- Launch of sign language and text services for deaf customers
- Roll-out of talking cash machines
- Introduction of a specialist colleague helpline to provide expert support for customer-facing staff
- Improved recording of disabled customer needs
- Training programme for customer-facing colleagues
Lloyds Banking Group has launched its Customer Disability Programme in Westminster with the support of The Minister for Disabled People, Esther McVey MP and The Shadow Disabilities Minister, the Rt Hon Anne McGuire MP. The Group’s commitment includes the development of new, innovative technology, several customer service initiatives and colleague training to improve the service it provides to customers with disabilities.
The launch follows a year of engagement and information gathering through customer focus groups and research with several disability groups such as Disability Rights UK and the Alzheimer’s Society to gain a clear understanding of customers’ needs and how the Bank can adapt to address them.
The improvements being made by Lloyds Banking Group as part of its Customer Disability Programme include:
SignVideo Sign Language service
Lloyds Banking Group is the first financial services organisation in the UK to announce it is introducing a sign language service on its website. Using a webcam, customers will be able to connect to a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter who will enable them to communicate directly with the customer service team and deal with their banking needs.
Lloyds Banking Group is also introducing TexBox, an enhanced form of Textphone that allows deaf or hearing impaired customers to use their own mobile or computer as well as a traditional textphone to contact the bank and converse with customer service staff.
Talking Cash Machines
Talking cash machines are cash machines that are equipped with jack plugs to allow cardholders to connect earphones and which generate a spoken walkthrough of each transaction screen, as it would appear to a sighted customer. Lloyds Banking Group will be introducing 400 talking cash machines early next year, increasing to around 1,000 across the UK by the end of 2013. This will be an ongoing programme with the long term aim of rolling them out to the entire Lloyds’ estate of circa 7,000 cash machines across the UK*.
Staff training and support
Disability awareness training for all customer-facing colleagues will be rolled out to ensure they can better meet the needs of customers with disabilities. This includes dementia awareness training and a Group-wide colleague pan-disability guide.
The Group is also introducing a new system for capturing the needs of customers so customer service staff can better understand what challenges a customer faces as a result of their disability. For example, a deaf customer might want the fact they lip-read recorded, so that branch staff are aware of this when they are serving them in the future, or a customer with autism might want to move to a quieter room.
Lloyds Banking Group has also set up a specialist helpline that staff can call if they are dealing with a disabled customer and need advice on how best to manage their requirements.
Martin Dodd, Lloyds Banking Group’s Customer Services Director, says: “We want to be the best bank for all UK consumers which is why we are always looking for new ways to meet the different needs of our customers. Today’s announcement is proof of our commitment. I’m delighted to be announcing these initiatives which will significantly improve the service we provide to our disabled customers.
“I also recognise the challenges facing our customers are wide-ranging and there is a lot more we can do to support them. Through our Customer Disability Programme we will continue to actively engage with our customers to understand their needs and look at how we can support them.”
Liz Sayce, the CEO of Disability Rights UK, says: “We value highly working in partnership with Lloyds Banking Group and commend their commitment to their disabled staff and customers. We thank them for their continuing support of Radiate – our network of disabled leaders – and look forward to continuing this partnership. We are delighted Lloyds is sponsoring the parliamentary launch event for Disability Rights UK – where we will continue with our work to peel back the barriers faced by disabled people.”