Is Consumer Duty helping brands to connect the communication dots?

Wednesday 15th February 2023

woman playing with structural toy

Here, there, and everywhere – call centres, operational teams, legal and risk departments – thousands of key customer communications are created by siloed teams working way outside the world of marketing and brand.  

These ‘non-marketing’ comms about changes to terms and conditions, fee increases and much more, make up the crucial everyday experience of any financial brand. In fact, they can account for around 80% of the communications customers receive.  

So, gaining control and consistency of them is crucial, not only for customer loyalty and revenue, but in order to meet the expectations of the FCA’s new Consumer Duty.  

They are often produced by legacy systems that restrict good design. And may be written by colleagues who are not as experienced with customer facing content as their marketing counterparts. This can lead to a lack of consistency and quality, but more importantly, prevent some customers from making good financial decisions.  


Empowering disparate teams to create consistently great comms   

This is easier said than done if you don’t know how many different communications are being created, who’s creating them, and what systems they’re using to do it.  

The key is to start with an audit. To get visibility of what you have. Then create a robust set of Communication Principles that can be applied to the planning, design and content of your specific range of communication types.

Informed by customer research and behavioural insight these principles will enable teams to deliver communications that support customers in pursuing their financial objectives and help them to avoid potential harm – exactly what is required under Consumer Duty.  

Where are you on the ‘Communication Principles’ maturity scale? 

In our experience most financial brands seem to fall into one of three categories when it comes to specific guidance for planning, designing and writing ‘non-marketing’ comms.  

If the only guidelines for design and writing communications sit within much broader brand and tone of voice guidelines, they are often simply not granular enough for the specifics of ‘non-marketing’ communications.  

For anyone creating these often complex and regulatory communications the creation of a set of Communication Principles is essential.  

It’s rare for the marketing team to be responsible for the delivery of all ‘non-marketing’ comms. So even if they have access to a great set of Communication Principles, there will be many other siloed operational teams creating comms that don’t.  

An engaging and effective rollout, including training sessions, in-house ‘Champions’ and ongoing support is what’s needed to take this good foundation further. 

In reality, only a few brands fall into this category. But now, thanks to Consumer Duty, even they will need to take another look at their approach.   

Expectations for customer communications are high within Consumer Duty, so even the best Communication Principles will need to be enhanced and extra guidance given to the teams creating them – no matter where they sit in the business.  


Transforming the regulated comms experience 

At Signal our powerful blend of consulting, insight, behavioural science and leading CX technology helps regulated brands navigate this shift from siloed customer communications management to connected customer experience management.  

Get in touch to learn more and to explore how we can help support your response to Consumer Duty.