As a fast growing, values based, green energy provider, our client has seen it’s customer base increase to over 1,000,000 subscribers.
As a result of this, they had seen an increase in the number of calls received from customers in vulnerable situations and they recognised that they needed to do more to ensure these people received the service they need. They saw that their key support teams, who look after these vulnerable customers, required some upskilling and they therefore, engaged Davies to provide expertise.
During the Learning Needs Analysis, we not only explored the existing vulnerable customer content and how it aligned to regulatory requirements, but how the company could surpass those minimums and truly have a market differentiating program that aligns to the company values. In this phase, we highlighted that the
vulnerable customer content could be more prevalent during onboarding – the time where new joiners gain a deeper understanding of what their new company stands for. We also know that new employees are far more likely to join a company that aligns to their personal values and therefore, onboarding is the best opportunity to confirm their choice of employer.
At Davies we have seen that employees that connect with their employer’s mission, vision and values, are less likely to leave that company in the short-term. Conversely, companies that hire employees that show alignment to their values, can positively affect the turnover ratio of the business.
Additionally, the employer wanted their teams to not just recognise when they were speaking with a customer in a potentially vulnerable situation, but also be able to handle that call differently to increase the number of customers signing up to the internal register. Other benefits that we discovered during the Learning Needs Analysis were ways to decrease average handling time and strategies to help staff manage their own wellbeing around handling these very different types of calls.
The programme that we created focused on putting vulnerability awareness at the heart of the design. The content supported team members to be able to identify and assist vulnerable customers across all channels of engagement by utilising a safe and approved toolkit of questions. This allowed them to achieve great results and drive customer satisfaction and in turn, loyalty.
We also helped the teams think about how they could manage those calls differently by pivoting their skills and behaviours during these interactions. This was just as much about the team member’s ability to manage their own thoughts and resilience as it is about specific customer conversation techniques. The programme focused on creating the balance between managing the conversation efficiently, while delivering exactly what a vulnerable customer would need. Recognising and recording vulnerability on their internal Priority Services Register (PSR) is only one step – it was important to also show how this information was acted upon to create a personalised and supportive experience thereafter.
“We discussed something we’ve previously neglected and highlighted practical things we need to do.”
“I feel more aware of the benefits of the PSR and more confident in my ability to ‘sell’ it to customers as a positive thing and also feel ok to approach the subject in the first place.”
“It was important to us to ensure that we are always doing the right thing by our Members (customers) and our people. We needed a programme that really helped our people understand how to identify and work differently with Members in vulnerable situations as well as be able to help staff themselves to build and maintain resilience when they are also feeling stressed. The programme delivered really helped our people think about vulnerable Members in a much deeper way whilst still being business focused. The programme has really helped us work more effectively with a vital section of our Member community.”
At Davies we were proud that the programme we created had such an impact to measurable business results, but more importantly played a part in identifying and assisting those vulnerable customers.
Our highly practical programme which blended experiential activities and opportunities for reflective discussion, was able to evaluate live conversations. Each practical activity was followed by a structured feedback session that enabled the participants to recognise the difference using these techniques would make to their ability to handle vulnerable customers.
By the end of the programme, participants were much more aware of vulnerability and able to identify that during a conversation. As a result, the number of vulnerable customers being invited to sign up to the PSR, increased with 66% of those agreeing to register.