Business Continuity Financial Services SDL

Supporting the Business Continuity Challenge in Financial Services

Recent events have rapidly escalated the subject of business continuity up the priority list in all sectors of the financial services industry. The preparedness of organizations providing either B2B or B2C services has been severely challenged by the unprecedented pace of changing events – and the finance sector has had a particularly high profile both in terms of bearing the impact of volatile markets and conversely in the accelerated activation of support to consumers and businesses suffering from the crisis.
There is no shortage of opinion on all media channels right now as to how businesses should respond to the continuity challenge! We are not here to provide all the answers to that conundrum either. But we do have many years of experience, through good times as well as bad, in providing practical solutions to the language and content challenges of financial institutions weathering their own storms of uncertainty.

Crisis communications and investor relations

  • Speed, accuracy and openness are critical to successful crisis communications – and organizations are judged on the extent to which they fulfill these when communicating with their numerous stakeholder audiences. Further to these though, the longer a crisis goes on, the more pressure there will be to keep communications regular, honest and consistent. Add to this the need to ensure that audiences worldwide are communicated to in the same way and at the same time – and in their own language – and you have the challenging task of global co-ordination. As a long-term provider of language services and technology to the industry, we are expert in balancing the needs of providers and their customers, wherever they are in the world. We have teams of security-certified translators, providing pure linguistic services as well as optimizing the output from our machine translation platforms. Their subject matter expertise is especially critical in times of crisis when sensitive content needs to be delivered into global markets quickly but with the utmost accuracy and consistency.
  • Our people skills also include an appreciation of the cultural nuances of communication too; studies exist that support the pairing of crisis communication strategies with the cultural expectations of varied audiences. By paying greater attention to the multicultural elements of communications, not solely language, businesses also allow themselves improved empathy with customers and are better prepared for the challenges of global markets.

Not forgetting internal communications

  • It is no less important to communicate to internal audiences too. Employees are the voice and backbone of the company; ensuring that they are informed, onboard and aligned with the direction of the business is especially vital in times of crisis. This ensures that not only are customer service standards consistently upheld but also that the concerns of employees are fully appreciated, allowing their anxieties to be appropriately managed.

Reducing risk and maximizing resilience

  • Service interference is inevitable in a crisis but the risk to businesses and individuals must be mitigated whatever the situation. This is not just an operational imperative but a regulated requirement; despite some recent relaxation of timeframes and guidelines from regulators, responsibilities to customers, markets and industry bodies remain. Our secure solutions for managing content, streamlining translation workflows and delivering critical content to users form the foundation for ideal information governance practice and support global compliance initiatives.

Operational continuity challenges

  • Operations like desktop publishing (DTP) and testing services have been disrupted by the interruption in business outsourcing stability. We are responding to the need to fill gaps in response to increased uncertainty, activating our delivery teams across 11 countries globally to step up to the challenge. This has involved ensuring that communications continue to be delivered on-brand, with high quality design and consistency regardless of language while digital assets, apps and channels are tested for functional and linguistic precision prior to release.

In practical terms, we partner with financial services providers globally to:
  • Maintain communications with their customers at a time when their customers most need to hear from them.
  • Optimize the customer experience so that service is maintained regardless of location, language, culture or channel.
  • Streamline content processes in front, middle and back office environments to ensure that business-as-usual is upheld and communications are the least of our customers’ concerns

Moreover, life does return to normal. The idea of business-as-usual may actually be different after a crisis but opportunities will arise in the form of new financial products and services, changing customer needs and market consolidation. And providers that are best prepared for changing eventualities, new norms and updated regulations are the most likely to capitalize on the recovery.

We also provide support for business continuity in the Legal sector – find out more by reading our recent blog on the subject here

Finally, SDL has implemented its own business continuity plan in response to recent events – you can see the details of that here as well as being able to view the recording of a recent executive webinar that we hosted.