PwC Research Breakfast Briefing: Supporting Customers in Vulnerable Situations

11 April 2018

Author: Richard Fincham 

Vulnerability may be hard to define and even trickier to plan for, but when it impacts companies, customers  or consumers, the effect can be devastating.

On Tuesday 17 th April, PwC Research will host its inaugural breakfast briefing and consumer vulnerability is firmly on the menu. We're increasingly being asked to research and develop customer journeys and communications, focused on vulnerable customers. This is unsurprising given that addressing vulnerability is a key priority for regulators across key services sectors who are seeking to ensure that the needs of these consumers are met.

Vulnerable customers

Vulnerability is a hugely complex area and any of us could  suddenly find ourselves in a vulnerable situation. Indeed, many of us lack a financial safety net to protect against worst case scenarios. Family Finances Report, 2017, showed that half of all families would be unable to maintain their current standard of living for more than a month if the main breadwinner was unable to work, while the Money Advice Service found that one in six UK adults are living with problem debt.

Organisations can find it difficult to identify when customers may be vulnerable and if or when it is appropriate to offer support. For their own part, customers may be reluctant to disclose the challenges they face, whether through fear of being penalised, embarrassment or simply not feeling its relevant information to share.

Consequently, researching the topic is vital for organisations and citizens alike. During the session we’ll be sharing our research experiences, as well as hosting a cross-sector panel with representatives from the FCA, Ofcom, Smart Energy and Northumbrian Water providing their own unique, perspectives. The panel will discuss and debate some of the big questions around tackling vulnerability, and there will also be opportunities for attendees to ask questions throughout.

To find out more please contact Richard Fincham and/or Katie Pepper.