Every customer expects good customer service – especially as business is now predominantly digital and consumers have everything at their fingertips.

Customers today want to receive:

1. high-quality information before, during and after the point of sale;

2. products and services that perform as advertised;

3. accurate, informed advice;

4. and the ability to access any product or service without restriction.

Being able to deliver services orientated around the above expectations has become absolutely essential for firms. In today’s world, good customer service and fair treatment of customers goes a long way towards helping firms to establish themselves, create brand awareness and build customer trust.

Customer service treatment survey on a tablet

Since the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) took over regulation of consumer credit from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) on 01 April 2014, it has been pushing such practices, encouraging regulated consumer credit firms to do more and better for their customers through the Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) initiative.

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So what is the Treating Customers Fairly initiative?

The TCF initiative is an outcomes-based regulatory and supervisory approach designed to ensure regulated financial firms deliver fair and just services and meet the needs of customers.

The initiative is comprised of the following six ‘consumer outcomes’ – outcomes we follow to the letter:

  • Consumers can be confident they are dealing with firms where the fair treatment of customers is central to the corporate culture
  • Products and services marketed and sold in the retail market are designed to meet the needs of identified consumer groups and are targeted accordingly
  • Consumers are provided with clear information and kept appropriately informed before, during and after the point of sale
  • Where consumers receive advice, the advice is suitable and takes account of their circumstances
  • Consumers are provided with products that perform as firms have led them to expect, and the associated service is of an acceptable standard and as they have been led to expect
  • Consumers do not face unreasonable post-sale barriers imposed by firms to change product, switch provider, submit a claim or make a complaint

The FCA believes that these principles should be integral to any business’ culture and that TCF is a continuous process, not just something that ‘firms can implement and then forget about’.

TCF is also a legal requirement; any financial services firm found to be treating customers unfairly or conducting their activities in a way that is detrimental to the customer could find themselves facing financial penalties. TCF and other regulations introduced by the FCA have no doubt changed the financial services market for the better.

But why is it important to treat customers fairly?

Customer satisfaction and approval have tremendous benefits – more so now than ever before.  Customer feedback is often conducive to a firm’s reputation and success; customers are actively online using review platforms, social media channels and other digital methods to find out more about financial firms.

If firms are able to meet the expectations and needs of their customers, naturally those customers will share that experience – potentially recommending it to others online or offline – which will help to raise the firm’s profile.

All of this starts with treating customers fairly and ensuring the six consumer outcomes outlined by the FCA are met at every juncture and remain central to business culture. As firms continue to treat customers with respect and transparency, they will instil confidence in customers in general. These practices must not be implemented as an afterthought but instead be embedded within the firm’s foundation.

What do we do to fulfil the FCA’s expectations?

Since our inception in 2004, our customers have been at the heart of our firm. We are committed to helping our customers make informed borrowing decisions and borrow responsibly – and to that end, we empower our customers by providing them with all the information they need in relation to our loans.

We work both positively and sympathetically with customers experiencing financial difficulties, and they can rest assured that they will receive honest, clear information; be kept up to date before, during and after any point of sale; receive suitable advice that takes their circumstances into account; and receive products that perform as promised and with associated services of an acceptable standard.

Furthermore, our customer service is second to none. We provide regular, ongoing training for all of our call centre advisors to ensure consistently high customer service standards. In addition, we have quality assurance programmes in place to maintain and improve our customer service and highly trained, experienced advisors to help support customers.

Our customers will never be faced with unreasonable post-sale barriers – such as demands to switch providers or change products – or be unable to make a complaint or submit a claim.

As a result of our customer service practices, we have become one of the most established and reliable lenders in the market (if you want to know how to choose a reliable lender, check out our blog) and have a history of responsible lending. We always evaluate customer circumstances on a case-by-case basis to ensure every single customer is treated fairly and appropriately.

Considering applying for a payday loan with Uncle Buck but have questions? Download our eBook to help you make an informed decision.

Top 10 FAQs about applying for a short-term cash loan at Uncle Buck