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Call: 0800 011 3797


Pensions in the Quiet Carriage

I am fascinated with the reaction to someone speaking in the Quiet Carriage on the train; it ranges from the dramatic finger wagging to looking around to see if a fellow passenger makes a “quiet zone” arrest.

In August 2013, The Pensions Advisory Service quietly introduced our webchat service. We were told that it would not work with our customer demographic. With no advertising, it has become our 2nd biggest channel. We are now looking to introduce it with the work that we do in answering the Money Advice Service customers’ pension questions.

The story that really touched me was when Raj showed me his Pension Wise webchat appointment that he had conducted for a deaf man. The transcript read like a face-to-face conversation, with the explanation of the appointment format by Raj followed by the customer gradually giving personal information, as his confidence in Raj grew. They even joked about Black Adder! The webchat transcript is strong evidence of the findings in the recent PPI report on customer engagement; “personalised intervention where people feel that their own needs, circumstances and goals are understood are most effective.” Sometimes, this has been mistaken for the need for face-to-face interaction but with our increased ability to have conversations through a digital channel, it can be achieved in a webchat.

We have discovered that our customers are happy to use webchat in the evening when there is little appetite for a phone call. Extending webchat hours to 6:20pm and introducing “late night” opening between 7pm-9pm has proven very popular. The growth in the channel also reflects the fact that people are increasingly working in open-plan offices so it has become harder to call about potentially sensitive financial matters.

And, of course, remember you can webchat us from the quiet carriage on the train… if the Wi-Fi works!

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