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15 October 2018 3 min read

Vulnerable customers

Are you doing the right thing for vulnerable customers and your business?

“So many customers can find themselves, at some point in their lives, in a potentially vulnerable situation. Organisations who successfully identify, engage with and serve these customers well will avoid potential brand and regulatory damage, win customer loyalty and get ahead of the competition."

Justin Miles, Director | Customer and Digital

Supporting vulnerable customers makes sense. They comprise a large proportion of your customer base, and when you do the right thing by them, they are more likely to buy more of your products, stay with you longer, cost you less to serve and provide you with positive referrals.

At Baringa, we have helped many well-known organisations to support their vulnerable customers, fostering long-term and profitable relationships. We believe there are five core areas that are key in supporting vulnerable customers:

  1. Strategy and Vision: How embedded is supporting vulnerable customers in your organisation’s strategy? e.g. Does vulnerability feature in your design principles?
  2. Brand and Partnerships: Do you publically advocate for vulnerable customers, and partner externally to support them? e.g. a high street bank recently launched a campaign demonstrating their support for customers with disabilities.
  3. Products and Services: Are you using Service Design to make sure your products and services are inclusive for customers with differing needs? e.g. Do you have flexible tariffs or accessible options for power of attorneys?
  4. People and Culture: Is your organisation committed to a culture of support and customer-centricity, from your front line customer service to senior executives? e.g. A leading utility provider trained over 20,000 staff to support customers with demenktia, and launched the first practical guide for utilities to support these customers.
  5. Process and Technology: Do you both reactively and proactively identify when customers might be vulnerable, and are your processes built to help not hinder? e.g. How do you use technology to enable you to remember what customers have told you about their circumstances and provide them with the right support?

We’re optimistic that vulnerable customers will become an increasing area of focus for organisations, and we’re looking forward to working with them to better meet their vulnerable customer needs.