The need to provide support is frequently referred to as identifying ‘vulnerable customers’ or ‘hidden disabilities’. We believe that the obligation is broader than that. By focussing on capacity, a wider range of people are supported, a wider range of risks reduced and a wider range of benefits unearthed.
Here at Support Inform, we have been working hard to make sure that providing support is not just a compliance tick box exercise. Combining multi-disciplinary expertise ensures that it is also a massive opportunity to reach out to key customer bases, whatever the size of your organisation.
That’s why we have developed an active e-training platform. It addresses your current obligations and reduces your organisation’s risk immediately. It also actively monitors developing expectations and delivers real-time updates, so that your organisation is at the forefront of best-practice support for its customers. Your staff will always able to provide the best level of customer service, when it is needed the most, and your organisation can demonstrate progressive reasonable measures as obligations develop.
It operates as an industry wide compliance measure, reducing your organisation’s exposure, and enabling customers to rely on the same level of support wherever they are.
Compliance and opportunity don’t often go hand in hand. When they do, smart organisations recognise the economic benefit. From 5, to 50,000 employees, Support Inform is ready to help your organisation comply with its obligations and maximise its opportunities.
Smart organisations are already responding to a consumer population with developing and progressing expectations.
Support Inform monitors emerging trends, risks and opportunities, actively updating your employees. Your organisation is actively empowered to operate at the forefront of best-practice customer support.
Positive action through Support Inform represents an outstanding cost to benefit opportunity.
Part of this is driven by an ageing population, for whom capacity is a particular concern. The numbers are staggering. Presently, at £320bn the over 50s account for 47% of all U.K. consumer spending. Over the next 10 years, it is estimated that around 2/3 of all retail spending growth will come from the over 55s. Similarly, 80% of people with dementia list shopping as their favourite activity, and since 2014 their spending power has doubled to over £20bn, at 3.6% of household spending in England.
Considering that 83% of people with memory problems switched shopping habits to places which were more accessible, investing in providing support where capacity is affected is far more than simply the right thing to do.
That’s only a scratch at the surface. However a person’s capacity is affected, and beyond those directly affected, the ripple effect of becoming Support Inform certified carries vast economic potential.
Positive public perception can reinvent retailers and strengthen an organisation’s position in the market.
Get in touch with us today to find out more about the opportunities presented by Support Inform.
Support Inform is designed to actively protect each organisation.
We work with leading consumer law experts to consider and address the specific legal and reputational risks that all organisations face when they enter into transactions or fail to support appropriately when providing a service.
The legal landscape is rapidly changing as awareness increases, as is the exposure to negative publicity through social media and the press. While, ultimately, responsibility rests with each organisation, in becoming certified, organisations can demonstrate that they have taken reasonable measures to provide support.
By training staff, organisations significantly reduce the likelihood of any liability arising in the first place. More detailed information can be provided upon request, however beneath are some of the areas where exposure is increasing:
- Voidable contracts. As knowledge increases, organisations will be fixed with ‘constructive knowledge’ of a customer’s lack of capacity. This would render the contract voidable at the election of the consumer.
- Equality Act 2010. Reasonable adjustments should be made to enable all consumers to access shops and services. Training and monitoring is essential to avoid a civil claim against your organisation.
- Consumer Rights Act 2015. All of the circumstances resulting in an agreement will be taken into account when deciding if any term of that agreement is unfair. This includes whether a consumer didn’t understand a term through a failure within the process to support capacity limitations. An unfair, non-binding term could have serious consequences.
- Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. Misleading actions, omissions, and aggressive commercial practices are criminal offences. Failing to understand and support where capacity is affected could easily result in an organisation carrying out an aggressive commercial practice. Aside from criminal sanctions, civil actions including unwinding any contract and damages for losses, distress and inconvenience are available.
- Risk of an ICO fine. Breach of data protection regulations may result in a fine, and the risk of a breach is increased where the consumer’s understanding of what they are agreeing to is affected.
Whether or not a legal claim is brought, the reputational and practical risks in dealing with an issue arising are significant:
- Negative publicity within the media can have a severe detrimental effect on an organisation’s reputation and appeal.
- Consumer rights groups may cause significant disruption to trading and reputation following a failure to provide support.
- The costs of dealing with a complaint, whether it is litigated or not, can be extensive.
- Hidden costs, such as staff time in dealing with issues, can be extremely difficult to quantify.
The industry wide training material has been carefully developed using a multi-disciplinary approach including:
- International medico-legal expertise
- Specialist consumer law advice
- Key charity consultation
- Peer review
Our methodology is centred on simplicity. Simple, but powerfully effective training for frontline staff to understand and put into practice.
Support Inform brings together all issues affecting capacity, delivering training through one direct and evolving platform, avoiding multiple courses.
Zero disruption to business is achieved through an innovative e-training platform, accessible across any device, at any time. All staff can be trained instantly. No more lengthy training during working hours.
Impact is immediate. Best practice updates and additional capacity specific modules are pushed directly to each user, ensuring that your organisation is consistently at the forefront of supporting its customers.
Each employee will be individually certified. Your organisation will be publicly certified, and can start displaying and promoting your Support Inform standard immediately.