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How your FS business can reduce costs in a high inflation environment

Global inflation rates have been consistently on the rise over the past year. The high inflation is driven by high energy prices, issues in supply chains and an increase in consumer demand. While focus has been largely on the effect this is having on the general population, there are also ramifications on businesses, particularly those within the financial services sector.

In a high inflation environment, financial firms often see a decrease in efficiency. This is brought on by an increased number of vulnerable customers that need to be managed. Coupled with decreasing margins, it can become a very tight environment for companies to operate in.

In times like this, it is more important than ever to take a look at your operating model and how you can make it more efficient. One key solution is to review which of your company’s processes could be improved upon by using automation tools. These types of software can be vital in allowing you to lower your total cost base, while also increasing your visibility and coverage, providing additional insight that can help you to scale up your overall performance and decrease regulatory scrutiny.

AI-driven automation software is designed to blend machine learning with human expertise, automating the mundane and augmenting the human. Through the automatic machine assessment of your client interactions, you are provided with a rich source of data to feedback into your product and service development, agent training and overall improvement of your customer experience.

The FCA has been particularly focused on the level of service to customers who are considered vulnerable, especially with this number set to increase when the cost of living continues to rise this year. Automatic machine assessment of all your calls means that any which fall into a higher risk category can be automatically triaged to assessors for review, channeling staff activity to the highest value tasks. In a high inflation operating environment, this is crucial. Compounding this with the fact that the FCA is demanding data-first evidence of good outcomes for customers across an entire lifecycle of a product and services, technology suddenly goes from being a ‘nice to have’ to crucial.

In practical terms, we see firms having limited choices here:

  1. They can decide to do nothing and carry on under their existing operating model dealing with inflation and regulatory challenges when they become untenable.
  2. Firms can throw headcount at the problem, growing QA teams to increase coverage to meet regulatory expectations and the fallout of high inflation.
  3. Start automating the QA process to achieve complete coverage, ensure agents are focused on the highest value activities and ensure comprehensive risk oversight and evidence for the regulator.

Typical Quality Assurance processes are often costly and inefficient, with only 1-2% of customer interactions typically assessed on a regular basis. By introducing an automated platform, this can be increased to 100%, saving your QA team valuable time and allowing them to focus their efforts in other areas.

This combination of tools can be crucial when it comes to lowering your costs and continuing to provide help and advice to your customers at a satisfactory level.

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