3 Increasing agent training, empowerment, and specialist teams
Agents should be empowered to engage and support potentially vulnerable customers. Training needs to be adapted to help agents identify, support, and engage with vulnerable customers regardless of communication channel used.
Aside from initial training, agents need coaching and development to support them in navigating the ever-changing “vulnerability” landscape.
Vulnerable customers can be reluctant to disclose details, due to the highly personal and sensitive nature of the issues. For organisations to best support their customers they should have agents that have effective listening and questioning skills. This will help detect potential issues and provide the relevant support and reassurance to the customer.
It is essential that there is a culture of sensitivity and empathy in dealing with customers to help create a more positive customer experience and a positive outcome.
Customer service teams will be speaking or interacting with vulnerable customers and should be prepared for the fact that the agent might be the only person that the customer has spoken to that day. This is going to be challenging, so we need to provide both the customer and agent with the right level of support.
For teams engaging with vulnerable customers, organisations should ensure that the right wellbeing and support channels are in place to provide the necessary care. Some conversations can be challenging and emotionally draining, which is where agents may need the support of mental health advisors and direct management support.
Organisations need to be aware that vulnerability can be in many different scenarios and the wellbeing of your employees must be number one.
Within these specialist team’s traditional metrics or KPIs, such as average handle times should be relaxed or removed.