How to Recognize and Assist Vulnerable Consumers

Hands reaching out - supporting vulnerability concept

Richard Bassett, VP Digital & Analytics, NICE International, explores how to empower contact centres to recognize and assist vulnerable consumers.

Every contact centre leader understands the need for fairness, empathy, and understanding. Identifying and supporting your most vulnerable consumers is an ongoing challenge. Now, with significant economic pressure and rising costs, that challenge is intensifying.

Any customer can become vulnerable, whether that’s through financial difficulty, health developments, or changing personal circumstances. As a result, it’s difficult to identify vulnerable consumers who interact with your contact centre – let alone support them effectively.

An Increasing Priority for Contact Centres and Regulators

While some sectors like finance are subject to emerging regulation, including the Financial Conduct Authority’s new Consumer Duty, every contact centre has a responsibility to vulnerable consumers.

Anyone who is significantly less able to protect or represent their interests or more likely to suffer detriment is considered vulnerable.

Since the pandemic, more than three million consumers have become part of this group, which now includes around 47% of UK adults according to FCA estimates.

However, many of these consumers wouldn’t self-identify as vulnerable – the only way to identify them is with a more proactive approach.

The Role of Your Agents in Identifying Vulnerability

In a multichannel environment, your agents won’t always speak to consumers first-hand to watch for the social cues of vulnerability. Even when they do, vulnerable consumers are notoriously easy to miss, especially in the face of a large inbound queue and pressure to keep calls moving.

Depending on agents alone to identify vulnerable consumers – or those consumers to volunteer their personal situations – guarantees something will be overlooked.

Only AI can digest all the data, from every channel and every interaction, and identify the patterns, clues and keywords with complete accuracy.

Supporting Your Agents – and Vulnerable Consumers – With AI

Integrated across your entire contact centre environment, AI can help to analyse every interaction, on every channel, in real time. Trained on a broad spectrum of vulnerability data and notable triggers, this means that you can automate the process of identifying vulnerable consumers, removing the biases and weaknesses of human judgement.

This is not just a way to automate a time-consuming, complex process, but a way to surface the important insights you would otherwise miss. And AI can simultaneously coach and guide your agents on how to address complex needs in real time.

Want to Know More?

Download your very own Consumer Duty Compliance Intelligence Pack, or watch the on-demand webinar ‘Treating Vulnerable Customers Fairly’ webinar with myself and Helen Pettifer.

For more information about NICE CXone - visit the NICE CXone Website

About NICE CXone

NICE CXone NICE CXone combines best-in-class Omnichannel Routing, Workforce Engagement, Analytics, Automation and Artificial Intelligence on an Open Cloud Foundation.

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Call Centre Helper is not responsible for the content of these guest blog posts. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Call Centre Helper.

Author: NICE CXone

Published On: 12th Jul 2023 - Last modified: 28th Nov 2023
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