Help Offset the Cost of Living for Vulnerable Customers: Store Cupboard Gifts and Essentials
With energy prices on the rise, many customers are finding it difficult to make ends meet. Searches for ‘one pound meals’ are up – people are fearful about what the Winter will hold. The latest CIPHR research revealed which aspects of the cost-of-living crisis (ie which cost-of-living related keywords) were being more frequently searched for now than last year and looked at which UK towns and cities recorded the largest increases in average monthly searches per 10,000 people (when comparing August 2022 to August 2021).
Who is most concerned about what?
· Cost of living: Bracknell – 15,900% increase in searches per 10,000 people · Energy bills: Cardiff – 4,700% · Food prices: London – 586% · Inflation: Newport – 1,300% · Interest rates: Cardiff – 2,850% · Mortgage rates: Newport – 2,500% · Petrol prices: Newport – 3,800% · Tax cuts: London – 875% · Pay rise: Glasgow – 400%
Bracknell in Southeast England recorded a massive 15,900% (per 10,000 people) rise in the number of monthly searches for the term ‘cost of living’ in August 2022, compared to August 2021 – almost double that of any other UK town or city (searches in Leeds and Birmingham were up 9,400% and 8,900% respectively).
Cardiff and Newport also feature prominently in the results. Search interest for ‘energy bills’ and ‘interest rates’ rose by 4,700% and 2,850% per 10,000 people in Cardiff. Newport had the largest increases in online searches for three cost-of-living related terms: ‘inflation’, ‘mortgage rates’, and ‘petrol prices’ – up 1,300%, 2,500%, and 3,800% per 10,000 people respectively.
The findings for the UK’s four nations are also interesting. Searches in Wales for the term ‘cost of living’ increased by 10,700% (per 10,000 people) in August 2022, compared to August 2021. During the same period, searches by people living in Scotland and England were up 5,686% and 5,556% respectively, and people in Northern Ireland increased their ‘cost of living’ searches by 2,500%. (Source)
This is affecting people all over the country, and companies may be at a loss on how to help when also pinched by suppliers and restrictions.
In a survey in 2022 of the energy costs, UK households said they expected their bills to rise by an average of £267 a year. This would put a lot of pressure on vulnerable customers, many of whom are already struggling to make ends meet.
How can companies help vulnerable customers?
One way companies can help offset the cost of living for vulnerable customers is by gifting store cupboard gifts and other basics. While we can’t suggest that prices that are too high can be resolved with a gift, we can say that gifts are a thoughtful way to help ease the burden for vulnerable customers. If you’re interested in creating a policy for gifting that your customer service team can work with as a framework, we suggest reaching out to us. We’ll be more than happy to work with you to create a custom solution that meets your needs.
Will customers be offended?
No, customers will probably be very grateful. Most people understand that times are tough and that companies are trying to do their best to help. Besides, who doesn’t like getting a little extra help when they need it?
Typical gifts that work well for vulnerable individuals
At Simply Thank You, we’re passionate about helping companies make a difference in whatever sector they are in. Typical gifts that will be well received at this time are thing such as:
- Food hampers
- Experience days
- Fuel vouchers
- Gift cards for major supermarkets and discount brands
- Christmas gifts and electrical appliances
The best way is to ask the customer. By fact finding, you will understand what they may need the most. This can be done over the phone, or even better face to face if possible.
Your customer services team can have a range of scripts and suggestions to make conversation points around what they want and need.
We can support your vulnerable customer gifting
If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help your company make a difference, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
Simply Thank You can help your company make a difference in the lives of vulnerable customers in the right way. We offer a custom range of gifts that can be gifted to vulnerable customers, helping them to cover the cost of living expenses, and may be especially helpful around the Christmas period.
With our help, your company can make a real difference in the lives of your most vulnerable customers in a way that is sensitive to your brand and their needs. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you create a custom solution that meets your needs.