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Case study 19 – Scottish Widows supports a deaf customer via its trusted friend protocol

Mrs Gray called to find out more about her pension as she wanted to know what her options were. Call handler Martin took the first call from Mrs Gray, established that she wanted to know more about her retirement options, and proceeded to cover off all the options with Mrs Gray.

Mrs Gray advised Martin that she was partially deaf, was struggling to follow what he was saying and asked if he could speak slowly. Martin adapted his pace as best he could and went over the options, but he quickly realised that this wasn’t working as the customer was still asking him to repeat a lot.

He was concerned that Mrs Gray was not able to hear him properly and hence not able to fully understand her options. Martin wasn’t sure if it was best to continue with the call as the customer was getting frustrated and had now been on the call for over 45 minutes but he wanted to help as best he could.

He referred to his mentor for further guidance. Martin returned to the customer and explained that if she was struggling to understand she could seek the help of a trusted friend or relative who she could authorise to gain further information about her policy and the options available. He also offered to send out a customer intent pack which provided all the information about her options as he felt she may prefer them in a written format.

Mrs Gray thought this would be beneficial and stated she would call back once she had reviewed the intent pack and had spoken with a friend she had in mind. Martin updated the policy notes to confirm he had issued the customer intent pack and that the customer may call back with a trusted friend to discuss further.

Mrs Gray called back two weeks later having reviewed the customer intent pack. She had a few questions she needed help with and asked if her friend could speak on her behalf to get this information.

The call handler Sharon vetted the customer and obtained verbal authority to speak to her friend. Mrs Gray had read about the flexible income option and wanted to know more about this. Her friend confirmed that Mrs Gray was keen to take her tax-free cash but leave the rest invested.

Mrs Gray’s friend was then guided to the relevant forms in the customer intent pack that she would need to complete. Once the call ended Mrs Gray filled out and signed all the paperwork and returned these to request to have her tax-free cash paid out.