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The DMA's Contact Centres Council has published a set of guidelines for call centres and companies engaged with telemarketing practical guidance on how to identify and manage a call with someone they believe is unable to make an informed decision, such as those living with dementia or mental health issues.
Guidelines for call centres dealing with vulnerable consumers were produced in November 2012 and updated and reissued in August 2015. They set out step-by-step, the signs to look out for to identify a vulnerable consumer and how best to communicate with them. The guidelines also include details on how managers can support their staff to ensure responsible contact with vulnerable consumers.
Age UK, Alzheimers Society, Dementia Action Alliance and Rethink Mental Illness all support this voluntary initiative, which has been produced in conjunction with companies including BT, nPower, Blue Donkey, KMB Ltd, ReynoldsBusbyLee, Orbital Response and Steve Smith.
The DMA will provide support and advice to companies on how to adapt their training and processes to incorporate the guidelines.
The DMA encourages organisations to implement these guidelines: implementation may be dependent on the capability of internal systems and processes of the individual organisations. They complement DMA members’ obligations towards vulnerable consumers laid out in the DMA Code.