The Growth Series

Podcast #22 - How to support vulnerable customers




In episode 22 of the Growth Series, Nick Piper, Accord’s Strategic Business Performance & Operations Manager, is joined by Janis Hambling, Senior Manager of Customer Solutions Delivery at Yorkshire Building Society Group.

We’ve all heard of the term ‘vulnerable customers’ and have our own interpretation of what constitutes vulnerability. However, we thought it might be helpful to our audience to discuss customer vulnerability with an expert. Janis is responsible for the delivery of vulnerable customer treatment across the YBS group, and talks us through planning effective strategies to support all customers in an appropriate manner.

Taking more of an interview format this week, this podcast looks at how having a strong vulnerable customers strategy makes good business sense as well as meeting the expectations of today’s consumer. Janis also talks' us through how she ensures the YBS Group protects vulnerable customers through extensive training, and implements a culture within the company itself to ensure employees also experience greater support.

In its paper Consumer Vulnerability (February 2015), the FCA says:

‘Much of consumer protection legislation is underpinned by the concept of the ‘average’ or ‘typical’ consumer, and what that typical consumer might expect, understand or how they might behave. However, consumers in vulnerable circumstances may be significantly less able to represent their own interests, and more likely to suffer harm than the average consumer. Regulators and firms need to ensure these consumers are adequately protected.

‘The impact of vulnerability is strong and many people are trying to cope with difficult situations and limited resources, energy and time. Stress can affect state of mind and the ability to manage effectively. In such conditions, being confronted by a complex telephone menu system that gives no option of talking to a person; a ‘computer says no’ response; a call handler without time or inclination to listen; or a system that fails to record what may be distressing circumstances and forces the customer to repeat themselves at every point of contact, can all create a spiral of stress and difficulty, resulting in detriment.’

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The Growth Series is a dedicated resource that aims to help mortgage brokers grow their business using digital and communications marketing techniques. For more hints and tips on how to grow your business, you can sign up to the Growth Series for free, here.


Podcast #22

0.00 - 1.26 Welcome and introduction

1.27 - 32.21 - In conversation with Nick Piper is Janis Hambling, discussing how YBS supports vulnerable customers and answering questions including:

  • How did you upskill customer facing teams to become effective in dealing with vulnerability?
  • How is the subject best approached with the customers themselves? 
  • How do you demonstrate a commitment to the issue when challenged?
  • How do you measure the effectiveness of this strategy?
  • Are there any resources available to smaller firms that would help them develop a coherent strategy?

32.22 - 34.04 Outro

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