We recently had the pleasure of working alongside the Legal & General team and were interested in getting an insight into their experience of working with us.
Customer Outcomes Manager Elizabeth Elphick oversees the lifetime mortgage service team at L&G. They are dedicated to helping customers experience the best retirement possible by having the funds to do so.
Elizabeth explained that in the department she manages, they aim to make their customers aware of their later life lending possibilities. For example, if they want to pay for in-house care once they can no longer take care of themselves. Or even a luxury retirement break! Legal & General can help customers arrange the right finance to support their plans by using the equity available to them in their property.
She kindly took time to answer some questions and share her thoughts on working with terptree.
What were your requirements when you first engaged with us?
Customer service is at the forefront of all we do. Our customers are all over 55, and we know our average customer is aged 69. And because we identified that age-related hearing loss and deafness are among the top disabilities our customers face, we knew that we could do more to help those customers if we had the right advice and training.
How did you discover terptree?
Legal & General is a massive organisation. So to help source the best options for training etc. we have a Group Customer Function department. They were aware of terptree, and as some budget was available, they asked if we would like to use terptree’s services. We jumped at the chance to take part in the audit and learn from it to improve and also identify the strengths we did have so we could build on them.
What function has terptree performed for your organisation?
They completed a full audit of our functions. It was fantastic and highlighted several things we could improve.
In particular, they worked with us on our core scripts and Interactive Voice Response (IVR), which had been operating a little too quickly: and identified the need to put a ‘hold’ option at the end so people could speak to an operator if they wished to.
These findings were so informative, and we got a lot out of the time we spent with Victoria. She also brought a deaf colleague who gave us first-hand knowledge of how some services are not helpful to the deaf. That was useful to us as a business as she also explained why she, as a deaf person, would actively avoid certain companies because of the experiences she’s had in the past.
What benefits has this brought?
We’ve made improvements to our IVR system. We’ve also amended our core scripts and added more questions to capture any vulnerability at the start of the customer’s journey. Because what we recognised and appreciated was that the audit wasn’t only useful for our deaf customers: it made us more aware of other vulnerabilities too. Victoria was so knowledgeable about this, which was very helpful.
As a result of the audit, we have also updated our Vulnerability Training for our teams. For example, using triggers such as: what would our team do and how would they react when hearing a verbal trigger identifying a customer was deaf?
We’ve made sure they now understand environment plays an important role in providing a great service to our deaf customers, for instance, being in a quiet area with no background noise or disturbances, and we are looking into providing soundboards to help this.
Also, we were made aware, from the audit, that there may be alternative ways our customers would want to communicate with us – like video calls. When considering this, we’ve decided to start working with the Relay UK App, which involves the deaf or speech-impaired customer typing a question. That gets translated to speech for the hearing person at the end of the phone. They speak their answer, and that’s then transcripted to text for the deaf person to read.
We’re also now very focused on getting feedback from our customers, especially those more vulnerable, to ensure we continue to provide the communication options they need.
How was the process?
We had a few scoping out calls before they came to us, working out timescales and options. We planned that Victoria spend time in all departments to understand the customers’ end-to-end journey.
There was also a thorough look into what we were doing currently, and our daily tasks, so Victoria understood before coming to our offices.
After that initial investigation started with our website to make sure it was compatible and user friendly, then through every customer touchpoint, including the life of the loans.
Victoria hosted ‘Lunch and Learn’ sessions with our staff and was fantastic at communicating with our teams at all levels. No question was left unanswered, and nothing was too much trouble for her.
They also spent a little time with our Legal & General Advice department and offered interesting advice for improvements.
What we appreciated was that there was no disruption to our daily function whatsoever. It wasn’t at all intrusive, and Victoria was so respectful of our processes, procedures and etiquette. Also, all the suggestions for improvements that were made were done proactively and with respect.