2020 was certainly a year to remember, and will no doubt remain one of the most pivotal years in world history, indeed there was no part of the globe that was not affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and more over there was no one who was not in some way impacted by the inevitable fallout from such a major event.

As we move into 2021 with a more optimistic outlook for the future, working our way back into a sense of normal living not felt for almost a year, we have to consider the long and short-term effects Covid-19 and other events have had on our most vulnerable customers. Many readers will already be aware that the number of customers who are now falling into the “vulnerable” category is growing and fast. We, therefore, have a collective responsibility to ensure that we make provisions within our businesses to ensure that any and all customers who are either vulnerable or potentially vulnerable are taken care off, as the challenges faced are way beyond anything we have seen previously.

It will take more than just the flagging and separation of vulnerable customers if you want to ensure they are afforded the best possible outcomes relating to their specific set of circumstances. What is needed now, and going forward, is a whole set of services which have been designed around the needs of vulnerable customers from the outset – to simply move such customers from one workflow to another will not be sufficient.

It was with this in mind that the Zinc Group decided in early 2020 to work with vulnerable customers and their representatives, to develop what is now the “Safe-Harbour” vulnerable customer service solution. This was achieved through a set of external working groups which allowed us to get a direct insight into the needs of people who are experiencing exceedingly difficult and challenging circumstances.

Safe-Harbour, which is a trading style of the Zinc Group Ltd, offers an in-depth service to vulnerable customers via a people-led customer service interaction team, and this is backed up with a bespoke digital platform which has been designed to offer an omni-channel contact centre, with a wide variety of online tools designed to help both vulnerable customers and their representatives start to navigate themselves into a positive outcome.

Safe-Harbour not only provides a separate safe space for vulnerable customers, it also assists clients when it comes to the identification of customers who have fallen, or are about to fall, into a vulnerable state, allowing our clients to take a proactive approach to assisting and caring for those customers who are in need of urgent assistance. We are able to do this via our partnership with an industry leader who specialises in this particular area of customer data, elanev.

Richard Fenton, Head of Digital Development, The Zinc Group

For more information: Telephone: 07530 011098 or email: cproctor@thezincgroup.com