Engaging with your client
Overview of the client engagement process - Part 1
“Courteous treatment will make a customer a walking advertisement” James Cash Penny
In our current business environment, how the customer experiences your business or organisation is of vital importance and may be seen as one of the most important marketing tools.
To create a positive customer experience it is important that your organisation have a strategy or process when it comes to client or customer engagement. Client engagement refers to the business interaction between a client and an organisation through various mediums of communication.
In the financial services industry, financial services providers are required to demonstrate that they deliver the following treating customers fairly outcomes when engaging with customers, namely that:
“Customers are provided with clear information and kept appropriately informed before, during and after the point of sale;
Where advice is given, it is suitable and takes account of customer circumstances;
Products perform as firms have led customers to expect, and the service is of an acceptable standard and as they have been led to expect”
The General Code of Conduct for authorised financial services providers and representatives(“The General Code of Conduct” further guides financial Services providers and representatives on how to engage or act towards their clients throughout the process of rendering financial services.
In the financial industry the client engagement process usually consists of the following steps or actions :
Over the next couple of weeks, we shall publish a series of articles on the client engagement process, and have a closer look at the provisions of the General Code of Conduct as it relates to the client engagement process such as:
Certain specific duties of a provider;
The information a Financial services provider is required to provide a client;
Contacting of the client; and
The furnishing of advice.
In the process of rendering financial services to a client, the financial services provider has to meet certain general criteria for contacting the client and for making representations and supplying information to the client.
Section 6(a) of the General Code of Conduct lays down the foundation for contact with the client and states that when an FSP or representative makes contact with the client( whether it is personal contact, communications through e-mail or telephone) or any dealing, the FSP or representative must act in an honourable and professional manner towards the client and taking into account the convenience of the client.
Section 3(1) of the General Code of Conduct described the criteria when an FSP make representatives or provides information to a client. Representations or information must:
In plain language and easy to understand;
Be sufficient and appropriate according to the clients level of knowledge about the products and services;
Be provided in a timeous manner in order for the client to take some time to make an informed decision about the proposed transaction;
When made orally be confirmed in writing within a reasonable time after the client makes the request to receive it in writing;
When in writing be clear and readable;
Indicate specific monetary terms for all amounts, sums, values, charges, fees, remuneration or monetary obligations mentioned or referred to therein and payable to the product supplier or the provider;
Basis of the calculation for monetary obligations etc;
Not be duplicated or repeated unless there are material or changes affecting the client.