Meeting the needs of customers when they are vulnerable
The BBRS takes customer care very seriously. We recognise that many of those turning to us for help will have been through very difficult experiences and we will do our best to take account of this in everything we do.
To ensure that the BBRS can reach fair and reasonable outcomes in every case, it is vital that the BBRS delivers a flexible service that meets the needs of all customers, whatever their personal circumstances.
A vulnerable customer is someone who, due to their personal circumstances, is especially susceptible to harm. Anyone can become vulnerable at any time, and this can be temporary or permanent, short-term or long-term. The BBRS understands that vulnerability can come about for a variety of reasons, including:
- Ill health, whether this is physical or mental;
- financial troubles;
- significant personal experience, such as bereavement;
- communication difficulties;
- being a victim of fraud;
- difficulty using IT.
These are just examples: every customer is unique and will be treated as an individual.
The BBRS has designed its service to be as easy as possible to use. This includes communicating in a clear and straightforward way; and creating a personal experience for every customer. Customer Champions perform a key role. They bring strong listening skills and empathy to their work to help customers set out their case and guide them through the dispute resolution process.
Consequently, the BBRS is set up to respond flexibly to meet the needs of vulnerable customers. Reasonable adjustments will be made to allow customers to use the service in the best way for them. For example:
- The BBRS makes use of digital technology to streamline its processes, but can use other channels, including post, phone, email, video conference and face-to-face meetings to meet customers’ needs and preferences;
- calls or contact may be arranged at particular times of the working day;
- if a customer has given a Power of Attorney or delegated authority to someone, the BBRS will work with them;
- the BBRS will consider the dispute resolution method which best suits the customer;
- timelines and deadlines may be adapted to account for a customer’s circumstances.