Bringing the voice of your customers into your boardroom and working practices

  • 40% of customers in vulnerable circumstances are not being recognised.*

Understanding Vulnerability Workshops

Recognise, Respect & Readjust

Organisations that don’t cater for the specific needs of vulnerable customers may inadvertently be making difficult circumstances worse. They’re also at risk of breaching the Equality Act and regulator codes of practice and regulations and requirements e.g. the FCA’s Consumer Duty or the Fundraising Regulators Treating Donors Fairly.

With our training around vulnerable customers, you and your staff will learn how to recognise and respect customers in challenging circumstances and then how to readjust your products and services to better support their needs enabling you to build a more satisfied customer base. Designed and run by Elaine Lee with trainer Jacqui Workman, our workshops will empower you and your teams to consider the needs, attitudes, and emotions of all your customers as they travel the customer journey.

Elaine and Jacqui have been championing the needs of vulnerable customers since 2009. They co-chaired the Data & Marketing Association’s Vulnerable Taskforce and co-authored of its vulnerable consumer training materials with training courses offered by the IDM. Elaine also worked with the CIoF (Chartered Institute of Fundraising) on their papers on Treating Donors Fairly.

Our training options are modular, offering you the opportunity to build bespoke sessions tailored to your organisation. When working with new clients we typically start with a short piece of consultancy with detailed discussions about your own organisational approach to vulnerability and understanding how your Voice of the Customer (Voc) programme could be utilised to improve identification of customers in vulnerable circumstances. We’ll consider any prior training alongside your policies, procedures and protocols – so they can be incorporated into your tailored sessions reassuring your staff of your commitment to treat all customers or supporters fairly.

If you don't yet have a vulnerable people's policy or would like your policy reviewed, we can help with that too. 

Modular Workshops

Module 1: Recognising Vulnerability and Making Reasonable Adjustments to support your Customers

We begin by considering ‘what is vulnerability?’ and how your regulator (if you have one) and a range of others define vulnerable circumstances. We then uncover the scale and scope of vulnerability within the UK and how that relates to your customer base. We consider how vulnerability can arise and how the state of vulnerability for a customer can change over their lifetime with your organisation and how and when you can identify those changes in circumstance through your contact channels and VoC programme.

We then move on to look at Reasonable Adjustments – what they are and how to determine which are the most appropriate options to better support each individual customer’s needs. We explore several models for handling contact with customers in vulnerable circumstances to enable consistency of approach and the delivery of fair outcomes. We’ll share some practical tools that can be adapted for your organisations which enable front-line teams to take a structured and consistent approach when engaging with each customer.

Module 2: Our immensely popular Case Study Workshops are designed for those who have previously attended module 1 and are a practical session to apply newfound knowledge in a controlled environment. Delegates work in teams to examine three real-life case studies from either your own organisation or from across a range of industries. The teams seek to identify at which stage the organisation could have identified a vulnerable circumstance existed and then select the appropriate reasonable adjustments to the service delivery, to ensure a fair outcome is delivered to the customers concerned.

These workshops can be run as a one-off or can become regular and ongoing – the choice is yours!

Clients who have completed these sessions are delighted with the results from both the session and in practical applications after the event.

Module 3: Recognising Vulnerability within your Workforce and Making Reasonable Adjustments to support your Staff and Volunteers

The newest addition to our training solutions considers the needs of your teams handling contacts with customers in vulnerable circumstances. We’ve noted that whilst organisations are focussed on customers, the support needs of their teams may be overlooked. During this internally focussed session we uncover how to assess how well your team members are coping with sometimes a tidal wave of contacts from struggling contacts. We also uncover tools and solutions to better support team members and colleagues, ensuring our training provides practical, real-world solutions.

*Source Mortgage Solutions July 2022


Recognising vulnerability and making reasonable adjustments: CUSTOMERS

  • Gain a heightened awareness
  • Recognise vulnerability when you see it
  • Learn to appreciate that vulnerability is complex and changeable
  • Develop your skills
  • Experience first-hand vulnerable circumstance
  • Understand what reasonable adjustments can be made
  • Learn about the impact on your customers services / donor services team
  • Take away a practical e-book
  • Deliver fair outcomes for your customers / supporters / donors


Case Study Workshop

This workshop has been designed for those who have previously attended module 1

  • Apply knowledge from module 1
  • Examine real case studies
  • Identify where vulnerable circumstances exist
  • Determine appropriate Reasonable Adjustments


Recognising vulnerability and making reasonable adjustments: STAFF

  • Identify where and how the organisation is exposed to vulnerability
  • Appreciate the impact that vulnerability can have on employees
  • Learn how to assess where vulnerability lies within your workforce
  • Learn how Reasonable Adjustments can support employee’s health and well-being
  • Examine the impact of Vulnerability Champions on the organisations’ performance

Want to understand more about our workshops?


Vulnerable Customer Policy


Having a vulnerable customer policy will challenge your organisation to discuss and agree what the reasonable adjustments that you are prepared and able to offer to your customers. Having a clear policy in place empowers your staff to make the right judgements and offerings to customers.

Elaine can help you identify and support vulnerable employees within your own workforce. She can also help bring to life your Vulnerable Customer Policy or Procedures. She’s been instrumental in the development of the DMA’s Internal and External Policy frameworks – that act as guides for organisations. She can bring this experience to your meeting room table to guide you through the creation or review of your vulnerable customer policies.

to help you build or review your vulnerable customer policies

  • “We used Reynolds Busby Lee to deliver Vulnerable People training to a range of our staff who work on the phone and in person with people who might be in vulnerable circumstances. This large cross-team group benefitted hugely from the day, sharing their experiences and gaining valuable tips about how to help, and how to help themselves, too."
    Fiona Magor, Rethink Mental Illness

  • "The training was highly engaging and thought provoking and well received with our team as they able to ask questions and discuss options. We had a cross-section of different teams in the room who, between them, scored the day at 4.9 out of 5! When it was over, we were left with a useful set of tools that will allow us to better respond to our supporters, whatever their personal circumstances. We’re delighted with the outcomes."
    David Mason, Information and Fundraising Compliance Manager, The Salvation Army United Kingdom and Ireland Territory

  • “Being in a financial difficulties team, this is something I do and will experience all the time, so being able to literally experience how some vulnerable customers live has definitely benefited me."
    Olivia Edmonds, American Express

  • “In total we’ve run 7 sessions all over the country and trained almost 90 staff. The feedback has been excellent with all managers saying how easy it was to roll out, using your notes and slides, and the Telephone Fundraisers have commented on how much they’ve enjoyed the sessions and how well they’ve been able to pick it up and understand it. So, a big thanks from us!"
    Catherine Lloyd, RNIB

  • “"It was a pleasure to work with Elaine and Jacqui from the first phone call. I was so impressed with the time they gave to ensure the course was completely in keeping with our objectives while guiding us on other areas we could explore. It is clear that they are both passionate for positive change regarding the treatment of vulnerable customers. We received fantastic feedback on this training and I would have no hesitation in recommending Elaine and Jacqui if you are looking for a really effective, practical programme.”
    Mairead Sheahan, Learning & Development Manager, Cynergy Bank

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