MBNA’s Specialist Collections Team, a highly-skilled group of employees dedicated to helping customers who are vulnerable or experiencing financial difficulties, was awarded ‘Best Customer Initiative’ at the 2014 Debt Collection Awards – an event recognising compliance, fairness and sensitivity in customer treatment by the UK collections industry.
The team works with customers experiencing a wide range of issues, from poor mental health to terminal illness, and offers a range of bespoke assistance. Every member of the Specialist Collections Team has completed a rigorous training programme to enable them to provide their industry-leading support.
“We’re absolutely delighted with this recognition for the team, as every one of them is truly dedicated to helping to make life easier for customers who may be experiencing financial difficulties, or who need that extra bit of support with their accounts”, said Mike Walsh, who heads up the Specialist Collection Team.
“Helping our customers deal with short or longer term issues is a very important part of what we do. We’ve taken a very different approach to this, by engaging the support of partners and charities, including StepChange Debt Charity, Samaritans, MIND (The National Association for Mental Health), Macmillan Cancer Support and Dementia Friends, an Alzheimer's Society initiative”, Walsh added.
The links to these partners has been instrumental in the development of the best-in-class services MBNA provides for customers. “Working together has allowed us to identify indicators of vulnerability or financial difficulty, and that has enabled us to achieve results that really do work for our customers – something that’s borne out by the feedback we are receiving every day”, he continued.
MBNA's commitment to helping vulnerable customers extends throughout the business with significant work undertaken to ensure all customer-facing teams are aware of the signs of vulnerability. Mike Walsh added, “By speaking to teams throughout the business we’ve been able to highlight signals that demonstrate customers may be experiencing difficulty. Admitting vulnerability can be a difficult experience for customers but, once a customer is assigned to our specialist team, it is our priority to provide them with extra support and help them manage their financial commitments.”
The success of the Specialist Collections Team has resulted in MBNA sharing its experiences and processes with a range of other companies, in financial services and other sectors, across the UK in order to help them develop their own strategies for supporting vulnerable customers.
The winners of Credit Today’s Debt Collection Awards 2014 were announced following a ceremony at Manchester’s historic Midland Hotel. The event was attended by more than 450 professionals and further details are available at http://www.debtcollectionawards.co.uk/