Amid difficult times such as the COVID-19 pandemic, Suncorp New Zealand is emphasising the importance of supporting its customers in vulnerable situations through its community partnerships.
According to a statement by Suncorp, it has an established customer vulnerability framework, as well as a training programme to provide support to customers in vulnerable circumstances. This is reinforced by a growing number of community support service partners, such as Lifeline Aotearoa, Good Shepherd NZ, Shine, MoneyTalks and Age Concern New Zealand.
The partnerships with these organisations provide critical training and insights, benefiting Suncorp’s customer vulnerability framework, according to Ryan Perica, Suncorp NZ customer advocacy manager.
“We know that any customer may experience what we define as vulnerability at any time in their life,” Perica said. “This could be due to factors such as their life stage, physical or psychological wellbeing, trauma, abuse or financial stress.
“The work that we’re doing with community partners has helped us better equip our frontline employees to understand customers’ circumstances and potential vulnerabilities. That means we are able to put more support around our customers.”
The framework and the training programme, which all employees are required to complete, focus on making sure the company’s employees can identify customers in vulnerable circumstances, help make these customers feel listened to and supported, and refer them to relevant support agencies.
A select group of customer-facing employees have also received training from Shine and Lifeline Aotearoa to support customers in severely vulnerable circumstances and at risk of harm.
According to Perica, Suncorp NZ is building understanding of customer vulnerability right across all areas of the business – from design and product development to claims and customer solutions.
“We are extremely grateful for the contributions of our community partners in helping us understand how we can better support all of our customers, but particularly those who may be experiencing vulnerability of some kind,” he said.
“Vulnerabilities can be caused by complex issues and circumstances that need specialist skill and expertise to manage, so our ability to learn, work with and refer customers to these specialist community support services is extremely beneficial.”