Every organisation needs a purpose - a reason to get out of bed in the morning, a timeless north star that guides them. At Ageas UK it is a commitment to “Understanding People and Simplifying Insurance”. To refine our understanding of customers, we decided to focus among other things on supporting vulnerable customers through the Ageas Care programme.
To be able to take the appropriate actions for vulnerable customers, we firstly needed to be able to recognise vulnerability. The Ageas Care training programme helps our people to understand the characteristics of vulnerability from many different angles: physical or mental health, age, life events or crime. It was rolled out to our customer operations team in the first instance, and is now delivered to a wider internal audience, ensuring that it is fully embedded in our culture and work modus.
To help improve our understanding of vulnerability we took time to listen to hundreds of customer calls. We analysed complaints and tracked them back to the source of the issue. Our outreach extended to every corner of the business from pricing to marketing and from underwriting to claims. We also spoke to charities to understand specific vulnerability and the impact this can have on a customer. Based on those insights, we were able to create a guide which everyone could use to better serve vulnerable customers from the pricing and designing of our products to how we communicate.
Dealing with vulnerable customers, particularly extreme cases, can be upsetting for those who take the call. This is exacerbated when working in a home environment with no colleagues physically close by to talk with. An important part of our training therefore focuses on protecting our employees’ mindfulness, which is particularly important during the pandemic.
This year we launched an Ageas chatbot that uses built in trigger words to help alert us that a customer might be vulnerable, so that we can make sure we’re helping them in a way that is most appropriate to his or her situation.