Introducing: customer-centred assurance


Commission an impartial, research-led evaluation of your customer journeys and services – to strengthen your Consumer Duty conversations with the FCA.

⬇️ Download cxpartners' customer-centred assurance pack


With supervision finally underway, perhaps you're excited to show the FCA how far your Financial Services firm has travelled on its journey to embed the Consumer Duty.

Or maybe, the blinds are closed and you're down behind the sofa at the first hint of footsteps on the driveway.

All firms waiting for that knock at the door are asking themselves this: "Have we done enough?".

Will you be able to demonstrate the step change you’ve made from "paying due regard to fairness" to "acting to deliver good outcomes"?

Can you show how you've "put yourselves in your customers’ shoes"?

Some were sceptical when the FCA asserted that the Consumer Duty would require firms to do things differently. But early enforcement action suggests it means business.

For example, it seems that firms can't rely on retention rates as evidence of good outcomes. And we know already that popular quantitative satisfaction metrics such as NPS leave blindspots. They reveal little about customers' perspectives, motivations, or vulnerabilities.

So, the supervisor will likely be eager to see how you’ve embraced additional new ways to identify and mitigate risks of consumer harm. That's where qualitative research comes in.

Rigorous qualitative research is uniquely suited to key aspects of the Consumer Duty's cross-cutting rules and outcomes, especially:

  • Credibly testing consumer understanding
  • Understanding the hidden needs of your target audience
  • Identifying unforeseen risks of harm, especially to vulnerable consumers

New regulation requires a new approach to assurance

So, have you done enough?

Firms can’t be seen to mark their own homework. To strengthen their conversations with the regulator, many commission independent assurance.

Remember, the Consumer Duty requires firms to do things differently. Traditional quantitative metrics aren't sufficient, and traditional approaches to assurance may no longer be either.

Rather than relying on legal expertise and subjective critique, cxpartners uses qualitative user research to provide a customer-centred evaluation of user journeys and services.

The customer perspective that cx brings is really important.
Ed Smith, Head of Competition Policy, FCA (speaking at a cxpartners webinar)

cxpartners' customer-centred assurance will shine a light on your blindspots

It gives you a richer understanding of customers' perspectives, their motivations, and their vulnerabilities. 

  • Walk “in your customers’ shoes”, using rigorous qualitative research methods
  • Fill the blindspots left by quantitative data and expert review
  • Impartial, evidence-based findings
  • Evaluate your user-journeys against the tricky consumer understanding and consumer support outcomes
  • Evidence where and how your journeys effectively support customers 
  • Gain insights that resolve areas of contention
  • Identify opportunities for improvement 

We can focus on key requirements such as consumer understanding, or specific areas of concern. The findings may support your position, or provide insights that help you to improve.

It's never too late

Even though the implementation deadline has passed, new insights should be something to welcome. That's because the FCA wants to see that you're meaningfully engaged in a process of continuous improvement – a message that was repeated on 1st November:

Firms need to make sure they are learning and improving continuously and must be able to evidence this in their annual board report.
Nisha Arora, Director of Cross Cutting Policy and Strategy, FCA

Why cxpartners?

1. Impartial and evidence-based

It's important that assurance is impartial, unburdened by the knowledge of how a solution was designed or the politics behind it. cxpartners' customer-centred approach further reduces subjectivity and biases because findings are derived from rigorous qualitative research.

“You have delivered rich client insight data that puts us way above our peers and made it really easy for us to align future changes to client needs.”
Consumer Duty Programme Manager

2. Qualitative research experts

Since 2004 we’ve designed services with cancer patients, survivors of domestic abuse, and people who have experienced a mental health crisis. We’ve honed specialist methods for rigorously testing comprehension and safely working with vulnerable populations.

I’ve worked with a lot of digital agencies and I haven’t seen anyone do service design with this level of discipline - in setting metrics, ideating, prioritising, and testing.
Francis Bacon, Digital Programme Manager, Samaritans

3. Domain knowledge

Our specialist FS team is united by our mission to help people make better financial decisions.

That sense of purpose drives us to understand the challenges facing firms and consumers within the sector. It means our consultants spot issues that others would miss, and can help you to fix them quickly.

We needed a partner who really understood the regulation and as well as they understood the user.
Stephen Allen, Head of Design,


Have you done enough?

cxpartners' Financial Services team can help you to answer that question.

Drop Stu a line:

Or read more about our research-led approach to Consumer Duty.

Stu leads a team of experience designers who solve knotty, systemic problems for our clients in Financial Services – delighting their customers and making the regulator happy.