DSDC News

By Henriette Laidlaw

April 25th, 2016

Customer Service at SSE gets training in dementia

Delivering first class customer service is SSE’s number one priority, especially when it comes to taking care of the vulnerable. It is vital that customer service agents are given all the specialist training they need to be able to assist customers. 

This is especially important for customers with dementia which is why SSE has worked with DSDC to create a training programme for the specialist teams. A guide for all employees to assist in dealing with customers with dementia has also been produced, as well as a booklet containing practical tips for those caring for someone with dementia.

Craig Williams MP joined major energy supplier SSE to meet customer service agents taking part in special training to make sure that customers with dementia receive first class customer service.

Mr Williams joined the SSE staff in Cardiff as they learnt how to identify the common cause of Dementia, examined the impact of dementia on family and friends and experienced a practical simulation of the ageing process. The trainers taught the customer service staff how to identify if a customer may have dementia and how this can impact on individuals and families’ daily lives. It was important that those taking part in the training left the session with a better understanding of how to support a person with dementia and use appropriate communication skills either on the telephone or face to face.

“We each have a duty to care for the most vulnerable in society. I welcome the work SSE, Stirling University and the Dementia Service Development Centre is undertaking to ensure the needs of customers living with dementia are being met and the necessary support is being provided. If you or anyone you know is currently living with dementia please be aware that there is support available.” 
Craig William MP

“Many of us know someone who has struggled with dementia.  It is a terrible disease but there are things that service providers, like SSE, can do to make life a little bit easier for people who need a bit of extra support.  Understanding the confusion that can arise because of poor or unclear customer service is a good way to start. At SSE we want to treat our customers like family.  This award-winning training by the DSDC helps us to understand what it is like to live with dementia, and how, as customer service agents, by listening very carefully to our customers and showing warm empathy, we can make sure we’re doing everything we can to help.  In truth, this is good advice in how we should treat all our customers.”
Gareth Wood, Director of Customer Service, SSE

‘We are delighted by the positive response from SSE staff where throughout this training they have been engaged and enthusiastic’.
Shirley Law, Head of Learning & Development, DSDC

The team at DSDC are world class experts in helping those with dementia. We offer award winning training to companies such as SSE and the insight that they are able to provide to customer service staff is second to none. The training delivered at SSE was based on our dementia awareness programme which had been customised to specifically address the interactions SSE staff would have with customers living with dementia.

10 helpful hints on heating and lighting for people with dementia Another output from the partnership with SSE has been the publication of the helpful guide 10 Helpful hints on heating and lighting for people with dementia and their carers

SSE plc is one of the UK’s leading energy companies, involved in the generation, distribution and supply of electricity and in the extraction, storage, distribution and supply of gas. Its core purpose is to provide the energy people need in a reliable and sustainable way. It supplies energy to around 8.28 million customers throughout Great Britain and Ireland, is frequently ranked number one for customer service and is one of the UK’s leading generators of electricity from renewable sources. 

It became a Living Wage employer in September 2013 and was accredited with the Fair Tax Mark in October 2014. Every year it contributes around £9 billion to the UK economy.

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