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Increasing Support For Vulnerable Customers

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25 Oct 2021

NIE Networks has launched a new public information campaign to raise awareness of the specialist services the company offers to help those customers who may have vulnerabilities or require additional support.

The campaign comes just a few months after NIE Networks launched its new Vulnerable Customer Strategy which defines how services will be increased for those customers needing extra support. This includes customers with communication barriers, translation requirements, the elderly, those who are visually impaired or those reliant on life saving medical equipment.

Speaking at the launch of the campaign, Customer and Market Services Director for NIE Networks, Ronan McKeown, said; 

“Our new public information campaign aims to increase awareness of the range of services we offer to help ensure the most vulnerable in society are cared for as customers of NIE Networks. Our customer service teams are trained to treat everyone with respect and time and if a customer needs additional reassurance or information we are there to provide it.”

“Each year we invest around £0.5 million on support services and our teams have undertaken specialist training across a range of areas so they can deliver a quality customer service experience to every customer, regardless of their individual circumstances or needs.

A key offering from NIE Networks is the company’s Medical Customer Care Register which offers a telephone information support service to customers who are dependent on life supporting medical equipment in the event of a power cut. Currently, over 10,000 people are registered but the company want to increase that number significantly over the next 5 years.

NIE Networks is also an accredited JAM Card friendly organisation, with over 90 per cent of staff trained to provide the highest standard of service to those customers with a learning difficulty, autism or communication barrier.

The NIE Networks Customer Helpline service operates 24/7 all year round and employs a core team of customer service agents who process in excess of 20,000 calls per month. Under the new strategy the company is developing a specialist team so those customers who may have a vulnerability can speak to specially-trained agents, something Mr McKeown says is crucial to keeping every customer connected.

“We’ve made a lot of progress so far but we want to take that to the next level. Employees will be up-skilled to improve their communications with those with hearing or speech difficulties through the use of Relay UK and we will improve employee ID cards to make them easier for customers to check when calling at properties.

“We are a dementia friendly organisation, we have facilities on our website to assist customers with visual impairment and our metering team can arrange an appointment for those customers who need to be accompanied by a friend or family member. That’s just some of the ways we can help.”

Further Information

To register for the NIE Networks Medical Customer Care Register or to find out more about the other tailored support services available visit our Help and Advice section.

Vulnerable Customers