ICS Showcase

Institute of Customer Service Community Showcase in Kings Hill focuses on 'Service with Respect'

On Thursday 20 June, we were delighted to welcome Institute of Customer Service (ICS) Chief Executive Officer Jo Causon and Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent, Matthew Scott to our Kings Hill offices for a Community Showcase focusing on the ICS’ Service with Respect campaign.

With around 60% of the UK’s workforce working in customer-facing roles, mounting abuse is impacting people across every sector – from retail to public services, financial institutions to our public transport networks. The ICS launched ‘Service with Respect’ in July 2020 with the aim to shine a light on this issue, with research showing high levels of abuse and low levels of reporting cross-sector.

The morning saw an audience of ICS member companies from across Kent, listen to Jo, Matthew and Cabot Financial Chief Operating Officer, Jaime Nuwar-Graham discussing various aspects of the campaign. We also had valuable input from several Cabot Financial Customer Consultants, bringing a crucial view from people who are on the frontline.

Jo kicked off the morning asking for experiences and focused on both wellbeing, and everyone’s accountability for working together to find the right outcomes to any service interaction. Understanding that everyone plays a role is essential. She also took time to share the latest ICS research around service interactions and Service with Respect, which are being shared very soon.  



Jaime focused how we at Cabot Financial manage difficult customer situations. Our use of speech analytics to detect vulnerability, aggression and other key and varied triggers was shared, as well as how we tailor our service approach to ensure the right outcomes in each of these different scenarios, as it will and should vary.

Matthew discussed his and his colleagues experience of abuse in his role as Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent. Colleagues across all sectors are seeing and experiencing increased hostility over the last 6-12 months and we need to establish how we work together to ensure everyone is physically and psychologically safe. It was clearly acknowledged that abuse isn’t always about someone shouting or being physical, it can be subtle and driven by an undertone against someone, their characteristics or from someone’s personal bias.

Matthew highlighted the importance of Victim Voice in increasing awareness and that a big key is reporting. Knowing the realities of what people doing their day job are facing is crucial to enabling us to make a difference and to stop people from leaving customer service roles.



An extremely insightful discussion followed with a number of telling experiences being shared. The discussions centred on how we can identify triggers in people, adapt our style, attempt to support a customer and where the line lies between an interaction being difficult and abusive. The room was unanimous that we all have a role to play in ensuring everyone is comfortable, heard and safe.


Katy Camp (Cabot Financial, Operations Support Manager) then took the group through how we at Cabot use technology to ensure we get the best outcomes and protect our customer consultants from being overwhelmed in difficult conversations. This is all geared at ensuring all of our customer conversations are set up to provide the best possible chance of the right outcome for everyone involved.



Thanks to everyone who took part and played a role in creating a fascinating and thought provoking morning. We look forward to continuing to build relationships locally in Kent and also in supporting the ICS to continue their work and campaigns, which are all geared at improving service for everyone that is part of the process.


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