“Don’t assume – not every disability or vulnerability is visible”

“Don’t assume – not every disability or vulnerability is visible”

Over the past few weeks we’ve been looking at a core customer group, vulnerable customers. From finding out how well you know your customers, to what the commercial benefits to your business could be, we’ve taken a look at the different ways Post Office can support all its customers.

This week we speak to Margaret Potter, Office Manager at Enniskillen Post Office in Northern Ireland to find out more about her experiences and top tips.

What does great customer service mean to you?

Putting the customer first, front and centre of your business each and every day. Try to always go the extra mile for your customer and make them feel valued and that you appreciate your custom.

Tell us about a time either you or a colleague went the extra mile to support a customer 

Very recently I had a customer who is with Post Office Homephone who was receiving a lot of nuisance calls. She is a very vulnerable customer and I appreciate that we are perhaps the only people who could help her.

The customer was very distressed and annoyed at first. I helped her call the helpline who talked her through things she could do, such as getting caller display and not giving out personal details to strangers.

While chatting, I noticed that the customer had a very high bill. I explained about different call features that could save her money and helped her to get a lower priced contract which also included free calls which was a much better deal for her. I also found her a suitable phone handset that had caller display. 

Do you have relationships with any local charities or community groups?

We take part in Save the Children Christmas Jumper Day, I am a Dementia Friend and we raise funds for Marie Curie. 

Why is supporting vulnerable customers important to you?

For me, that could be my mother or father, or I could be that person one day myself so I treat others as I would expect to be treated myself. 

How do you make your branch an inclusive and welcoming space for all customers?

By recognising that everybody is different, diversity and equality are very important to me and my staff. My colleagues know that I wouldn't tolerate anything else.

What are your top 3 tips for other postmasters?

  1. Treat everybody as an individual.
  2. Recognise that some customers will need more of your time than others.
  3. Don't assume - not every disability or vulnerability is visible. Be mindful of people's conditions but try to make everyone feel valued.