The Customer Service department is one of the key units of a company in the investment services industry. Having a well-designed Customer Service Department can inspire customer and brand loyalty. The Customer Service department within a Cyprus Investment Firm (CIF) is responsible for providing fair and clear information about financial products and services to clients while maintaining a strong compliance culture.
Throughout this blog post, the Institute’s instructor, Eliana Hadjimichael, introduces you to the important duties and responsibilities of the Customer Service department, the Customer Service best practices and the Customer Service role in maintaining compliance with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations and Complaint Handling procedures.
At the end of the post, Eliana provides a comprehensive outline of the information gained in this area by the completion of her Mastering the Customer Service Experience course, available through the IforPE platform.
What are the key duties and responsibilities of the Customer Service department?
Customer Service (CS) is a department which is responsible for communicating with clients daily and providing information on the investment and ancillary services and the financial instruments offered by the CIF and Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) regulated entities.
The CS department’s main responsibility is to effectively handle existing and potential clients through chat, phone, and email communication. Customer Service agents are required to possess important knowledge and competence to efficiently manage beginner, advanced and professional clients. Furthermore, Customer Service agents are responsible for resolving trading and technical issues, collecting and evaluating customer feedback, and handling client complaints.
Customer Service Best Practices
To achieve exceptional Customer Service, CS agents need to:
- Know the product
- Know the client
- Deliver a personalized and customized service
- Maintain clear record keeping
- Ensure a strong compliance culture
What is the role of Customer Service in complaint handling?
The CS department is responsible for informing the Compliance Officer of all complaints received through CS. The Customer Service Manager could be appointed to monitor and report complaints to the Compliance Officer and shall keep records of all complaints to ensure effective communication with the Compliance department. To proactively avoid complaints, CS needs to always go the extra mile in providing accurate information about all the products and services of the CIF and clearly explain the procedures and guidelines to always ensure transparency.
The responsibilities of CS in AML regulations
All Customer Service agents need to know the role of the AML Compliance Officer to whom they report any information or suspicion regarding money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF). Furthermore, CS agents need to be able to recognize and flag activities and transactions related to ML/TF. Also, CS agents need to effectively handle situations when they are asked by the Compliance Officer to communicate with clients to assess and obtain information about the purpose of the business relationship the client wants to establish with the company.
What is the Mastering the Customer Service Experience course and what does it include?
The Mastering the Customer Service Experience course has been developed and delivered by Eliana Hadjimichael, a Senior Customer Service Specialist at a leading online CFD broker.
This course aims to provide Customer Support agents with knowledge of their duties and the important functions of the Customer Support department in the financial industry. The course covers compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulatory framework, how CS professionals can detect suspicious activity, and provides practical examples for effectively handling communications with customers.
The course aims to educate Customer Support professionals working at Cyprus Investment Firms Crypto-Asset Services Providers (CASP), and other CySEC regulated entities.
Completing this course will help you attain essential knowledge of the important role that Customer Support plays and will help you gain competencies to enhance the procedures and policies to effectively communicate information to clients regarding financial products, regulations, and procedures.
The syllabus of the Mastering the Customer Service Experience course includes:
- What is Customer Service?
- What is Customer Service?
- Information provided to clients
- The Customer Service Department
- Duties and Responsibilities
- Organizational Requirements
- CIF Obligations & Circular C181
- Interaction with other Departments
- Required Knowledge and Competence of Customer Support agents
- Knowledge & Competence of CS agents
- Providing information about financial products
- How can CS acquire knowledge and competence
- The fundamentals of an exceptional Customer Service
- Customer Service best practices
- The importance of exceptional Customer Service
- Complaints Handling & CySEC Circular C338
- Complaints Policy
- Responsible Persons
- Complaints' Internal Register
- Responding to the Complainant
- Monthly Complaints Report
- Financial Ombudsman & Complaints regarding CIF to CySEC
- How can Customer Service proactively avoid complaints
- Example of Clients' Complaints
- Practical examples
- How to handle "difficult" clients
- What is a "difficult" client in the investments industry?
- How can Customer Service handle difficult clients?
- AML - identifying suspicious activity and behaviour
- What is Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing?
- What consists of suspicious activity and behaviour
- CIF's and Employees' Obligations
- Reporting Procedure
- The Tipping-off offence
- CS communication in case of a suspicious activity
- How to create a healthy CS department & CySEC Circular C181
- Cultivating efficient communication
- Ensuring knowledge and competence
- Monitoring of CS activities
- Talent Management
The material of theMastering the Customer Service Experience course is available in PDF slides and online video recordings, ideal for self-paced learning. Learners registering for this course have the flexibility to learn wherever and whenever.
Moreover, learners have the opportunity to test their knowledge upon completion of the course through a set of questions based on the course material.
Lastly, the completion of this course counts towards the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) annual requirements of professionals, holders of the CySEC Advanced and Basic certifications.
If you have any questions about Eliana's course or any other questions related to your training requirements, please contact us; we would love to help.