This issue of our ‘Talking Sourcing’ special report focuses on Customer Vulnerability and dealing with customer in straitened times.
Vulnerable customers are not just those effected by poverty. They can also be troubled by mental health, environmental, social, and emotional issues and may need additional support to achieve a positive resolution.
Factors including the cost of living and the effects of Covid are contributing to more adults now falling into a position of vulnerability needing greater levels of support. With the issue of dealing with vulnerable customers now becoming a daily occurrence, businesses need to find ways and put in plans and policies to take extra care of these people.
Vulnerabilities are not always obvious, and businesses now need to be extra vigilant. Procedures need to in place to identify those customers that might be at risk at any point during the customer journey.
To be successful, companies need to have the right people in place in the right positions. Staff, agents, and partners all need to be aware and have the ability to deal with this group of customers. Through training and support they need to be able to identify those customers and deal with them using skills including empathy and understanding while making sure they are listening to what the customer is saying.
It is also important for businesses to understand that these interactions may take longer than the average resolution and, as we have seen in a number of companies already, that staff have an outlet and support when dealing with a particularly difficult call.
Over the last two years Intelligent Sourcing has been fortunate enough to see many of these practices in action, both in the UK and overseas. Visiting contact centres and seeing how the agents have been trained to deal with vulnerable customers has been really pleasing to see and the importance of ensuring a true customer experience for those at risk has always been top of the agenda.
As always, we are fortunate to have expert commentary in this report from subject matter and industry experts including Everest Group, StepChange, CCMA and The Institute of Customer Services alongside features from our sponsors.