We caught up with Jordan Tolner to see how him and his team help some of our more vulnerable customers.
Tell us about yourself. Where are you based and what's your role?
I work in the BT Consumer Marketing Experience team. My sole focus is around inclusion and what more (from a products, propositions and services) BT can do/offer for our more ‘vulnerable’ customers.
I also chair a quarterly meeting with our Managing Director of Service and key charities such as Mind, Macmillan, Age UK, Carers UK, RNIB, Action on Hearing Loss, etc. In this session we discuss the hot topics around accessibility and inclusion, as well as explore initiatives around how BT can continue to support more vulnerable people.
What products/services do BT offer for vulnerable customers?
We offer a range of accessible products and services which are typically voice (landline) centric. These range from discounted landline (BT Basic) for those with financial difficulties, through to specialist handsets to support those with limited dexterity, visual and audio needs.
We also offer priority fault repair, calling features to block unwanted incoming and outgoing calls, as well as relay text services (a form of text-to-speech or speech-to-text; like WhatsApp).
More information can be found on these products and services, as well as guidance on additional accessibility features, alternative bill formats and support (including our dedicated vulnerable customer helpdesk) on BT’s Including You accessibility website.
Are there any specific products/services for hearing loss?
Yes. There are number of devices designed for hearing impairments, from the BT Big Button 400 to the BT Décor 2600. Again, more information can be found on the current devices on the Including You site.
It’s also worth mentioning that we are currently in the process of refreshing and updating the range to incorporate new technologies available.
From your experience, what would be your top tip for someone communicating with someone who is hearing impaired?
I find just asking someone how they prefer communicating. If they are having trouble understanding you, try another way never say ‘it doesn’t matter’.
Other tips include making sure you are face-to-face, not obscuring your mouth and speak clearly (where possible). It’s also worth noting it isn’t always about speaking louder and slower!
Action On Hearing Loss have more tips around communicating clearly
What's the most rewarding thing about your job?
Knowing that the work I do, in a small way, contributes towards making our customers’ lives that little bit easier.