Vulnerable consumers should be treated fairly and achieve outcomes as good as other consumers
Protecting vulnerable consumers remains the key focus for the FCA, and thus it is more important than ever for financial services firms to get this right. The FCA has issued guidance to help ensure vulnerable consumers are treated fairly and achieve outcomes as good as other consumers.
Some firms have already made significant progress in addressing this issue, yet improvements are required across all sectors. It’s time to take proactive steps to understand and respond to the needs of customers, particularly those who are most vulnerable to harm.
Customer vulnerability, what are the challenges?
So what are the challenges financial services organisations, such as banks, building societies and insurers, face when dealing with customer vulnerability? There are two major concerns for firms to address. The first challenge is spotting vulnerability during customers interactions and effectively identifying a potentially vulnerable customer.
Once identified, firms need to ensure that the vulnerable customers are always treated fairly, with respect and dignity, and achieve good outcomes for their customers.
Recognising vulnerability, the key factors for consideration
When it comes to identifying potential customer vulnerability, there are a number of essential factors to consider. To reliably recognise whether a person is potentially vulnerable from a typical financial services conversation relies on multiple factors.
1. The words and phrases the customer used in the conversation. Like ‘my dad died…’
2. The way that the customer expressed themselves. Did they come across upset, angry, happy?
3. The subjective circumstances are relative to that customer. How close were they close to their dad? Were they financially reliant upon them? Was the death of a loved one expected or sudden? Was this recently or in the past? Has the customer been going through any other significant life events at the time?
Human interaction and a well-trained customer care team are critical to recognising such subjective elements and identifying potentially vulnerable customers.
Once successfully recognised, the firm needs to ensure the vulnerable customer receives appropriate customer care and fair treatment.
Dealing with vulnerable customers, monitoring the outcome
Financial services firms should thrive to achieve the best outcome for all their customers. As the result of the Covid-19 pandemic, there is highlighted focus on vulnerable customers. Firms are expected to take proactive actions to drive fair treatment and good customer outcomes, with the FCA keeping a close eye on their practices.
Monitoring all customer-agent interactions to provide insights, supervisory oversight and QA has never been more important. With the deployment of AI-driven speech monitoring and voice analytics technologies, like Recordsure Voice product, firms are presented with an efficient, feasible solution to manage vulnerability.
Recordsure Voice offers bespoke analytics and automation to break down the customer interaction information at scale, with exceptional accuracy driven by human-level intelligence and machine-powered learning. The speech analytics tool offers a tailored approach to unlocking valuable insights for managing performance, processes, and best practice – in this case, Recordsure Voice allows firms to monitor and manage vulnerability.
Process adherence monitoring
Understand whether the firm has treated a vulnerable customer appropriately and fairly, with the Capture speech recognition tool that records, stores and analyses all customer-agent interactions at scale.
Key topics identification
Identify topics in customer interactions that may be related to vulnerability using the Classify machine learning product. The monitored topics are fully customisable to the firm’s processes and best practice. Some of the conversation monitoring Labels may include:
Bereavement – Financial – Age – Health – Employment – Relationship – Communication
The Assure product can then be used to further analyse the monitored topics for process adherence. Risk Points might include:
Did the adviser/agent ask how the customer was feeling regarding their recent bereavement?
Did the adviser/agent suggest that the customer be forwarded to the Bereavement team?
Did the adviser/agent suggest that the customer should consider having a third party present to support them?
Did the adviser/agent establish that the customer could understand them with their relevant third party?
Recordsure Voice is a highly sophisticated speech recognition analytics tool built for the financial services sector to support firms to monitor, manage and analyse 100% interactions with vulnerable customers and rapidly scale up their operations.
Get in touch to discuss vulnerable customers interaction monitoring and management with Recordsure Voice.