Customer Vulnerability

Aveni opinion poll : Biggest challenges when dealing with customers in vulnerable situations

2 min read

We asked our LinkedIn network about the challenges they face when dealing with customers in vulnerable situations.  The results are in, here’s what they said: 

Customer vulnerability is an increasing concern and has continued to rise over the last 18 months due to global financial uncertainty.  The Financial Conduct Authority and other regulatory bodies have made it clear that their focus is on supporting customers in vulnerable situations, enforcing organisations to play their part.

We wanted to get to the heart of the matter and understand what firms felt their main challenge was in order to better understand their clients’ needs. So we asked… 


Poll displaying results of the question "What do you see as your biggest challenge when dealing with customers in vulnerable situations?" The results were Identifying vulnerability 56%, Monitoring calls 11%, Agents having the right skills 33%, Analysing data 0%


Clearly the biggest challenge lies in identifying customer vulnerability, with over half our respondents giving us this feedback. The FCA has provided guidance on how we can identify vulnerability as well as provide us with warning signs. The four drivers of vulnerability are:

Health: A long term disability, impairment,  illness, or age-related condition as well as learning disability 

Life Events: A major life event such as death, loss of employments or the breakdown of a relationship 

Resilience: A low ability to deal with financial or emotional shocks such as debt, having lack of support structure or not having an empowered status. 

Capability: Little or Low knowledge of financial matters, having lack of digital skills as well as having low confidence in matters related to money. 

It’s easy to understand why identifying vulnerability is such a challenge. Vulnerability falls into numerous categories and people can be vulnerable in more than one area of their lives. A person’s vulnerability might also be transient, lasting only a few weeks or months. It’s important to not forget that some people may not even classify themselves as vulnerable, that’s why training is incredibly important to help agents understand customers better and to pick up on cues they provide in conversations. 

Organisations often find it difficult to detect vulnerability due to lack of training on the topic. Organisations across all industries need to work together to better support their customers, improving their experience and outcomes and more effectively bridge the gap of understanding. 

To help more accurately identify customers in vulnerable situation, companies can implement technologies like speech analytics to help gather and analyse useful customer insight to drive better interactions with customers. 

Software such as Aveni Detect, monitors and analyses customer conversations and other interactions to assess the topics being discussed as well as identify the emotional state of the customer. This helps companies to better understand customers, their situation, how it changes over time, as well as provide staff with additional information on how to better handle difficult calls and optimise every customer interaction.

To find out more about us and what we can do, visit our website

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