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Post-Pandemic: What's Next for Financial Services?

Post-Pandemic: What's Next for Financial Services?


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Post-Pandemic: What's Next for Financial Services?

16 Jun 2021

Jack Jones
Rating service on laptop

The pandemic brought uncertainty and instability to every industry, including financial services. On the whole, financial services organizations have coped admirably over the last 12 months, spinning-up new business models and ways of working almost overnight. The global crisis forced many financial services firms to use digital tools and processes, speeding-up decision-making and rapidly improving digital capabilities in many cases. This digital shift may have always been on the cards, but the pandemic served to expedite it—turning future plans into current plans and enabling businesses to cope in extraordinary times.

But will this pace of digitization continue and what are the impending challenges that the industry might face? And, how can financial services businesses ensure they’re ready for the new normal, whatever shape that might take?

Is This the Calm Before the Storm?

While we don’t know exactly what our new normal will look like, warning signs already show that it won’t all be plain sailing. Research carried out by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) found that up to 4,000 financial services firms are at risk of failure because of COVID-related challenges, meaning that for some, the next few months are crucial.

You also have the impending closure of government and state-sponsored programs providing support to individuals financially challenged by COVID. Many are predicting that it’s only then that we’ll see the full extent of the pandemic, as the economic effects catch-up with more customers. When you consider that an October 2020 survey also by the FCA found that the number of UK financial services customers that could be classed as 'vulnerable' increased by 15% over the first few months of the pandemic to 27.7 million, it’s likely that this figure will only increase as the year goes on.

One thing can be almost guaranteed—customer complaints and interactions will rise. Where complaint management processes and practices were fit-for-purpose pre-pandemic and might still be now, what about post-pandemic? Now is the time to get your house in order ready for what’s still to come.

How a Centralized Complaint Management System Helps You Rise to the Challenge

In the spirit of the increased digitization that was so apparent in the early days of the pandemic, digitizing your complaint management process can represent a significant boost to operational efficiency and agility. Managing the end-to-end complaint journey with a single system, capturing all customer interactions in a single location and, as a result, gaining a single view of the customer, cannot and should not be underestimated. That’s the power of a centralized complaint management system. Intelligent workflows reduce time to resolutions and robust quality assurance processes increase the quality of resolutions too. All of this means you can achieve more effective outcomes, boost customer experience excellence and enhance that all-important customer loyalty.

Additionally, the information that can be gleaned from a complaint management system can prove invaluable to your business. Contextual feedback, be that via customer survey tools or quality assurance measures can inform continual improvement, shaping best practice for further operational gains and increased customer satisfaction. Compliance is watertight. Pre-defined parameters for mandatory timescales are built-in and advanced reporting capabilities ensure new depths of transparency and insight across the complaints function.

Identifying and Supporting Customer Vulnerability

How financial services firms deal with the rising number of distressed and newly vulnerable customers poses a significant risk. Enhanced customer wellness and vulnerability assessments will be necessary, putting pressure on already stretched resources. While the FCA’s guidance in the UK brings some welcome clarity and structure to the issue, vulnerability and ensuring the fair treatment of customers still poses a significant challenge to financial services firms.

This is where digitization can again play a vital role. An advanced complaint management system with functionality to help detect customer vulnerability, enables you to rapidly identify vulnerable customers in order to treat them more fairly and support them appropriately.

While the past year has undoubtedly been a difficult time for the financial services sector, it also represents a time of opportunity. To truly succeed, you can and should take the time to reassess what’s working and what’s not, getting ready for what’s still to come. Seizing on the momentum of decisive business strategy and accelerated digital transformation, by making full use of the technology available, you can position your organization to withstand future challenges. Having the right combination of people and processes in place will support customers and drive your business forward as we emerge from the pandemic.

For more information on how Aptean can help financial services organizations prepare for the future, contact us today.

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