Vulnerable customer care is a growing field of specialisation. It is a topic that should be introduced at the onboarding stage of new agents into the contact centre. The skills and strategies needed for the right level of vulnerable customer care can be quite diverse. Fortunately through care and planning, customer service practitioners can develop skills and processes that can in fact benefit each and every customer coming through a contact centre.
A growing awareness of not just the extent of vulnerability but its diversity has opened a doorway for better working practices. Vulnerable customer care should no longer be based on assumptions as illustrated by Jacqui Workman:
“For instance, everybody thinks that when someone is blind they may want their information in Braille but, in actuality, only 1% of blind people can read Braille. There are other ways, such as audio messaging, which a blind customer may prefer.”
This is an important point to consider. The Call Centre Management Association (CCMA) uncovered in their September 2021 research that 2 in 3 UK adults self-identify as vulnerable. At such a scale the individual customer living in vulnerable circumstances will have the same wide range of unique needs as anyone. Furthermore, in terms of customer experience, they will also have their own preferences. A one size fits all approach, or even broad segmentation can only fail to provide the standard of service contact centres aim to achieve. More importantly, they will fail to provide the service customers expect in a rapidly progressing digital age.
A strategy spectrum for vulnerable customers
Where to start when old strategies of simply using large font and braille are wholly insufficient? Personalisation seems an obvious choice as it is a growing expectation from all customers. Using a mindset that is already being nurtured in contact centres can help create the right conditions to truly meet the needs of vulnerable customers with tailored strategies. However, the risk of harm cannot be glossed over. Organisations need to examine the needs of their own customer base and harness planning tools, such as customer journey maps. By doing this, common events that may need extra safeguards can be identified and be built into the strategy for vulnerable customer services.
Often the people making the most difference in providing the right services, though, are the front line agents. Agents in modern contact centres are driven by more than just holding down a job. Many are looking for a career and purpose by developing new skills to reach higher levels of job satisfaction. A vulnerable customer strategy can be an ideal opportunity to not only implement the new approaches but empower agents.
The supporting role of CCaaS for agents and vulnerable customers
Putting strategies in place and harnessing the skills of agents is made all the easier with Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) solutions. Infused with artificial intelligence (AI), these solutions make it possible to augment and assist the identification and unique workflow or protocols surrounding vulnerable customer care. The whole vision behind these solutions is to improve customer experience (CX). Specifically for vulnerable customers, when context can be complex and details crucial to providing appropriate personalised customer care, CCaaS solutions provide the 360-degree customer view that gives agents the insights they need.
Odigo has 35 years of market experience innovating and striving for ever better customer experiences. The company’s solutions harness performance and optimisation capabilities as well as intelligent routing to make the most of new vulnerable customer strategies and agent skills. CCaaS solutions are also designed with agents in mind for improved agent experience. When your agents are working hard personalising services for vulnerable customers, CCaaS is supporting them.
Melissa Cowdry is Field Marketing Manager – Odigo UK
For a more in-depth look at vulnerable customer care and strategy in contact centres, you can download Odigo’s eBook by Clicking Here
Odigo provides Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) solutions that facilitate communication between large organisations and individuals thanks to a global omnichannel management solution. Thanks to its innovative approach based on empathy and technology, Odigo enables brands to connect with the crucial human element of interaction while also taking full advantage of digital possibilities. A pioneer in the customer experience (CX) market, the company caters to the needs of more than 250 large enterprise clients in over 100 countries.
For additional information on Odigo view their Company Profile