Regardless of whether your organisation sells energy or telco products, regulatory compliance isn’t an option. With regulators such as Ofgem and Ofcom expanding their scope on an ongoing basis, the regulatory landscape is a moving target, putting you at a distinct disadvantage.

Although it’s mandatory, how does your organisation view compliance – as a necessary evil or as a means to improve the customer experience and perhaps even gain a competitive advantage? This blog explores the intersection between compliance and customer experience, how it can improve your competitive standing, and the tools and technology you need for a customer-centric approach to compliance.

 

Compliance and Customer Experience: Better Together

For many organisations in regulated sectors, the thought is that they have to make a choice – satisfy regulators or satisfy customers. Like a needle and thread, compliance and customer experience go hand-in-hand. Although a difficult balance, there’s a direct relationship between being compliant and delivering exceptional customer experiences.

Let’s take a look at a few scenarios, one that takes a siloed approach to compliance and customer experience and the other that puts the customer at the centre of compliance.

 

Scenario 1: Disconnected compliance and customer experience

Using one of the most common reasons for lodging a complaint, billing, we’ll assume that your organisation has recently seen a spike in the number of complaints. Regardless of whether the customer wasn’t transferred to the right person or department or their complaint wasn’t properly acknowledged or handled, the end result remains the same – a formal complaint being lodged with the regulatory agency.

 

Scenario 2: Integrated compliance and customer experience

We’ll use the same set of circumstances, however since you’re taking a customer-centric approach to regulatory compliance, the outcome is much different. Not only are customers immediately transferred to the right person or department, but the first few calls set the wheels in motion to determine the cause of increased billing complaints. In this case, you had a technical issue with your billing system, which failed to notify customers of the upcoming rate increase. To rectify the situation and decrease the number of incoming calls, you immediately send all customers an apology notice along with an explanation of the rate increase.

While this situation is rather benign and easily rectified, there are others that could have a not so clear cut resolution and/or result in personal damage. It’s important to remember that the goal of regulators is to protect the customer. Put another way, their purpose is to ensure that organisations aren’t taking advantage of customers, either intentionally or unintentionally.

 

Compliance: A Continuous Cycle of Improvement

Staying compliant entails continuous improvements where any complaint, error, or mistake is reviewed and acted upon. Once corrective measures have taken place, you need to use the situation as a learning initiative and determine how it can be embedded within your processes such as workflows, training, etc., to ensure the same situation doesn’t happen again.

It’s also important to remember that the frequency of compliance changes will require ongoing enhancements on your part, from the processes, tools, and technology aspects. With sales reps in the field, you need to do everything possible to ensure they are able to deliver great customer experiences and operate within regulatory guidelines.

This means providing them with the technology and tools they need to efficiently do their jobs while remaining compliant. Technology that is making a difference includes auto-populating as much customer information as possible, delivering logic-driven questions to their device to ensure that the right product is offered to the right customer type, providing the ability to validate customer data while at the door, and delivering continuous learning electronically. In addition, when a problem arises you need the ability to access the details around the issue. This is where having intelligent insights can help to know why the issue occurred, rectify the situation faster, and reduce complaints.

 

Is Compliance Part of Your Company’s DNA?

Too often organisations approach compliance and customer experience from different vantage points, with compliance falling under the purview of your legal department and customer experience the responsibility of customer-facing employees. This siloed approach makes it difficult to remain compliant and deliver exceptional customer experiences simultaneously.

When compliance complements the customer experience, it becomes part of your processes and workflows, basically becoming embedded in your organisation’s DNA – giving you a competitive edge. You’re more apt to pick up early warning signs of possible compliance risk and be able to proactively take the necessary actions. Doing this, however, requires the right tools and technology. Technology and tools that only a company that has extensive energy, telco and regulatory compliance knowledge can provide.

At PSI, we have experience in helping regulated organisations take a customer-centric approach to regulatory compliance. With us as your partner, you’ll be able to cost-effectively bridge the compliance and customer experience gap and take a leading role in your industry.

 

Do you want to improve regulatory compliance, deliver outstanding customer experiences, and gain a competitive advantage? Contact our team today to learn how we can help you make compliance a core component of your company’s DNA.