Last week the Information Commissioner’s office announced that it had fined four companies making nuisance calls to numbers registered with the Preference Phone Service (TPS) totaling nearly £ half a million. It is against the law to make marketing calls to numbers that have been registered with TPS for more than 28 days unless people have given their consent.

The companies in question were found to have made a staggering 2.4 million illegal calls between them. These fines are a welcome reminder that companies that are still using nuisance calls as part of their customer communications strategy will have repercussions even after cracking down on PPI calls and when people have taken targeted action to log into TPS protect.

Now that we’ve hit 2021 and a third national lockdown, more consumers are trapped at home and on the verge of possible news. It is more important than ever that companies communicate responsibly. How can financial sector workers ensure that their conversations with clients are constructive and stress-relieved?

It doesn’t just stop at checking TPS lists. Other examples of communications that frustrate consumers include banks ignoring personal preferences by calling during work hours or insurers sharing new terms and conditions through the mail rather than email. Companies risk losing their customers’ goodwill due to poor communication and need to think about the bigger picture. The question shouldn’t be whether to call or not, but are you as customer-centric as possible? When financial organizations successfully take into account their experience, they avoid complaints and build secure, long-term relationships with their clients.

Even consumers who agree to be contacted are irritated if their bank cannot provide the information they want on the channel they have requested when they want to. Therefore, customer communication teams need to lay the foundations and proactively ask new customers about their contact preferences from the start. You also need to ensure that important details like customers’ preferred channels and the most convenient time of day are being logged in a safe and efficient manner. When this information is made available to all departments that interact with customers, the contact stays consistent, relevant, and useful. Companies that fail to do this risk inflicting unnecessary stress, greater reputational damage, and competitive advantage on their customers.