Business Transformation for Brilliant Customer Communications

Tuesday 7th November 2023

Brilliant customer comms


The Financial Services community has woken up to the reality that customer communications matter – and cannot be delivered side of desk, across disparate departments using fragmented technology. Leaders now recognise customer comms management as a business-critical discipline, in need of strategic transformation.  

Consumer Duty has thrust customer communications into the spotlight, with firms now managing very different Communications Risk Policies. For many the work preparing for Consumer Duty was just a pre-cursor to the changes required to transform communications. In this blog, we introduce the three building blocks and four key pillars required for successful comms transformation, which we will explore further at our upcoming event the Business Transformation for Brilliant Customer Comms.

1. Build aspiration and purpose

Ownership of communications strategy and transformation needs to be at C-Suite level, by those responsible for customer, brand, and experience. This might seem like an obvious point, but we often see a reactive strategy at best – with dispersed responsibilities; IT in control; document centric processes; a lack of visibility; long cycle times, legacy tech and an over reliance on outsourcers.

The first step is to align on a clear definition of the customer experience you want to deliver – one which centres on company purpose and brand promise. Then translate this into business value. Once the comms experiences with the greatest potential impact on customers have been identified, leaders must pinpoint the processes and technology capabilities needed to substantially reimagine them. And consolidate this into a robust programme road map.  

2. Leadership for transformation

Whilst executives can successfully develop the blueprint for comms transformation, there’s often an ownership and implementation gap. Communications BAU is often side of desk without the leadership to own and drive transformation.

What’s needed is a centre of expertise, where leaders have the skills to develop customer first comms strategies; architect process redesign; bring knowledge of systems that complement/enhance existing tech stacks and develop experience design competency through training & partnerships.

The most successful communications transformations look and feel very different to BAU – the skills aren’t new in financial services – it’s simply a case of applying them to customer communications.

3. Enable the transformation

Implementing improved communications means building capability across 4 key pillars:

  1. Customer-First Mindsets: Product, service, marketing, and operations teams all need to feel confident they have the necessary skills and tools to deliver the best possible communications experience for customers. Being clear on the sweet spot between brand promise, Tone of Voice and regulatory best practice is key.
  2. Integrated Technology Stack: To deliver exceptional omnichannel communications, technology needs to be well integrated within the existing enterprise architecture. And to get in front of the barriers to transformation firms need to ensure the customer experience is understood holistically and that systems can share data.
  3. Agile Operating Model and Governance Structure: Creating a shared CX service in control for all communications involves transitioning the Operating Model and Governance Structure. Therefore, it is critical that comms transformation teams have the autonomy to define the Target Operating Model, with agile decision-making processes and formal decision rights to manage the transition.
  4. Performance Management: Insight and performance management are the foundation of good communications. AI driven testing and monitoring needs to sit alongside traditional testing, and effective communications journey management is required for firms to meet customer need across the whole lifecycle.

We go on to explore each of these four key pillars, the first of which can be found here: Customer-First Mindsets