Treating customers fairly

Treat others as you’d expect to be treated yourself

Treating customers fairly is at the heart of every business. But it’s particularly important in the financial services industry and it’s an area you can’t cut corners in. After all, the success of your business depends on your customers sticking with you and recommending you to their family and friends. And they’ll only do that if they feel that you understand their needs and do everything you can to meet them.

We firmly believe that the way to achieve changes and improvements in the way your people treat your customers is to tap into their experiences and get them to understand why this is so important, rather than just what they need to do.

So, although there are specific outcomes that the Financial Services Authority uses to define customer fairness, these aren’t the best place to start. Instead, why not get your people to put themselves on the other side of the fence: ask them to think of a company that they are a customer of and then ask them what they’d expect from that company. It’s not rocket science – generally speaking, customers want:

  • To be treated with respect, fairness and honesty by a company
  • To receive clear, accurate and relevant information in any dealings with a company (not too many T&Cs and no unpleasant surprises hidden in the small print)
  • To be able to change products or providers, or make a complaint or suggestion, easily
  • To get what they pay for – to receive products or services that perform as the company has said they willThen ask them what they would do if the company didn’t meet these expectations. The answer is probably that they’d take their custom elsewhere.

Taking this approach means that your people very quickly realise what treating customers fairly is all about, why it matters to the customer and in turn how it affects the business. Only then should you move on to explain the detail of the regulations, your internal policies and procedures and what they should and shouldn’t do when dealing with customers. The result is training that strikes a chord with your learners, something they’ll remember and go on to put into practice.

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