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Better Vulnerability Conversations

Fix Case Study: Vulnerable Customers

Taking care of vulnerable customers is a complex and difficult challenge in the world of financial services. One that the COVID-19 pandemic has only made more urgent to address. 

It’s important to record the status of vulnerable customers so, going forward, they can receive a level of service to match their needs. 

However, capturing this consent from the customer to record their vulnerability over the phone is not an easy task. Most customer service representatives don’t necessarily have the right training to approach this delicate conversation in order to get the best customer outcome. 

This is exactly the problem one of our financial services clients was facing. They asked us to help improve the rate at which customers consented to being recorded as vulnerable and simultaneously improve the employee experience by making those conversations easier.


The behavioural solution

Cowry’s team of Behavioural Scientists intervened with suggested phrases for call centre agents to use during conversations over the phone. These phrases empowered agents to have more compassionate conversations with their vulnerable customers. This made the life of the agent a lot easier. The phrases themselves leveraged principles from behavioural science that would help customers understand the value of a record, and therefore give consent. 

Examples of the nudges used in the script are: 



Reciprocity : Using words such as “Thank you for sharing this with me” or “We want to support you” in the right contexts in the conversation helps build reciprocity between the call centre agents and the customer.

Social norms

Social Norms: Phrases such as “I help many people like you going through a similar situation” helps normalise the idea of vulnerability. This reassures the customer it’s nothing to feel ashamed of.

Cognitive overload

Consistency Principle: Asking for consent by also providing a reason such as “so that we can continue to provide you with the best possible service” helps frame the sentence in a manner so that disagreeing with it would be inconsistent with the customers internal beliefs. I.e They would be telling themselves that they don’t want the best possible service.

The behavioural results

Consent to record vulnerability increased to 99%
Employees felt better equipped to deal with vulnerability conversations




The behavioural outcome


It (the phrases) helped me feel a lot more comfortable talking to and identifying vulnerable customers.

Customer Service Agent

Read further Fix case studies below or explore more case studies featuring Dig, Fix and Teach.

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