An organisation should plan its range of service provisions to address vulnerable customers. Some sales channels may prohibit certain groups that do not care for just IT orientated platforms.

Indeed, some enterprises only now offer services ‘on-line’. Banking is an interesting activity, where much interaction is encouraged over the web. With vast amounts of branch closures, certain demographics who prefer face-to-face interactions could be disadvantaged. Always consider your customer base and their needs.

Consideration should therefore be given to alternative channels of communication or service delivery that will not create barriers to certain customers. A careful analysis of the customer base is required before an organisation might embark upon a wholesale platform change.

Policies that are used should be carefully examined to ensure that there is no discrimination to potential vulnerable customers.

Thought should be given to the ease of access to services and how they might operate under pressure. Vulnerable customers may become more distressed having to wait lengthy periods of time over the phone when a face-to-face discussion would have sufficed.

Presentation of data in languages that are clearly understood by the target demographic are important. Keeping data free of ambiguous phrases is advisable. Making data clearly presentable in appropriate formats is key to ensuring customers remain satisfied.

Ensure that contact points to the organisation are clearly available and wherever possible are manned by trained staff.

By considering BS18477 2010 – Inclusive service provision an organisation can strive to adopt the best standards possible for addressing vulnerable customers. In addition, BS18477 can be assessed by BSI a leading certification body.

For further information and to book your BS18477 – Inclusive Service Provision survey please contact: Marcus J Allen at Thamer James Ltd. Email: marcus@thamerjames.co.uk

Marcus has twenty years’ experience in delivering Governance, Risk and Compliance solutions to over two hundred organisations within the UK. Marcus holds the respected Diploma in Governance, Risk and Compliance from the International Compliance Association and holds a master’s degree in Management Learning & Change from the University of Bristol.