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 and is key to lowering customer churn rates. 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.
“Training and monitoring of consumer-facing employees will be critical to ensure that an organization is compliant. Technology will support and help the credit and collections industry meet demanding obligations with ease and efficiency, in order to produce the outcomes a regulator wants to see.”
Consumer Financial Services Regulatory & Compliance Group
“Our challenge going forward is to position our industry and our companies as desirable places to work. We must implement diversity, equity and inclusion in our workplaces, and get the word out that we have changed. Ask your newest employees for feedback—what would make our workplace desirable for their friends and acquaintances? In this post-pandemic world, getting people to crawl out of their comfortable cocoons may be difficult, but it can be done!”
“In the last few years, the buzz of the call centers faded away. Now that many people still have the opportunity to continue to work from home, performance directors need to pivot their focus. We need to ensure that the training is effective in this new environment. The move is from hours in a classroom setting to immediate, personalized micro-learning units that enforce the corrective behaviors.”
“The digital collections movement continues to be in full steam and we are excited to see all of the new technologies that are coming into the ARM industry to help drive enhanced collection performance in a compliant manner. We anticipate additional M&A consolidation globally in the ARM industry, as more digital ARM companies look to accelerate market entry and obtain blue-chip clients and deploy digital-first solutions.”
“Digitization will be critically accelerated in 2023. Recovery organizations may be required to furnish consumers’ account data through consumer-selected platforms that will likely be different from organizations’ traditional payment portals. Organizations should start preparing their technology and operations for that contingency now to harness the trend to their benefit.”
“Data is the new oil, and extracting data from all sources, especially voice, will be a must-have in 2023. We are in the age of machine learning, and ML runs on data. Getting ALL the data and getting it into one place for the ML to do what it can are the key differences between organizations that will make it and those that don't.”
“In 2023, collectors and creditors will be required to work closer together. Reg F oversight requirements have created a new reality of shared compliance responsibility. Servicers and creditors can better collaborate by using new data-driven compliance platforms that provide all parties with critical insights and generate the transparency and trust needed to succeed in a tightening regulatory climate.”
As Gen Z enters the workforce, you’ll have up to four generations in your agency. Everyone learns differently. Young people learn from TikTok videos, and there is a professional term for this: micro-learning. Such short videos are especially efficient when sent out close to the time when the violation occurred.
Barron & Newburger
The most efficient training systems I’ve seen are those which build surgical, data-driven compliance content and provide agents the exact training they need when they most need it. This approach avoids wasting time and money on training which does not address the need. Continuous, role-based training programs that focus on the needs of each individual agent are some of the most efficient and effective I’ve seen.
Bedard Law Group
“Training is only going to be effective if it's done at or near the time the violation occurred. As agents handle hundreds of calls a week they will not have the capacity to remember particular moments of each consumer interaction. Therefore, effective monitoring will be critical to address the deficiency when it happens, in order to remediate quickly so that it does not become a systemic problem going forward.”
Consumer Financial Services Regulatory & Compliance Group