Quality assurance (QA) is an important process for financial services. It ensures products and services are compliant and that they meet customer demands. Aveni, a UK-based RegTech platform, has set out to debunk eight assumptions around QA within financial services.
The first assumption Aveni debunked was the idea that analysing a small number of calls will uncover insights that are representative of the whole population. It stated that every call is different and relying on a small handful of data points can lead the firm astray.
Firms should leverage technology, such as speech analytics and other AI-powered tools, so they can evaluate all calls and truly understand each caller’s experience.
Assumption two is that complaints are a good way to monitor customer outcomes and product and service performance. While complaints can offer valuable insights into customer satisfaction, Aveni said, they only represent a small fraction of customer interactions. Additionally, some businesses fail to acknowledge some customers might be dissatisfied but never file an official complaint.
“Monitoring complaints and expressions of dissatisfaction over time and at scale, and tying this data to business activities can provide valuable insights and meaningful trends, giving companies a better understanding of how changes affect customer satisfaction. For example, if a change in communication leads to an increase in incidents where customers express dissatisfaction, businesses can use this information to refine their approach and improve customer outcomes.”
Up next, Aveni argued that QA is not exclusively a compliance and regulatory issue. It warned that this mindset overlooks the potential of QA to drive innovation and improve customer experience.
QA teams should be encouraged to go beyond compliance and identify areas for improvement within training and coaching, sales and marketing, or insights to developing new product features for example. Aveni added that QA can become a central nervous system for a company, establishing a single source of actionable data that can be used across a business.
Assumption four is that QA is only focused on detecting and correcting errors. Aveni stated that QA can play a proactive role in driving continuous improvement and innovation.
“By analysing customer interactions and identifying areas for improvement, QA teams can help the business to stay ahead of the curve and drive a better customer experience. For example, it can help the early identification of customers whose circumstances have changed and would benefit from different products or services, or vulnerable customers who need additional support to receive the help they need, leading to better customer outcomes.”
Up next, Aveni questioned the idea that QA is a one-time process that is aimed at auditing products and services at a specific point in time. However, this ignores the fact that trends and customer expectations can change over time. Ongoing monitoring is a requirement of Consumer Duty as the FCA expects customer satisfaction to be monitored throughout the lifetime of a product or service.
Another assumption is that automation is the silver bullet. Unfortunately, the technology cannot do everything. Automation can streamline time-consuming tasks and handle mundane tasks, but a hybrid approach that includes humans is needed to ensure the best outcomes.
The penultimate assumption Aveni debunked was the belief that QA processes are overly bureaucratic and slow. While elements of QA can be slow, implementing technology can resolve this issue.
“Efficient QA processes require a streamlined approach that focuses on key priorities and eliminates unnecessary steps that do not add value. This can be achieved by adopting modern QA tools and techniques that machine assesses the data, striking a balance between efficiency and meticulousness, and enhancing the overall efficiency of the QA process.”
Finally, Aveni took aim at the assumption QA is only relevant for certain types of financial services. It stated that QA is relevant for all areas of financial services, but those in retail should put a significant emphasis on the process due to the impending Consumer Duty expectations.
“At the very least, firms should be recording calls should they need to recall them in the future for any reason to review. A credit/debt company could analyse calls to ensure adherence to Consumer Duty, wealth and advice firms could monitor calls for market abuse, training and development purposes, or general adherence to company policies and procedures.”
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