AI and tech’s role for the mortgage sector

  • Catching the errors: With mortgage teams under increasing pressure, being able to evidence the information supplied to customers for both remediation and regulation purposes is key. Taking proactive action now to gain a deeper understanding of all the advice being given to customers will prove invaluable in the future.
  • Complying with the Consumer Duty: The step-change in regulation that the Consumer Duty will bring should not be under-estimated. More and more the FCA talks about firms embracing AI and using data to gain greater oversight of customer interactions. Having this level of oversight is no longer a pipedream and is achievable, so the FCA will be keen to see this in practice. 

Breaking down barriers

ConversationReviewAI’s sophisticated system supports natural language. The best customer conversations can’t be scripted, and our contingent model is trained at analysing just that. It’s designed specifically to analyse organic, unstructured conversation – the model’s ‘engine’ has been taught from thousands of hours of transcription and annotation.

As Recordsure is used by a number of high street banks and mortgage associations, we have created a ‘best in class’ model that the mortgage market can literally plug in and go. This means no lengthy induction process, upfront investment, or leaps of faith from firms.

Our free 30-day trial aims to show just that. If you’d like to learn more about how Recordsure’s ConversationReviewAI can help transform your QA team’s call reviews, get in touch today.


Artificial Intelligence's role in the Consumer Duty regulations

Accelerate a positive culture: AI’s role in the Consumer Duty’s future

This week we’ve been reflecting on how the financial service industry is personified following the ‘From Zeroes to Heroes’ speech delivered by FCA Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director of Authorisations, Emily Shepperd.

Think Wolf of Wall Street which neatly sums up Emily’s point– a “hedonistic stockbroker… whose main purpose is to con wealthy clients”.

Obviously not a complimentary or trustworthy industry portrayal. And the list goes on of examples where the industry is depicted as either risky and reckless… or the polar opposite – dull and dreary.

And between these two profiles, the sector is often painted in a not-so-positive light.

But let’s cut to the chase, how does big screen portrayal impact on industry culture?

Culture shapes conduct – and it’s conduct that the FCA is keen to overhaul in the new Consumer Duty era. It’s a trickle-down approach. Those at the top shape company ethos and so need to be leading from the front to embrace this change.

And what should those leaders be banging the drum about? It all comes down to good outcomes. This is what Duty champions and boards have been signposted to as the nub of the Duty. And here lies the crux: spotting and supporting customers in need, those that are most vulnerable.

AI is repeatedly highlighted as a tool that can help firms embrace this new culture.

By having holistic oversight of customer data, spotting, and supporting customers when they’re in need becomes a more manageable and evidencable feat for QA teams. Firms that embrace this tac will be able to demonstrate how the Duty’s ethos is at the heart of its customer and business life cycle, as they quickly, succinctly, and concisely analyse customer interactions.

Advance with AI

Using AI-powered tools such as Recordsure’s unique platform for QA compliance reviews means firms can move away from the more traditional random sampling form of quality assurance. Businesses can now futureproof their approach by embracing the actionable insights that AI tools provide. Increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your QA teams and ensure consistency of QA reviews. 

Want to learn more about how AI can help review customer communications and the wider cultural shift? Get in touch today.

Download our whitepaper to explore how AI-enhanced RegTech can make relying on a random sampling approach to compliance reviews a thing of the past – and introduce simplified audit trails with 100% oversight of all client interactions.