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.
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