Chatting away….

Staring into the long weekend at the end of a long week we are all hoping the weather improves. The start of this year has been a long haul and judging by the volume of traffic on the road, everyone seems to be wanting to get away for the weekend.

I have been out, but my sojourn to the office last week, had the odd effect of making this week, by comparison, feel somewhat flat. It was been busy, but once again there was less variety in the day. It was all a bit like returning from holiday, to face an overflowing inbox and a stack of things to do by Tuesday…. very productive mind you and a few good discussions to keep things interesting.


This week seemed to be all about exploring the omni-channel experience. Digital processes have become increasingly important in the last few months; self serve portals and webchat being good examples. Many of which have been overlayed on existing processes, now needing to be integrated and blended with existing voice.

An automation opportunity? maybe. Driven by customers habits? almost certainly, but there is another aspect to this too which you notice when meeting people in person – just how much more information is available, how the volume and quality of information changes by the communication channel. For example.

  • Email – largely one way, similar to a letter, relatively cheap
  • 2 way chat – a little more interactive, you pick up more nuance, but still tends to be short-form communication. Little more expensive
  • Voice calls– Interactive, extra information from not just what is said, but how it is said. Extra context and extra cost
  • Video calls – Facial expressions now in the mix. It is not just how it is said but now what did it look like too. The conversation still constrained like a call.
  • Live in-person – A full flood of information, mixing in contextual environmental information, and micro-expressions that we all see and use, even when we are not aware of it. Not constrained and the most expensive.

So as much as we think about channels in terms of cost, we also need to think in terms of information needing to be gathered. Ie not using high-cost channels for transactional interactions, but absolutely using them for those where we need to gather more complex information. And, each of these interactions can be interwoven, automating transactional elements before bringing in human interaction when needed. The true omnichannel experience I suppose. (There is much more to come on this soon in a couple of future video interviews).

FCA guidance on outcomes

The other discussion this week was around the new FCA proposal on creating stronger protection for consumers in financial markets.

Although fair treatment of customers is already top of mind with 6 key outcomes, this ups the ante further, proposing a new overriding principle for treatment of consumers… either

Option 1: ‘A firm must act to deliver good outcomes for retail clients’, or
Option 2: ‘A firm must act in the best interests of retail clients’

FCA – A new Consumer Duty

Feedback is needed by 31 July 2021. With COVID and pandemic fallout also hanging over us, expect more from this and quickly I would think.

Other key stories

Have a good weekend everyone.

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