Improving the bereavement journey

Insights and ideas from people who had been bereaved and ‘critical friends’ from expert partner organisations.

Insight 1: When someone dies, the person dealing with their finances has to contact over 20 providers of services to close accounts and, in some cases, start a complex journey of releasing funds.

Insight 2: That person is often a family member who is grieving – and grief can have many emotional and physical consequences.

These are just two of many insights that brought the realities of bereavement, and dealing with a loved one’s finances, to the heart of the death claims team at savings & investment business Quilter.

The ‘bereavement journey’ is one of the most commonly complained about services in the savings & investment world, and Quilter wanted to make improvements to their processes to give the loved ones of deceased customers a better, simpler and easier experience.

On the first day we gathered lived experts – people who’d been through it themselves with husbands, wives or parents – and ‘critical friends’ from expert partner organisations Cruse Bereavement Support and Settld, to immerse the Quilter team in the realities of bereavement, grief and dealing with death administration. Many powerful insights arose, and on day two we supported the team to use those insights to devise a whole range of improvements – from achieving the right balance between empathy and efficiency in customer letters, to ways of streamlining and simplifying the overall process.

“We are thrilled to have been one of the first businesses to take part in a Three Hands two-day in-person workshop on bereavement, with a cross-functional team of Quilter colleagues. 

“While we had strong processes in place, we’ve introduced further improvements thanks to the insights we gained, including from ‘lived experts’ in bereavement. If every service provider did likewise, grieving families, and the professionals supporting them, would have a lot less to worry about.”

Anthony Scammell, Adviser and Client Services Director, Quilter

“The Three Hands team brought the process of reflecting on our process to life. Highly engaging, smartly run. It made a solemn subject fun and gave the review process a real pulse.”

Correspondence Analyst on the Quilter team

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