Insight article

The pandemic care package: putting customers first

Bringing values to life

All companies want to find ways of turning their abstract values into concrete corporate actions. For one major bank, they knew that they wanted to place caring for customers at the heart of their organisational mission. As the ongoing pandemic posed problems for some of their most vulnerable customers, the power of storytelling was used to illustrate how they could go beyond, and build a business based on care.

Boldly going beyond

To do so, the bank acknowledged two aspects of their customers’ realities. First: that COVID-19 restrictions were making life particularly difficult for the elderly, who were less likely than their younger clientele to have access to online or mobile banking services. Second: that such customers were also more likely to suffer from a lack of access to immediate support networks – which might have devastating consequences.

Insistent that not a single client should sink without support, they quickly chose to launch an empathy-driven, highly-personal ‘Reaching Out’ service, which would see dedicated staff commit to contacting, connecting with, and caring for any customers found to be struggling – in any way. 

The calls commenced, and staff soon found that their offers of support were as timely as they were well-intentioned. A few calls in, one staff member spoke to a surprised, but deeply thankful eighty-year old client. In the last day, he said, voice troubled and weary, he’d been unable to get out to the only open local shop. There was no obvious source of assistance, living alone. When asked if he had enough in the house to see out the weekend, he admitted that he perhaps had enough to last the rest of the day.

Taking immediate initiative, the caller sprang into action. Within ten minutes, three different charities had been called, and the elderly gentleman’s situation explained. Within another ten minutes, Age UK had reached out to him, promising him personal food deliveries not just that day, but throughout the pandemic – and beyond. By the time the sun had set, the gentleman again had full cupboards, a full fridge – and no small amount of gratitude.

Putting customers first

The elderly gentleman called wasn’t the only at-risk customer assisted by the ‘Reaching Out’ programme, but he was one of the most in-need. Though the initiative required extra resource and a number of keen staff willing to add to their weekly workloads, all employees agreed: this was what fostering a culture based on care looked like to them. For a company seeking to share obvious examples of its social impact, the ‘Reaching Out’ initiative also offered an outstanding one: customers put first, cared for – and secured against the pandemic’s deepest disruptions.

To discover how storytelling can transform your business, download our e-book, Storytelling: how to reset an organisation’s narrative to inspire change. 

Jack Moran


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