In too many organizations, compliance and sales functions are often at odds. And as the amount of regulation has increased, the tension has, too. At first glance, this makes sense: Sales teams want to run fast and do whatever it takes (within reason) to meet revenue targets. Compliance teams, which are charged with lowering risk, slam on the brakes, reduce the pace and hold sales back.
Or do they? That’s the scenario that’s often assumed. But how accurate is it?
A series of unfortunate events – financial meltdowns, cyber attacks, data exposure and more – have resulted in reams of new regulations being issued worldwide in an effort to protect consumers and prevent mismanagement, breaches and fraud. In highly regulated industries, such as healthcare and financial services, organizations are held to higher standards than ever before, and scrutinized for compliance more closely than ever.
Converging on Customer Focus
Ensuring compliance with myriad complex and rapidly changing regulations presents a considerable challenge for organizations, one that can lead cautious executives to self-censor and mute or downplay claims. But because many of the new regulations focus on enhancing consumer protections, forward-looking organizations are increasingly viewing compliance as an opportunity, too. If compliance processes can be streamlined and made more efficient, actually complying with customer-focused regulations can enhance service and release resources earmarked for mitigation to invest in revenue growth.
For financial service providers, today is the best of times and the worst of times when it comes to customer relations. On the one hand, good service is more important than ever before. Prospective customers weigh service heavily when selecting a new service provider– especially one they’ll trust with their money. Service has a huge impact on customer satisfaction as well. With easier access to more detailed review data than ever before, consumer decisions are better informed. Negative reviews will convince prospects to look elsewhere, and positive reviews might just convince other companies’ customers to switch.
On the other hand, while providing world-class service is a huge opportunity, it is a huge challenge as well. Organizations are handling more customer transactions with less – and often less qualified – staffing than ever. Touchpoints are fragmented: The “company rep” that a prospective customer interacts with may be an automated email response system one day, an IM, web or social media chatbot the next, and a real live telephone rep at another point – if the customer makes it through enough menus.
Customers instantly note negative signals or discontinuities and resent them. With fewer humans on the job and more fragmentation, there are more chances for slippage and errors, and less chance that someone will catch on and set things right. And once confidence and trust are lost, they’re hard to regain.
Compliance Done Right is Good Business Practice
Demonstrating consistency, continuity, and transparency in all interactions – human and automated – across all platforms and channels, is a powerful way to build customer loyalty and trust. When managed correctly, the very regulations that many organizations view as burdensome, can rather align sales functions and empower teams to generate more satisfaction and revenues more efficiently, than ever before. Strong compliance processes smooth sales flows, improve customer service, and slash the time, effort and manpower required to uncover issues and mitigate them. Compliance with customer-oriented regulations can free interactions for positive focus on product value, rather than defensive postures aimed at diffusing negative reviews and poor compliance performance.
At the end of the day, a good deal of regulatory compliance simply amounts to good corporate etiquette – the kind that leads to long-term success, but is too often lost amid the short-term pressures to minimize costs and maximize sales. Smart organizations value strong compliance processes as a positive force, one that in the long run, offers sales teams the tools and structure they need to keep ahead of the competition. Far from being at odds, compliance empowers sales to be the best it can be.
The big “if” in all of this, of course, is ensuring that compliance is done right: That data from all touchpoints flows from – and into – a single, integrated system. That full customer journeys are optimized, not just isolated interactions. The reps receive the right guidance, in real time, where they can use it.
Sedric provides a unified view of sales contributions, in a single pane of glass. It monitors, reviews and analyzes all communications – both personal, client-to-agent interactions and one-to-many marketing efforts – for compliance with internal standards as well as industry regulations, and provides the data you need to get the results that you want. Your sales and compliance teams are on the same side – let Sedric help them win.