It was an interesting day in Manchester last week at the Credit Strategy: Collections and Vulnerability Summit. Some great conversations, ideas, and discussions on a theme that remains important and evolving further as we move into the world of consumer duty going forward.
Some of the key points and takeaways from my notes below.
- Educating Staff and Customers: The importance of educating staff and customers about changing policies and financial situations was emphasized.
- Supporting Vulnerable Customers: The need to provide support and resources to vulnerable customers while maintaining fairness for the general population.
- Upskilling Staff: Focus on upskilling staff to understand and assist customers from different generations effectively.
- Complexity of Financial Assistance: Acknowledgment of the complexity of managing customer support and financial assistance, especially during economic changes.
- Collaboration and Intelligence Sharing: Collaboration and intelligence-sharing was seen as crucial for improving customer service and addressing customer queries effectively.
- Tailored Support: Vulnerable customers require tailored support and continuity in service.
- Policy Evolution: The need for policies to evolve to better meet changing customer needs and circumstances.
- Disclosure and Assistance: Encouraging individuals to disclose their situations and seek assistance from financial institutions.
- Transparency: Emphasis on transparency in dealing with customers.
- Changing Customer Interactions: Recognition of significant changes in customer interactions and expectations within the financial industry.
- Generational Understanding: Understanding generational differences in customer behavior and preferences is essential for effective service delivery.
- Financial Responsibility: While support is important, vulnerable customers are not exempt from their financial responsibilities.
- Challenges of Addressing Vulnerabilities: Acknowledgment of the challenges in addressing vulnerabilities within a diverse customer base.
- Effective Collaboration: Effective collaboration between different stakeholders is essential to address customer queries and concerns.
- Communication: Effective communication with customers is crucial to building trust and ensuring they understand their options.
- Adapting to Economic Changes: Discussion about adapting to economic changes and providing relevant assistance during times of crisis.
- Resource Allocation: Allocating resources effectively to support vulnerable customers without straining the financial institution.
- Staff Training: Ongoing training for staff to keep them updated on policies and best practices.
- Customer-Centric Approach: Focusing on a customer-centric approach to deliver the best service possible.
- Long-term Impact: Recognizing that policies and support may have long-term impacts on customers and their financial situations.
Top 10 TakeAways
- Prioritize upskilling staff: Recognize the importance of investing in staff training and development, especially in adapting to different generations’ needs and preferences.
- Tailor support for vulnerable customers: Understand the significance of providing personalized support to vulnerable customers while maintaining transparency in policies.
- Explore a 60-day breathing space: Consider implementing a financial support period to assist individuals facing financial difficulties.
- Embrace technology: Emphasize the role of technology in evolving customer service and adapt to changing customer expectations.
- Maintain transparency: Ensure that transparency is at the core of customer interactions and policies, building trust with customers.
- Balance support for all customers: Strive to provide support for vulnerable customers without compromising fairness for others.
- Adapt to government policies: Be prepared to adjust customer support systems in response to changes in government policies.
- Educate customers: Develop support plans that educate customers and help them navigate life’s challenges effectively.
- Stay flexible and responsive: Understand that customer service is a dynamic field that requires flexibility and responsiveness to evolving needs.
- Keep evolving: Continuously seek opportunities to improve customer service and support to meet the changing demands of customers.
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