What Makes A Customer 'Vulnerable'?
There are four main drivers that can lead to a customer becoming vulnerable, and whilst they frequently happen unexpectedly, there can be warning signs to look out for. If you would like to learn more, you can find lots of information in my blogs, articles, and podcasts.
53% Of UK Adults Are Vulnerable
The % of adults currently experiencing at least one characteristic of vulnerability in the UK at any given time. This includes adults experiencing temporary, sporadic, or long-term vulnerability.
A well worthwhile course for anybody who needs to understand the importance of a business's Vulnerable Customer policy and how to put this into practice when dealing with customers. All organisations need to cater for Vulnerable Customers in the modern environment and Helen's course does this in a non threatening and safe environment navigating you through this complex subject in an interesting and stimulating way.
I found the course to be very interesting and eye opening. Helen clearly is very dedicated to supporting vulnerable people and helping others develop how they can support vulnerable people and because Helen was so passionate about the subject matter it was easier to take the information in, it never felt like a lecture or standard work presentation and we had lots of discussions and overall it was much more engaging.
The course has helped me to recognise that we shouldn't just focus on our known vulnerable customers, we should be signposting from the first contact and ensuring all our customers are aware of the support available to them should they need it, rather than when they are already at crisis point. I am looking forward to sharing what I've learned across our organisation. Thank you Helen for sharing your personal experience and heartfelt passion for this subject.
Book A Call With Me
Having a strong strategy for supporting vulnerable customers, confident and well-equipped frontline teams to assist customers in need, and up to date policies and procedures for dealing with customers in vulnerable situations (which meet FCA guidelines) can:
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I am on a mission to change the way we perceive and support people experiencing vulnerability. Part of my plan includes sharing ideas and advice to help, train, guide and support organisations with a heart who share my vision. Subscribe to my email network today to get useful information and tools direct to your inbox.
Book On To Vulnerability Training
I regularly host open courses, training days, and workshops covering all aspects of vulnerability training, handling vulnerable customers, improving customer service and customer experience by supporting vulnerable customers, managing risk and compliance related to vulnerable customers, and embedding vulnerability best practices through HR activity.
Managing Suicidal Customer Conversations
Virtual training course to increase awareness and understanding of managing distressing and suicidal conversations with customers.
This half-day virtual training course is ideal for anyone handling customer conversations on a regular basis, especially when the subject of suicide arises. The course also covers how to build and maintain personal mental and emotional resilience during and after these conversations.
Virtual training course to increase awareness and understanding of financial hardship.
This half-day virtual training course explores the causes pushing more people into financial difficulty and the impact it has on their resilience.
This is ideal for anyone who regularly handles customer conversations, especially when customers disclose financial struggles.
Supporting Customers Facing Financial Difficulties
Supporting Bereaved Customers
Virtual training course to increase awareness and understanding of bereaved customers
This half-day training course provides a solid understanding of bereavement, how it may impact customers and the way in which they engage with organisations. We will explore how to support bereaved customers with empathy and respect in practical and reasonable ways to avoid any additional distress.
In The News
It is always a pleasure to be asked to add some thoughts to an article. Here are some of my latest contributions, including lots of advice, ideas and guidance to help you on your journey supporting vulnerable customers.
Bucks Free Press
Aylesbury volunteer lands Young Enterprise national award
A volunteer from Aylesbury has won a national award for her hard work at Young Enterprise.
The national charity that aims to motivate young people to succeed in the world of work relies heavily on it’s 6,500 volunteers.
Helen Pettifer been volunteering with Young Enterprise since 2017 and has been awarded with the charity’s national ‘Volunteer of the Year’ award.
Review: Handling Upset Customers Course by Helen Pettifer Training
According to Ombudsman Services research, poor customer service costs UK businesses £37billion each year. Can you believe that? £37 billion! Dealing with upset customers is a real challenge and one, which can be often a deal breaker leading to the loss of customers. But worry not; help is at hand to help you keep them with Helen Pettifer Training’s Handling Upset Customers Online Course.
Review: Understanding Vulnerability Online Course by Helen Pettifer Training
There are a whole host of reasons as to why someone may be regarded or regard themselves as vulnerable. According to the Financial Conduct Authority’s 2017 Financial Lives Survey up to half of UK adults display one or more characteristic of being potentially vulnerable. That’s approximately 26 million people! Helen Pettifer Training’s Understanding Vulnerability Online Course is designed to enhance your understanding of what vulnerability is and the effects that it has. As a new breed of ‘worried well’ emerge as vulnerable consumers to join the already extensive list, understanding and supporting those who are vulnerable is more important than ever. This isn’t just an ‘interesting to do’ course, this is an absolutely ‘must do.’
How we all need the human touch
Expert of the day, Helen Pettifer on how we all need the human touch
In recent weeks, the importance of good customer service has become paramount. We’ve all seen examples of businesses that are doing well when it comes to supporting their customers through these tricky times. However, we’ve also seen some businesses getting it spectacularly wrong too.
That’s why we’ve asked customer service specialist, Helen Pettifer, to be our expert of the day today. Helen has two decades of experience in this most vital of fields and is currently helping businesses and their customers manage everything from getting help to support with isolation during the pandemic. Over to you Helen!
Breakfast with Helen Pettifer Customer Service Consultant and Trainer
Happy New Year everyone! Not sure when it’s etiquette to stop saying that but as this is the first breakfast of 2020, I’m saying it anyway. I hope you had a fabulous Christmas and are surviving the return to work period. It’s back to business today too as I kick off the New Year by having breakfast with the inspirational Customer Service Consultant and Trainer Helen Pettifer.
Call Centre Helper Magazine
16 Customer Service Training Ideas – With Activities, Games and Helpful Techniques
We share everything from customer service training activities to ideas for fun coaching games, as we help to freshen up your contact centre coaching programme.
1. Think About the Different Ways People Learn (VARK)
2. Stop Thinking of Training as Just a Classroom Activity
3. Teach Team Leaders to Help Advisors to Spot Their Own Skill Gaps
Call Centre Helper Magazine
How Signposting Helps Businesses to Support Vulnerable Customers
Helen Pettifer discusses how a technique called “signposting” can improve your customer support, particularly when dealing with vulnerable customers.
Many of your customers will approach you with multiple requirements. Whilst they have your attention, they are looking to you to help them complete a range of actions. Some may be routine; others are a little more complex or bespoke.
When it comes to vulnerable customers, their needs may be incredibly diverse. As an organization, you should make every effort to support them. Even with the best intentions, it is unlikely that you can meet all needs in-house. As part of your toolkit, signposting can be a valuable extension to what you offer.
This article explores what signposting is and what you need in place to action it.
Call Centre Helper Magazine
How to Encourage Customers to Disclose Vulnerability
Helen Pettifer, Director of Helen Pettifer Training, discusses how you can identify vulnerable customers in the contact centre and better support them.
Every customer deserves to be treated fairly and with respect. It sounds simple enough, yet many company policies, procedures and attitudes create unnecessary barriers, especially when it comes to vulnerable customers.
From plastic surgeons to bankers, there is a growing realization that organizations are often falling short of good practice when it comes to vulnerability. Moves are underway to regulate industries in order to deliver services with a greater customer focus.
Customer Experience Magazine
Encouraging Your Customers to Disclose Vulnerability
Every customer deserves to be treated fairly and with respect.
It sounds simple enough, yet many company policies, procedures, and attitudes create unnecessary barriers – especially when it comes to vulnerable customers.
From plastic surgeons to bankers, there is a growing realisation that organisations are often falling short in good practice when it comes to vulnerability. Moves are underway to regulate industries in order to deliver services with a greater customer focus.
Customer Experience Magazine
A United Approach to Revolutionising Complaint Handling
The 2018 UK Complaint Handling Awards took place in London in February, and as a Customer Service Trainer, I was honoured to be invited to join the panel of judges.
Our panel was given responsibility for judging the Proactive Complaint Handling in the Utility Industry category. Five companies had been shortlisted and each one provided us with a written report and presentation. The aim was to highlight their approaches to both reduce complaints, and effectively manage complaints when they were received.