Whilst local government and financial services organisations are very different in structure and desired outcomes, both sectors find themselves under pressure to deliver responsible spending of budgets. One such goal that you will see across both sectors is that of effective audience communication. This includes streamlining the process and cost whilst ensuring benefits are maximised.
This partnered with the new Consumer Duty Principle that came into force in July 2023, these organisations are now required to go that step further when delivering communications.
The FCA Consumer Duty Principle ‘came into force in July 2023 for existing products and services and seeks to ensure retail customers receive ‘good outcomes’ and that firms provide evidence that these outcomes are being met.’
The principle focuses on ensuring that the communications that businesses send are effective, clear and provide understanding to the end audience.
As a part of this, businesses are now required to provide evidence that the communications they send are relevant, meaningful and make a difference. Whether this is through audit control, document proofs or communication inventories, when asked this evidence needs to be readily available and provide the answers required.
From sending informative letters, regulatory documents, annual or daily communications and even marketing materials, each communication touch point needs to have a core purpose. This purpose needs to be clear and direct and help drive the intended action.
As we see a shift in consumer expectations, we see a mirrored shift in how businesses are expected to engage with their different audiences.
The consumer duty principle takes this into consideration and sets out to ensure ‘a higher standard of customer protection’ is applied to all interactions, services and products.
This protection is designed to support and help customers, with the services and goods they utilise.
The regulation ‘will require firms to review their product suite, communications and end-to-end customer journey, and to consider changes in areas including governance and accountability, MI and reporting, product design, pricing, distribution, servicing and staff training - all within a challenging implementation timeframe.’
These processes need to meet the new standards and reflect business operations to provide audiences with better protection. Firms are expected too:
The communications your organisation sends need to be considered. No longer is one form of communication relevant for every individual. Organisations need to consider much more whether this is offering channel choice or output variety, your organisation needs to be accessible to everyone.
Being accessible is more than just offering digital and physical communications. It’s about understanding your different audience requirements and delivering communications on the best channels for them. So that each piece of communication they receive is effective, clear and provides direction and understanding.
Some of the types of communications organisations are utilising to deliver this include:
Communication accessibility therefore is about engaging in the right format, to the right person, at the right time so that the desired response takes place.
By determining what channels are best for each audience, organisations can ensure they are driving the engagement they require as well as providing their audiences with everything they need to know.
To offer these choices effectively, organisations need to reconsider the communications they send and the processes they have adopted to send these. This takes into consideration inbound, outbound, physical and digital communications that are brought together into one process to engage with audiences. This process is often referred to as multichannel and uses data-led decision-making to inform what channels are the most appropriate for each recipient.
This process provides you with an informative way of communicating and drives interactions that improves outcomes and delivers the results you require.
At CFH we help you take control of the delivery of all types of communications, making sure you are accessible on every channel and in every format. If you would like to discuss your communication requirements and how the Consumer Duty Principle relates to you get in touch and one of our experts will be happy to help.