We were asked by RSA insurance underwriters to create and design a guide for their employees. The guide is to show employees how to communicate with vulnerable customers in the most accessible and inclusive manner. Effective communications with customers, with and without vulnerable characteristics, enables employees to provide the best service possible, which helps customer retention and loyalty. One in two people will exhibit vulnerable characteristics at some point in their lives. This can make them potentially less able to represent their own interests with different needs and behavioural biases, negatively impacting their decision making.

The guide ensures their needs are met when it comes to making important decisions about their insurance and finances. Through communicating in an accessible way, we can ensure that all customers have the information they need to make informed choices. In the guide, we acknowledge that there are a range of different barriers that people may face when it comes to reading, interacting and understanding information including:

  • Poor literacy skills
  • Taking longer to understand information
  • Anxiety through lack of understanding

From taking the time to understand these barriers, we wrote out specific actions employees can take to provide better written communications to customers who may be experiencing vulnerability. We realised that being accessible isn’t just through design and visual elements, it’s also through the language we use.
The actions included:

  • Using short, easily digestible sentences
  • Using bullet points where necessary
  • Using active verbs
  • Using appropriate language
  • Showing empathy, patience and understanding

Vulnerability is different for everyone, so we emphasised that there is a no ‘one size fits all’ approach. As an agency, we recognise how important it is to adapt to unique audiences, and we are pleased that we were able to support RSA with this project.

Imi Byers