Financial services: compliance through knowledge automation
Financial services providers face specific challenges in transforming their business for the digital age. They must give their customers precise, consistent, technical information about a range of products, with risk of regulatory penalties in the event of error. Often they have a decentralized structure, with multiple brands and regional offices, and teams of both full-time agents and external IFAs selling their products. The sector has limited customer loyalty and it’s easy for customers to switch to a competitor. How can knowledge automation technology help meet these challenges?
Knowledge is crucial to any large-scale business transformation. Knowledge is the glue that holds distributed enterprises together, binding different teams, offices and countries in a single understanding of the organization’s products and procedures. In financial services, an intelligent, automated knowledge solution keeps information consistent across the organization, helping to comply with regulations as well as improving customer service. Let’s look at the key benefits.
Customer loyalty is fluid in the financial services sector. Financial products are less unique and inspire less emotional attachment than, say, a knitted sweater or a favourite chocolate brand. Price comparison sites encourage customers to switch provider in search of better deals. In these circumstances, customer service can be a key differentiator in acquiring and retaining customers. Almost two-thirds of insurance customers, a survey found, have changed their provider because of poor customer service. That’s a big windfall for providers that get service right.
We’ve described elsewhere how knowledge automation benefits customer service. Knowledge automation:
- Reduces the effort of customer interactions, by understanding what the customer wants to know, anticipating future needs, and actively pushing knowledge at the point the customer requires it.
- Supports interactions across multiple channels and devices, giving the answers any time, anywhere that customers expect in an omnichannel world.
- Frees agents from repetitive enquiries, giving them more time and resources to dig deep with high-value customers or those at risk of leaving.
In finance, precision is key. Financial services organizations must give out accurate, consistent and timely information to their customers, regardless of the channel used or whether the person giving the information is a regular staff member or an IFA.
By adopting knowledge automation, financial services can simplify providing accurate and consistent information to their customers. Knowledge solutions like Transversal’s Prescience™ centralize the information customers need in a single, authoritative repository. This knowledgebase populates all customer touchpoints: customer self-service, CRM, agents’ intranets and IFA extranets. All touchpoints therefore give the same answers, without inconsistencies, though different readerships can receive content in appropriately tailored levels of detail.
Accuracy of information is not simply good service. In finance, it’s a regulatory requirement. Under the rules of the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), companies must ensure their advisers give quality advice and “clear information”. FCA members must also train their advisers appropriately and provide ongoing learning to keep knowledge up to date. Giving customers wrong or incomplete information can lead to charges of mis-selling.
By ensuring all staff and customers draw their information from the same source, an automated knowledge solution avoids the inaccuracies that result from having multiple sources of different age and quality. Agents and IFAs also rely less on memory and its inevitable mistakes. With an easy-to-use knowledgebase ready to hand, staff trust that any information not held in memory can quickly be found.
An automated knowledge solution simplifies training and ongoing learning. New agents can be onboarded more efficiently when they have the support of a knowledgebase and less need to memorize information. One of our recent clients (in another sector) reduced training times by a third while giving agents competency across a greater range of products. Curated knowledge also provides a resource for ongoing learning. Agents and IFAs have ready access to material on a range of topics, with a statistics trail to see what has been read.
Putting knowledge in the bank
Transversal has worked with a host of financial services providers, including AXA PPP, Barclays, Co-operative Insurance, First Central, Royal Sun Alliance and Standard Life. We build low-effort, high-security knowledge solutions that meet the regulatory challenges of the sector and enable customers, agents and IFAs to find the answers they need. If your organization wants to transform its digital knowledge, why not get in touch?