Competency Framework: knowing your customer

Technical Domains

1. Knowing your customer

This domain is about understanding who the customer is and their needs – which they may or may not be aware of – and draws on many of the cross-cutting behaviours and skills that underpin practice. It requires the practitioner to develop an understanding of their customers, including background, circumstances, expectations and goals. The domain comprises Tiers 1 and 2 only.

1.1.1 Ask questions and listen carefully to the customers’ responses, clarifying when appropriate, to determine the complexity and urgency of need
1.1.2 Awareness of the holistic nature of money guidance, and that many areas are linked (e.g. debt and benefits; homes and mortgages and borrowing etc.)
1.1.3 Awareness of the ways in which life events can affect an individual’s circumstances, for example: illness; having a baby or child, including adopting and fostering; new job; moving jobs; redundancy; bereavement; divorce; separation and relationship breakdown and; major purchases
1.1.4 Awareness of the ‘red flags’ indicating urgent need and/or vulnerability, and how to identify them: risk of self-harm/safeguarding risk; no food; risk of homelessness; bailiff/sheriff officers and/or enforcement action and; economic and financial abuse
1.1.5 Awareness of Power of Attorney and third party access
1.1.6 Awareness of scams and what to do if a customer has been the subject of a scam
1.2.1 Ask detailed and probing questions, listening carefully to: understand customers’ own awareness of their need and their level of prior understanding; to understand if customers’ circumstances have recently changed or if they are likely to explore options; their pros and cons and whether alternatives might be more suitable (e.g. saving instead of borrowing) to the customers’ circumstances and; identify any additional problems or needs
1.2.2 Ask detailed and specific questions about customers individual circumstances which may include personal data and sensitive information
1.2.3 Help customers to identify their own issues, goals and priorities, including any potential challenges or barriers
1.2.4 Check customers’ understanding of their options, assessing their level of understanding through questioning
1.2.5 Clarify customers’ goals, expectations and, where appropriate, an understanding of the service and its policies
1.2.6 Conduct research: into local, regional and national agencies for signposting and referrals; to identify up to date information concerning the customers’ need or issue; to find out, understand and use evidence and insight that relates to delivering money guidance
1.2.7 Understand how much information should be provided for different types of customers/what type of information is suitable
1.2.8 Understand how to address concerns about fraud or identity theft
1.2.9 Facilitate customers to act on their own behalf, where appropriate with the aim of empowering them to manage their own affairs and change behaviours

Training and qualifications

Find out about external training for the knowing your customer domain.

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