Consumer research for older and disabled people

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Research Exchange

In July 2017 we held our third Rica Research event - exchanging innovation and best practice in consumer research with older and disabled people.

Rica Research Exchange 2017

Our annual cross-sector event this year had over 50 attendees - see list below - including Rica clients, research partners, RicaWatch consumer panel members and Rica Trustees. It provided a valuable opportunity to meet people from different industries and sectors and share experiences and ideas.

There were two presentations:

Improving customer service through the '3Rs'
Steve Crabb, Head of Vulnerable Customers at British Gas with RicaWatch panel members who took part in Rica's commissioned British Gas research. The '3Rs' are recognising customers' needs, recording correctly and responding appropriately.

Making technology work for you
Eric Harris, Rica's Head of Research, and RicaWatch members reported on a pilot project about using connected technology at home: the Apple Watch, Amazon Echo and Hive Active sensors. The video (below) was shown, which includes someone with MS and two blind people giving their views and reporting on their experiences.

You can also watch the video about connected tech at home on Rica's YouTube channel.

Workshop topics discussed:

Technology: delivering for older and disabled consumers

  • How can we influence tech design?
  • How does technology assist your customers?
  • How can technologies enable people with dementia?         

Older and disabled customers – who are they?

  • How can businesses identify customers without annoying them?
  • Pros and cons of identifying yourself as old and/or disabled; registers of 'vulnerable' customers.

Organisations that attended included: Age UK, Alzheimers Society, British Gas , British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA), Business Disability Forum, Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT),  Centre for Ageing Better, Communications Consumer Panel, Department for Transport, HS2, Innovations in Dementia , Motability, National Energy Action, Office of Rail & Road (ORR), Rail Delivery Group, Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), Royal Collection Trust, Scope, South East Water,  South Eastern Railways, Superdrug , Telefonica / 02 , Thomas Pocklington Trust, Transport Focus, Transport for Greater Manchester, Transport for London, Uber, Virgin Trains and Which?

If you're interested in finding out how Rica can help your business or organisation improve your products or services to better meet the needs of older and disabled consumers, please contact Caroline Jacobs, Rica's Head of Development.

Last updated: November2017