Don’t Let Compliance Kill CX


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In its simplest form, customer experience (CX) is the sum of all experiences and emotions tied to customers’ contact and journey with a brand. CX encompasses how customers feel about a brand based on emotional and psychological connections that build up from one-time engagements as well as multiple touchpoints in the customer’s lifecycle.

Yet in highly regulated industries like banking or insurance, hefty compliance requirements create additional layers of paperwork that threaten to undo the goal of great CX.

Regulatory and security requirements, such as Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML), customer identification and verification (ID/V), and explicit consent requirement to stipulations (stips) and Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) weigh down customer interactions, prolonging the transaction into an arduous journey with paper-chases and back-and-forths. The customer is so close to signing, yet here they are being dragged through a process that’s painful for them, and costly for the company.

The reality is that in today’s world, providing excellent CX is a business necessity, even for regulated industries saddled with compliance requirements. Better CX has been tied to higher stock prices for companies: Forrester’s Customer Experience Index indicates that the top 20% of brands for CX also showed higher stock growth and higher total returns than brands that don’t commit to a CX initiative. Putting customer needs first can also unlock incredible operational savings and customer loyalty benefits. For example, when companies invest in CX for the final stages of the customer journey, costs go down and sales shoot up.

Focus CX Where it Matters Most – At Transaction Point

The good news is, companies have invested in digitization and upgrading legacy systems to improve the customer journey, operational efficiencies, and CX. Yet despite these investments, companies are failing to address how compliance requirements, such as ID verification and various documents, impact the customer journey. Often these compliance requirements rear their ugly heads during the critical last mile of the customer journey, when customers are almost at the proverbial finish line.

It’s this last mile where customers interactions are most valuable — where they might file insurance claims, sign up for loans, approve new health policies, agree to new credit terms, submit passports for travel arrangements and more.

But today, when a company needs to complete these, enter clumsy complex compliance processes, they are dropping the CX ball. Fumbling their CX in the last mile of the customer relationship. And this is costing real money.

Compliance Requirements Are Hurting Your CX

Compliance paperwork tends to damage otherwise an otherwise good customer experience due to the complexity of its requirements. Customers are required to submit endless documents, complete and sign myriad forms, give consent and authentication, and authorize secure payments. While these processes may be the bloodline of fiserv and insurance businesses, they are often the areas that most damage the customer experience.

Compliance and risk management systems are rightfully perceived as restrictive and rigid, creating service delays and product complexity. The resulting service delays not only put transactions at risk, but threaten the overall perception that customers have of the business.

Customer Expect Simple CX, No Matter How Complex the Business

In our digital world, customers are in control. They readily let companies know their expectations in terms of delivery, services, and communications. It follows, then, that they expect immediate access to information and services across all channels. If their needs are thwarted in any way, they can easily move on to another provider of similar services.
Customers stay with companies that make it easy to do business with and that nurture relationships with reliability and simplicity.

Long-term customer loyalty is built one day at a time through easy, personalized interactions. It’s in the best interest of companies to minimize slowdowns and restrictions related to industry compliance because customers simply won’t wait for great experiences.

How to Create Amazing CX Through Complex Regulatory Requirements

Some of the most common compliance issues that call centers, financial services, and insurance companies manage include:

  • KYC (Know Your Customer)- Helps protect consumers from data breaches and cyber attacks. Companies risk fines and sanctions if they fail to comply.
  • AML (Anti Money Laundering)- Requires all businesses to comply with the detection and reporting of malicious activity.
  • PCI (Payment Card Industry), also known as PCI/DSS (Data Security Standard)- Ensures businesses store and process credit card information securely.
  • Terms & Conditions- Requires disclosure to read terms & conditions as established by government regulations. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), provides disclosure details to help businesses stay compliant.
  • These requirements are the basics of the industries they serve, but too often businesses fail to manage them in an efficient way that keeps the customer in mind. For example, too many security and compliance prompts, or bouncing from a customer call to requesting customers to send in documents via email or app can have a negative impact on customer experience.

    Business needs to find a balance of security and usability without impacting its competitiveness, innovation, and profitability.

    Informing customers of security measures will mitigate impatience, but in most cases that’s not enough. Customers still demand easy interactions.

    Digital Solutions Can Serve Both Compliance and CX Requirements

    Regulated industries will forever prioritize their regulatory requirements. Sales and business teams will always drive for better sales and customer experiences.
    Thankfully there are digital solutions that enable compliant, streamlined customer journeys. Many times they are both better in their delivery of the regulatory requirements, but unburden the customer and the business in their delivery.

    A business’s ability to agily manage their regulatory environment but not impede their business’s processes gain a strategic competitive advantage.

    Some companies, however, are launching technology initiatives to improve overall CX. The potential of 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), connected devices, e-Signatures and voice search are increasingly adopted by financial institutions that understand their value.

    However, you need to ask yourself: does this new tech help your employees serve customers quicker? Will it ensure accurate data and analytics for personalization? When it comes to CX and compliance, technological solutions must be a blend of what’s necessary for the business as well as what will help customers have fluid experiences.

    While technology like AI and advanced analytics help CX improve, it often misses the critical last mile: the point in the customer journey that makes or breaks an interaction.
    One of the easiest ways for companies that deal with complex transactions and heavy regulatory compliance to improve CX is to digitize the experience during processes that require IDs and verification, document sharing, terms & conditions acceptance, and signatures.

    Think, any time that you require your customer to print a document, use email to send an image, or worse, use a fax machine, that’s a process that should be first priority to drastically improve CX.

    The best tools to balance CX and compliance: trust and credibility

    The bottom line of understanding the dichotomy of CX and compliance is to make sure customers are satisfied and have satisfactory experiences with each engagement with a company.

    Customers need to know that a business has invested in security and compliance measures but they don’t need to know a great level of detail. FiServ businesses, especially, have an obligation to provide assurance around security and compliance but don’t need to sacrifice the customer’s experience.

    Understanding customer desires and needs, tempered by appropriate compliance measures, will guide responsible businesses to the perfect balance of trust and credibility. Smart businesses understand this and prioritize customer-centric, last mile customer experiences and compliance to create seamless engagements for complex interactions.

    Howard Schulman
    I've worked with several call center technology companies delivering marketing and sales insights and strategy.


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