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CX Files

May 11, 2023

Peter Ryan has been talking to Marianne Withers for some time about the special needs of vulnerable customers. Marianne is the founder and CEO of The Verity Centre, a boutique contact centre and BPO in Portsmouth, UK. Marianne is joined in the discussion by Cath Wohlers, LIAISE Manager at England Illegal Money Lending Team, to talk about how comanies can engage with their most vulnerable customers.

How can contact centres and BPOs help vulnerable people get their life back on track if they have been caught out by gambling addiction, loan sharks, or just huge increases in their regular energy bills?

How can BPO agents handle customer contact effectively when they may be talking to customers that are threatening to take their life if the company insists on collecting the debt?

Can it ever be moral to hire a BPO for collections and pay them only if they force customers to pay? This aggresive approach is common, but does it ever achieve results if it just forces customers into even more debt? How can a BPO force their employees to act in an aggresive way, ingnoring the need of any vulnerable customers.

The difference between what a company wants to do may not be morally correct. How do BPOs handle this dilemma?

The economy remains uncertain in many major economies at present, but in the past year the UK has had a very tough time with energy and property rental/mortgage prices soaring. How can BPOs help their clients to ensure bills are paid, but in a way that also accepts that vulnerable customers need more empathy that others?


Marianne Withers

Founder and CEO, The Verity Centre

Portsmouth, UK


Cath Wohlers

LIAISE Manager at England Illegal Money Lending Team

Liverpool, UK