Agent Statements for Supporting Bereaved Customers

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In this video, Helen Pettifer provides statements contact centre agents could use when dealing with bereaved customers.

Statements for Supporting Bereaved Customers

Helen Pettifer, Director of Helen Pettifer Training Ltd
Helen Pettifer

When a customer, or a customer’s family member, calls to let you know about a death, it can be difficult to know how to respond.

Here are some practical questions and responses to use in these conversations.

Firstly, always acknowledge their disclosure.

  • I’m sorry for your loss. I’m sorry to hear this is the reason you’ve had to contact us today.”

Then actively listen. Some customers may want to move on to practicalities, others may want to tell you more. Avoid sharing your thoughts, experiences or advice on their situation. Grief is a very personal thing. Some helpful responses can include:

  • Thank you for sharing that and making us aware. Would you like to discuss the account today or were you calling to let us know?”
  • I know you have a lot to deal with right now. I will explain our process and help make this an easier task for you.

They may need time to consider options, or review information at another time, so make this possible.

  • I will put all the points we discussed in an email so you have everything you need in writing.

Grief affects people in different ways. During the conversation the customer may get emotional. This may be expressed through crying or frustration. These are normal reactions which you can, and should, acknowledge.

  • This is a difficult time for you, take your time, there’s no rush.”
  • If you need to take a break at any time during the conversation, please let me know, we can go at a pace that feels comfortable for you.

Pause and allow the customer to determine when the conversation continues. Letting them lead the pace will increase the chance that they’re able to process any information you share.

Supporting a customer through the emotional, and often complex, organizational bereavement process can help them to feel less overwhelmed and even cared for. Your approach can make a difference.

Thanks to Helen Pettifer, Director of Helen Pettifer Training Ltd and a specialist in the fair treatment of vulnerable customers, for recording this video.

If you are looking for more great insights from the experts, check out these videos next:

Author: Helen Pettifer
Reviewed by: Robyn Coppell

Published On: 12th Mar 2024 - Last modified: 19th Mar 2024
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