[INSIGHTS] : Operational guides for treatment of customer with potential vulnerabilities

Although a little older, these guides from the University of Bristol have been highly influential and useful in the implementation of vulnerability processes for customers.

Each contact real, practical examples and a cheat sheet for each of the tools for use in the operation.

Vulnerability: a guide for lending telephony, face-to-face, and online

Vulnerability: a guide for debt collection

Vulnerability tools – summary sheet


Vulnerability – guide for telephony, face-to-face and online – Summary

This document provides insights and recommendations for debt collection organizations on effectively working with customers in vulnerable situations. It highlights the importance of considering wider systems and processes, implementing quality assurance measures, selecting appropriate calls for assessment, and supporting staff in addressing vulnerability. The guide emphasizes the need for clear objectives, collaboration with advice agencies, and the collection and analysis of data to inform policies and evaluate outcomes.

Key Summary Points

  • Effective investment in staff skills and knowledge around vulnerability requires consideration of wider systems and processes.
  • Quality assurance processes play a vital role in enhancing staff responses to vulnerability.
  • Common challenges include limited focus on non-regulatory practices, difficulty in selecting relevant calls for assessment, and the need to support staff in coaching and providing feedback.
  • Clear objectives should be established for quality assurance processes related to vulnerability.
  • Policies and procedures of advice agencies should be reviewed to ensure they support customers in vulnerable situations.
  • Organizations should seek assurance from advice agencies and consider their support structures before referring customers.
  • Data sources, including routine data, staff experiences, call recordings, and customer data, should be further developed and analyzed to understand vulnerability.
  • Policies should evolve to address emerging challenges and consider specific needs, while partnerships with voluntary sector agencies should be based on mutual education and understanding.
  • Staff support and development are crucial for effective assistance to customers in vulnerable situations.
  • Evaluation of interventions and consideration of economic costs are important for sustainability and improvement.
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Some Key Statistics

  • Frontline staff receive an average of 45 vulnerability disclosures each month.
  • Some organizations use speech analytics technology to identify specific extracts of interactions related to vulnerability.

Key Takeaways

  1. Organizations should invest in staff training while considering wider systems and processes to enhance responses to vulnerability.
  2. Selecting the right calls for assessment and expanding quality score-cards to cover vulnerability-related measures are important steps.
  3. Collaboration with advice agencies and assurance of their support structures is crucial.
  4. Organizations should collect and analyze data on vulnerability to inform policies and assess outcomes.
  5. Staff support and development are essential for effective assistance to customers in vulnerable situations.

Vulnerability – guide for debt collections – Summary

This document is a guide titled “Vulnerability: A Guide for Lending.” It provides tools and guidance to help lenders identify and support customers with decision-making limitations, with a focus on understanding and addressing vulnerability in the lending process. The guide introduces the BRUCE protocol and explores various aspects of decision-making limitations in credit applications, including memory, understanding, and communication.

Key Summary Points

  • The guide aims to help lenders identify and support customers with decision-making limitations.
  • The BRUCE protocol is introduced as a tool to assist staff in identifying customers with difficulties.
  • Memory problems can impede a customer’s ability to recall information needed for decision-making.
  • Understanding is crucial for customers to grasp the details of the credit arrangement they are entering into.
  • Communication difficulties can restrict a customer’s ability to convey their decisions effectively.
  • The guide provides strategies and support techniques for addressing these limitations.
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Key Statistics

  • The guide mentions that lenders with 50 credit application staff could encounter around 1,200 customers with serious memory difficulties in a year.
  • It is noted that in a typical month, three customers with serious communication difficulties may be encountered by lenders.

Key Take Aways

  • Lenders should proactively monitor for signs of decision-making limitations and provide appropriate support.
  • Strategies like repetition, simplification, and careful questioning can help customers with memory difficulties.
  • Staff should aim to ensure customers understand key information and offer support in breaking down complex applications.
  • Effective communication techniques and patience are crucial when assisting customers with communication difficulties.
  • The BRUCE protocol serves as a reminder of key issues to address in identifying and supporting customers with decision-making limitations.

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