Vizolution is proud to become a Corporate Partner of leading bereavement charity, Cruse Bereavement Support. Cruse is a charity dedicated to helping people through one of the most painful times in life, offering support, information, and campaigning to those in need. Vizolution is an expert in helping organisations streamline their customer journeys, including bereavement journeys. 

The partnership is focused on helping organisations implement better processes for the bereaved and to shine a spotlight on Cruse’s campaign: ‘Bereaved Customers First’. The campaign asks businesses to simplify their processes and put their bereaved customers first by implementing the four ‘P’s’: Plan, Process, People, Paperwork, to deliver a simplified and streamlined bereavement journey. 

Cruse is aware that many people find the process of closing their deceased loved ones’ accounts not only difficult but also highly distressing. For their Bereaved Customers First campaign, Cruse worked with bereaved people who had been affected by this. One spoke of their distress and anger after their wife of 39 years died and they had to navigate a difficult probate. Following this, they contacted the bereavement department at a company to seek help and was faced with an 8-page pdf attachment which was to be completed alongside sharing more supporting documentation. This was an extremely difficult situation to navigate, one that should have been avoided in aftermath of such a distressing situation. 

In order to combat this issue of increased distress for customers, Vizolution have developed an informed solution. Vizolution’s Digital Success Platform is already helping banks and building societies to streamline their bereavement journeys – with NatWest currently using the platform to streamline their bereavement service to be simple and pragmatic, avoiding unnecessary steps and repetition which they know causes added upset and stress to someone grieving. Their time to process inbound notifications has been significantly reduced by an average of 23 days, and they have also eliminated the need for more than half a million sheets of paperwork issued to bereaved families to complete each year. This streamlined bereavement practice, not only simplifies the process but also reduces the emotional burden bereaved people face when closing bank accounts. 

Steven Wibberley, Chief Executive at Cruse Bereavement Support said: “At Cruse, we are passionate about our ongoing campaign ‘Bereaved Customers First’ and this exciting partnership with Vizolution is an important step in ensuring we highlight to as many organisations as possible the importance of having customer journeys which are easy to navigate, at a time that is already extremely difficult. We’ve seen first-hand how many thousands of people are faced with confusing and distressing situations when dealing with the estate of someone close who has died. People are at the centre of all these stories and that’s why partnerships like this are vital to ensure a compassionate response is offered by companies when dealing with the death of a customer.” 

Supporting customers who have lost a loved one was always important, but the pandemic has further highlighted that without the very best digital processes in place, grieving people find things even harder to cope with. 

Earlier this year Which? Research*1 highlighted that bereaved families face severe delays and administrative errors while trying to close their loved ones’ financial accounts.  

Bill Safran, CEO of Vizolution, said: “Bereavement journeys are often very challenging for customers and banks. Banks need the ability to deliver ‘high tech yet high touch’ journeys. The very latest technology allows bereaved people to go through the process without any pain points, but if they need support, it should be readily available – irrespective of channel.” 

Lockdown and the pandemic have created complexities, putting pressure on bank’s digital bereavement services and this has led to inefficiencies. These delays and difficulties have made a difficult time that much harder for grieving individuals, leaving them distressed with bank staff’s skill and knowledge during the bereavement process. 

Clearly the pandemic is fast-tracking the uptake of digital services. But the bereavement systems and processes put in place before or during lockdown are having a negative effect on customer experience at a time when the process should be streamlined and painless for the customer.   

Learn more about bereaved customer journeys and whether yours is delivering as it should in our upcoming webinar; “How to put bereaved customers first (and stay compliant)“ on the 6th April at 10am.

To find out more about how Cruse can support your organisation more broadly to meet the needs of bereaved customers, please contact [email protected]

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