Prioritising customer needs: A look at 2024 Consumer Duty updates – Calabrio (UK)
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Prioritising customer needs: A look at 2024 Consumer Duty updates

In July 2023, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) introduced a comprehensive set of regulations aimed at improving consumer protection and driving positive outcomes for customers of financial services. These regulations apply to both new and existing products or services that are available for sale or renewal. By July 2024, the same policy will extend to closed products or services as well.

The implementation of the Consumer Duty carries substantial implications for contact centre teams. It is imperative for contact centres to grasp the requirements and undertake the necessary measures to comply to the new policy. In this blog post, we will delve into the key updates regarding consumer duty for 2024 and explore strategies that contact centres can adopt to ensure compliance and enhance customer satisfaction.

Understanding Consumer Duty: The fundamentals

Consumer duty refers to the legal obligation’s businesses have towards their customers, encompassing aspects such as transparency, fairness, and accountability in products and services. These responsibilities are designed to safeguard consumers from unfair practices and ensure a level playing field in the marketplace.

  • Treating customers fairly (TCF): Consumer Duty necessitates that firms treat customers fairly and take their needs into account when developing products and services. Contact centre teams must be familiar with the TCF principles and ensure they provide equitable customer outcomes.
  • Effective communication: Consumer Duty requires firms to communicate clearly and efficiently with customers. Contact centre teams must deliver accurate and comprehensible information to customers, using simple language and avoiding technical terms.
  • Supporting vulnerable customers: Consumer Duty mandates that firms identify and assist vulnerable customers. Contact centre teams must be trained to recognise vulnerable customers and offer appropriate assistance. You can read our top tips for supporting vulnerable customers in our recent blog post here.
  • Complaint resolution: Consumer Duty requires firms to establish effective procedures for handling complaints. Contact centre teams must be trained to address complaints effectively and provide suitable resolution to customers.

Consumer Duty updates for 2024

  • Strengthened data protection regulations: With data breaches and privacy concerns on the rise, governments around the world are enacting stricter regulations to safeguard consumer data. Contact centres must ensure compliance with data protection laws such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) to prevent unauthorised access or misuse of customer information.
  • Enhanced accessibility standards: Accessibility is gaining prominence as a key aspect of consumer duty, with regulations mandating businesses to ensure their products and services are accessible to individuals with disabilities. Contact centres need to implement measures such as providing alternative communication channels for hearing-impaired customers and ensuring website accessibility for visually impaired users.
  • Focus on ethical AI: As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more prevalent in customer service operations, there’s a growing emphasis on ethical AI practices. Contact centre teams leveraging AI-powered solutions must ensure transparency, fairness, and accountability in algorithmic decision-making processes to avoid bias or discrimination against consumers.

Best practices for contact centre teams:

  • Continuous training and education: Contact centre agents should undergo regular training sessions to stay updated on the latest consumer duty regulations and best practices. This empowers them to provide informed assistance to customers and ensure compliance with legal requirements.
  • Robust compliance framework: Establishing a strong compliance framework is crucial to ensure adherence to consumer duty regulations. This includes implementing monitoring mechanisms, conducting audits, and maintaining comprehensive documentation of interactions to demonstrate compliance when necessary. Tools such as Quality Monitoring can be employed to assess the quality of customer interactions and guarantee they meet the standards of Consumer Duty.
  • Proactive communication: Contact centres should adopt a proactive approach to communication, keeping customers informed about their rights, privacy policies, and available recourse options. Transparent communication fosters trust and enhances the overall customer experience.
  • Embracing technology responsibly: While technology offers numerous benefits for contact centres, it’s vital to deploy it responsibly and ethically. Contact centre teams should thoroughly evaluate AI solutions, ensuring they align with consumer duty principles and do not compromise privacy or fairness.

Contact centre teams play an essential role in fulfilling legal obligations and cultivating positive customer relationships. By staying updated on the latest developments, embracing industry-leading practices, and leveraging technology effectively, your contact centre can successfully navigate consumer responsibilities while providing outstanding customer service and complying with regulatory requirements.

To find out more about Consumer Duty and to stay up to date with the latest changes, visit Consumer Duty | FCA.

Calabrio is a trusted ally to leading brands. The digital foundation of a customer-centric contact centre, the Calabrio ONE workforce performance suite helps enrich and understand human interactions, empowering your contact centre as a brand guardian. We maximise agent performance, exceed customer expectations, and boost workforce efficiency using connected data, AI-fueled analytics, automated workforce management, and personalised coaching. Only Calabrio ONE unites workforce optimisation (WFO), agent engagement, and business intelligence solutions into a true-cloud, fully integrated suite that adapts to your business. For customers and partners.

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Visual representation of Calabrio Technology supporting vulnerable customers over the phone
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