IncomeMax founder highlights importance of human-centric services

Published by Scott Challinor on July 20th 2020, 7:00am

The nature of IncomeMax’s work as a social enterprise means that human-to-human conversations form a central part of its service delivery; helping families access unclaimed benefits to help ease the burden of household bills and debt. While the Covid-19 lockdown has seen a hailing of the powers of digital connections and prompted plenty of reflection about our working practices, IncomeMax founder and managing director Lee Healey stressed that there must still be a place for human-centred services under the new normal.

Speaking to the Inclusive Economy Partnership, Healey explained that for many people “benefits advice is best delivered by a real person as it gives customers a level of empathy, understanding and kindness that digital technology cannot.”

Healey said: “The opportunity for digital innovation within the benefits system is really exciting, but we must not forget that for many of the most vulnerable in society, a personal and individual support system is needed. Therefore, I hope that human interaction is central to re-building our economy after the pandemic.”

IncomeMax has been there for vulnerable people throughout the pandemic thus far, including many who were anxious, concerned and unsure of how to access the support that was available to them.

Indeed, from April to June, the number of households that IncomeMax supported increased by 35 per cent on the same period in 2019, with assistance primarily centred around helping make claims and providing additional guidance.

Healey said: “We were pleased we could be there for them. Many customers needed reassurance, information on how to claim, and what support to expect from their employers.”

For Healey, what is central to IncomeMax’s service is understanding vulnerability, hence the social enterprise was built to support customers with issues that they are ‘vulnerable to’ such as making phone calls or struggling to access certain support systems online or through other avenues.

Healey added: “We need to design better services for everybody. There is always more to be done to make services more user-friendly and supportive.”

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Scott Challinor
Business Editor
July 20th 2020, 7:00am

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