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Understanding vulnerability is crucial to providing customers the special care needed

Tuesday 03, Mar 2020

Many consumer affairs professionals, especially those impacted by the recent increased need to respond with special care to customers in vulnerable circumstances, have found themselves worrying about how to do this well and cope with the emotional pressures.

For many, the lines between responding in an appropriate, respectful and empathic way and being some kind of ‘counsellor’ or ‘therapist’ are blurred and this brings with it both heightened anxiety as well as the very real risk of vicarious trauma. Of course, it is imperative that the factors contributing to vulnerability are understood to ensure that the required special care can indeed be shown.

Awareness of vulnerability and having key skills in service provision for those who may be experiencing periods of vulnerability will assist in ensuring you are providing best practice customer service, as well as actively manage your risk.

SOCAP members have found practical value in the Assisting Customers in Vulnerable Circumstances online training.  “It not only leaves you with a useful reference guide at the end, it helps you understand people a little better and that understanding is one of the keys to success when interacting with vulnerable consumers.“ (Gavin Watts, RACQ Group).

Building confidence and capability to recognise and assess vulnerability is the first step to assisting your customers and staff.  Your staff need tools that will help them stabilise conversations for themselves and customers.

Enjoy the flexibility of online training, Assisting Customers in Vulnerable Circumstances and you can also join us in our highly interactive Inaugural Customer Vulnerability Forum 2020 in March. Collaborate with your peers as the sector shares current experiences and learnings and shares strategies for supporting customers facing vulnerability.