By Valentin Quisquater
11 Apr 2023

A bright future ahead: what key innovations await the regulated sectors?

If you’ve been following the Paragon Sounds Podcast series, you will have heard all about the drivers and hurdles today’s organisations face when it comes to change and innovation. Here, as we continue our discussions with Scott Draeger, VP Customer Transformation for Quadient (US), we explore what the future holds in terms of key innovations and delve into what this could mean for customer communications in the regulated sectors.

While the uncertain nature of 2020 served to expose the once hidden cracks in many organisations’ internal structures and processes, businesses that have been able to address these and rectify issues are now turning their attention to the future and driving positive growth in 2021 and beyond.

The question on the mind of many business leaders is; are we going to assume we have made it through a challenging period and keep the same systems? Or are we going to re-design how the business works to be much better prepared and nimbler in the future?

For many organisations, the answer will certainly be the latter. However, when you add into the mix the very real challenge of innovating legacy in heavily regulated markets, where governance controls all aspects of customer communication, achieving this and delivering driving positive customer experience (CX) presents its own distinctive trials.

Regulated markets: innovating legacy

For the regulated markets, be that financial services, retail, telecoms, insurance, healthcare, or beyond – all of which are controlled by different regulators – often the primary concern is delivering customer communication that remains compliant with regulatory requirements.

Often this results in businesses following ‘model communications’ provided by the regulator. And while this does ensure they are fully yielding to governance, it is often counter-intuitive to good CX practices as organisation’s fail to consider whether the information being sent out is easy to consume and understand for customers.

Certainly, as the regulated business world adapts to a new ‘normal’ we have seen some fantastic example of enterprises that have been able to not only overcome the hurdle of achieving compliance, but also enhance their communications across multiple channels.

Often this involves seeking customer engagement beyond those communications mandated under regulations, such as providing a printed letter or a downloadable PDF for archiving purposes. By utilising different channels from email, to SMS, or other digital media, to communications can be enhanced and customers can be provided with easier to interpret digital content – aiding an improved CX.

The future of CX

Although the future of CX is certainly yet to be determined, we are already starting to see the first signs of enhanced, intuitive customer-centric strategies. Whether that is all electronic banks and insurance company ‘market disruptors’, or telecoms providers being driven to deliver superior CX as they fight a continuous battle with price comparison sites, each are putting pressure on more traditional businesses to communicate better.

Such heightened competition is forcing organisations in many regulated industries to push traditional barriers, and introduce pioneering CX technologies, with two-way communication platforms such as chatbots and interactive communications just two examples of such advanced tools.

A prominent example of the deployment of market leading CX in a regulated market came from a US-based bank specialising in retail automotive loans. When the bank was simultaneously hit with the closure of its physical call centres, as well as a fundamental regulatory change that meant all customers in the market were offered a three month forbearance, they faced a distinct challenge.

Not only did all communications – across every channel and platform – have to be altered to reflect the regulatory change, but call volumes also dramatically increased as customers sought to contact the bank directly. This led to a requirement for rapidly deployed CX updates across the business.

The enterprises advanced customer journey mapping capabilities and CX tools ensured this could be achieved efficiently and at pace. By accurately tracking customer journeys, the bank were able to supply those customers who had tried to call with required information, via different channels they were known to engage on, solving problems further down the line.

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