Helping staff understand and effectively communicate with older and more vulnerable customers
Skipton International recently asked us to arrange an in-house training course to support their employees in improving overcoming the challenges of effectively communicating with their older and more vulnerable customers.
Working in partnership with Heimdallr Solutions, we facilitated a highly interactive course that gave delegates first hand experiences of some of the day-to-day difficulties this demographic faces. Delegates were invited to trial a wide range of equipment specifically designed to impair hearing and vision, as a way of simulating some of the effects of ageing.
While wearing this equipment, staff were asked to carry out typical work tasks and quickly realised some of the difficulties faced by their customers. Everyday actions like checking a mobile, navigating around furniture, entering and leaving the building, and climbing stairs soon become arduous.
Delegates discussed ways that they could make the customer journey easier for their elderly customers. Suggestions included: making sure the pace information is shared is right for the customer; sharing documents in larger print wherever possible; making magnifying glasses available in meeting rooms; and introducing a specific signature text box to assist with signing legal documents in the correct space.
Josie Paint, Director of Operations at Skipton International, has noticed a difference in how the team deal with their older or more vulnerable customers since participating in this training: “Although team members already had empathy with customers, the training highlighted what vulnerable customers have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. They now ensure that information is provided in a clear, concise way and close by asking the customer if they understood all the information they received”. Josie added that: “Companies working with older customers, such as banks, insurance companies, trust companies and even some retail businesses would benefit by sending their employees on this course. It would also be beneficial for care home workers, hospital staff and GPs”.
The course was designed and delivered by Heimdallr Solutions’ expert Occupational Therapist, Caroline Hayden-Wright, who has 30 years of experience and 16 years of providing management and training specialising in services for Older People. This course was bespoke to the requirements of Skipton International and can be tailored to the needs of individual clients.
To find out more about Skipton International, click here