Q: How can recording advice conversations benefit your company?
A: According to the Financial Conduct Authority, advisers who record their conversations with customers see improved outcomes and better advice. However, this can seem like a big practical and financial step, especially for smaller companies.
But we have seen technology playing an increasingly crucial part in embedding conduct risk management and compliance culture in firms.
Many of our clients are using the monitoring capabilities of recordings and are seeing true commercial benefits in return.
After all, when you connect the dots, there is a clear line between what is good for compliance and what is good for your bottom line.
The subject of recording client interactions has resurfaced recently, with Debbie Gupta, director of life insurance and financial advice supervision at the FCA, discussing the benefits at a recent conference as part of a speech on raising the standards of financial advice.
There are clear advantages for the customer. A more accurate picture of your client facilitates better advice. And you cannot be much more accurate than a verbatim record of what was said and how.
You can clearly empathise with them and understand their position. Plus, practically speaking, you can have a better conversation when you are not preoccupied with scribbling notes.
Obviously better outcomes for clients, and a more enjoyable experience, are far more likely to keep them coming back to and recommending your firm.
Our clients who record their advice conversations find it invaluable for complaints. Not only does it prove they were doing the right thing, it also gives valuable context to explain the recommendations made.
When it comes to the Senior Managers and Certification Regime, recordings can help you demonstrate accurately how you are managing risks.
And when technology is strengthening your internal controls and processes, it is a weight off the minds of senior managers who are ultimately responsible. The larger your company, the more you can gather insights.
It is hard to ensure your team of advisers are delivering according to your company and regulatory standards, particularly if they are geographically spread out.
By analysing the recorded conversations, you open up a world of data that focuses training, identifies customer detriment and even helps you improve your customer experience, making you even more competitive.
What’s more, it has never been easier.
Quality recording equipment is now a part of most smartphones and there are plenty of options that make it an affordable possibility for even the smallest firms.
And who knows – as recording technology becomes more accessible and easier to use, and if customers continue to benefit, it might not be too long before the regulator formalises its gentle suggestion into a formal requirement.
Mike Park is chief executive of compliance firm TCC