The Importance Of Being Able To Offer Reasonable Adjustments

People often ask me why it's so important to be able to offer reasonable adjustments and I recently came across a great example of why, having made a reasonable adjustment to a service offering, it would have totally and utterly changed the way that organisation and its customer interacted and went on to relate.

A lady had been referred to a debt advice service, having accumulated some fairly significant debts of which she was hugely embarrassed and ashamed of. Having understood her situation, it's clear that these were not wilfully accumulated and simply the consequence of a set of difficult circumstances that no one could have predicted. She was due to meet an advisor face to face in their meeting room, as was usual working practice. However, due to the current Covid situation, that wasn't possible. The service provider's solution was to change the face to face meeting to become a telephone call and they notified her of the time and date of the call.

The service provider called the lady at the agreed time. During the call it became apparent that there wasn't much interaction coming from the lady who was in debt at the time. The advisor made remarks such as "Hello? Hello? Is anyone there? It's all gone quiet... if you're not interested in my help then I'll go and help someone else who does, you're wasting my time!"

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New beginnings

The kids going back to school always makes me think of new beginnings and here at RBL we're experiencing a new beginning too. We've recently moved into a lovely new office in Teddington and are still in the unpacking phase but hopefully we'll be shipshape fairly soon. The good news is that we've managed to find the coffee and mugs so we're already feeling welcome and at home.

We're also celebrating 15 years of consulting this week having worked with many brilliant clients and fantastic projects over the years, including a long-term relationship with Scottish online butchers Donald Russell. Over the eight years of working in partnership, we've run multiple customer experience audits which led to changes in the online and offline customer journeys which we worked with the marketing and contact centre teams to redesign and implement. Our final project was to kick start new customer acquisition and we helped them to transition the new customer acquisition strategy and marketing plans from being predominantly offline, to being truly multi-channel successfully launching DRTV and social media channels ahead of lockdown. Our work was really hands-on, working with media and creative agencies to develop and deliver a whole new way of advertising. During lockdown we were able to provide living proof of one of the company's core values of agility. We totally revamped our marketing plans and budget to generate record levels of new customer demand as lockdown kicked in. Having put the foundations for ongoing success in place, and really stress-tested them through lockdown, we were able to hand back the reins to the marketing team to take the business forward from mid-July (along with a 24 page hand-over guide!)

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Understanding the impact of Covid-19 on those in financially vulnerable circumstances

Living in financially vulnerable circumstances is a very real problem and this vulnerability has only heightened as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) report that almost half of the UK population (24.1 million people) currently display one or more characteristics of vulnerability.

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