Today enterprises have access to a large number of solutions for capturing and archiving messages. But not all of these solutions are created equal. Some are dependent on technological shortcuts or reverse engineering that make them susceptible to crashing and failing if messaging platforms change their operational code. These solutions also become irrelevant when support for new messaging apps is needed and when legislation changes.
In order to protect enterprises, the only responsible approach is one that looks at the big-picture and addresses compliance from an all-encompassing, A to Z standpoint.
Mobile messaging for brands: no longer optional
Customer expectations are higher than ever, and what were once bells-and-whistles features are now par for the course. In order to remain relevant, companies must focus on giving their customers a stellar customer experience — and instant messaging is a major part of that. 69 percent of consumers say that they prefer speaking with businesses via mobile messaging rather than traditional calls. To make sure that customers walk away feeling good, rather than frustrated, after interacting with your brand, you need to make your business accessible in the ways that are most comfortable for your clients.
In today’s highly competitive market landscape, where customer success is tied to everything from churn rates to a business’ bottom line, creating an open line of communication between a company and its clients is mission critical. And with significant numbers of consumers in a wide array of sectors, from retail to B2B to banking, stating that they prefer communicating with businesses via text and instant messaging, companies need to provide messaging options that are far more advanced than “press 2 for customer service” telephone menus. Above all, messaging needs to be immediate, flexible, and personalized.
From an internal-facing company perspective, the new normal has meant hybrid or strictly remote working. What was once standard – entire teams being physically present in the office on the same day – has become a rare event. Mobile messaging solutions have become a critical tool for easing business operations, enabling teams to work effectively, managers to delegate tasks and monitor subordinates, and colleagues to exchange ideas when they’re not physically together. Whether they’re communicating via internal platforms like Slack or more general platforms like SMS or Facebook Messenger, a wide variety of messaging channels have filled the gaps created by physical distance.
The problem is that these new forms of business communications come with major risks that can spell disaster for everything from a company’s legal standing to costly fines and irreparable harm to customer trust.
SEC and FINRA’s multi-million dollar fines, plus reputational damage: the stakes are higher than ever
It’s clear that enterprise communications have evolved, and both customers and employees have expressed a strong willingness and even preference to use instant messaging apps for business-related conversations. But some companies are wary of permitting their teams to leverage these platforms, fearing severe consequences stemming from data leaks, regulatory crackdowns, and compliance failures.
In many regulated industries, like banking, any and all business communications both between teams and from the company to the client are required to be permanently stored or saved for a long period of time. But in a world where a few taps can erase a WhatsApp conversation, or a lost device can mean that a conversation is missing-in-action, it’s incredibly easy for businesses to slide out of compliance.
The FINRA, SEC, CFTC and other regulatory bodies have signaled that they’re ready to aggressively investigate, pursue, and even penalize companies that they suspect are not adhering to their compliance standards. And no company, no matter how large or well-established, is immune to the consequences of compliance failures. Case in point: global finance industry titan Deutsche Bank recently warned its employees not to delete WhatsApp messages amid growing regulatory scrutiny.
The penalties for not staying in compliance when it comes to communications are harsh. Fines worth hundreds of millions of dollars, nosediving trust from investors and customers, and irreparable damage to brand reputation are just a few of the earth-shaking consequences for companies that don’t take enterprise communications compliance seriously. It’s understandable that some companies believe the best strategy is to avoid instant messaging platforms entirely — but the truth is that they’re cheating themselves out of a critical opportunity to connect with their customers where they’re the most engaged and responsive.
Although it’s clear that these mobile messaging platforms come with inherent risks, the reality is that they are necessary for both the day-to-day functioning of companies and strengthening bonds with customers and clients.
At this point, telling enterprises to avoid using WhatsApp, Telegram, or iMessage for work-related matters is equivalent to recommending that they use fax as their primary method of business communication. Companies that don’t reach out to customers using these platforms, or allow their teams to communicate with each other on these channels, are putting themselves at a major disadvantage.
The next step is finding a compliance-focused solution that will record and store business conversations. But finding the right solution to safeguard your enterprise isn’t always straightforward.
Patchwork solutions won’t cut it
Enterprises have access to a large number of solutions for capturing and archiving messages that are currently on the market. But not all of these solutions are created equal. Some are dependent on technological shortcuts or reverse engineering, which means that they rely on a reactive, rather than proactive, strategy towards saving messages. Application wrappers and web scraping are often effective at capturing written and multimedia messages, but are susceptible to crashing and failing if platforms change their operational code or APIs, and may become irrelevant if legislative changes.
While this type of “putting out fires” approach can see you through a transitional period, it’s inevitable that critical errors will slip through the cracks. It could be anything from an adjustment to your region’s legal requirements around the length of time business conversations must be saved, to an internal coding edit within a popular messaging platform that renders your compliance solution obsolete. The ways that changes out of your company’s control that could disrupt your reverse-engineering, patchwork compliance strategy are infinitesimal.
In order to protect your business in the face of both rapidly shifting security threats and ever-evolving legislation, you need an approach that looks at the big-picture and addresses compliance from an all-encompassing, A to Z standpoint.
Tweaking and adjusting your strategy in a patchwork fashion is simply unsustainable, as you’d need to be constantly vigilant and up-to-date on everything from API changes within the messaging platforms used by your business to macro-level legal rulings and new precedents.
If you’re planning a business communications compliance strategy for long-term financial services and other highly regulated industries, you need a banded approach. Partnering with holistic-focused companies that work directly with messaging service providers and use only their official, approved business APIs is the best way to ensure you choose the right responsible messaging solution for your enterprise. You need a solution that can grow with your company, and only a holistic provider can give you a robust and scalable unified messaging platform.
Look for platforms that don’t depend on backdoor workarounds and a hodgepodge of tweaks that are rolled out with each new development or change to a messaging service’s APIs. In order to properly protect your business in the event of a regulatory crackdown, legal dispute, or customer misunderstanding, you need a big picture solution that creates a comprehensive digital record of all business communications that covers all your bases from the start.
Lean on the best of breed
LeapXpert’s Federated Messaging Orchestration Platform (FMOP™) is an interoperable, mobile-first solution that provides unparalleled visibility into data from instant messaging applications. It provides enterprises a comprehensive overview of all internal and external business communications, creating an accessible digital record that keeps companies in compliance and enables monitoring of conversations involving the exchange of sensitive information. The state-of-the-art technological solution ensures that businesses aren’t kept in the dark when it comes to business conversations that take place across messaging applications. By enabling record-keeping in real-time, LeapXpert empowers companies with the ability to pull relevant information whenever needed.
Monitoring and securing your information is of the utmost importance, and a platform that tracks data across multiple channels is the key to safely lock in data. Employees no longer have to juggle recordkeeping between multiple platforms – the solution provides a single source of truth that encompasses all company communications. It’s also intuitive and easy-to-use, so teams won’t struggle with adoption.
LeapXpert’s platform covers the world’s most popular messaging apps, actively preventing scenarios in which siloed information leads to knowledge or compliance gaps. Seamless integration with an enterprise’s existing IT infrastructure streamlines implementation, so companies can reap the benefits of the technology quickly.
For companies in regulated industries, non-compliance isn’t an option, and pleading ignorance isn’t an acceptable excuse nor is banning the world’s most popular messaging apps. Regulatory bodies are vigorously targeting businesses that have allowed the shift to work from home and hybrid work muddy the waters around communication. It’s up to enterprises to secure their communication channels, or risk long-term damage that could dramatically change the course of their future.
Many banks and financial institutions in over 45 countries with tens of thousands of employees across North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific have already taken action by deploying an enterprise solution for compliant communication with personal messaging apps. Contact us to learn more about how your firm can benefit from the power of LeapXpert.
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