Almost 1 in 5 households in The Netherlands are involved in debt, and these numbers are increasing. Financial reliance is difficult for a lot of people and debt relief programs and debt counseling is necessary, unfortunately. Two debt programs: in the city of Zoetermeer and nation-wide program ‘Schouders Eronder‘ are working hard on constantly revising and improving their counseling programs. To help, Flatland Agency created visuals and visual conversation tools. Visuals create overview and help clarify: the first step for people to tackle their situation.
For the municipality of Zoetermeer we developed a toolkit and new way of working to lower the threshold for new participants in the debt relief program. A distinct folder gives a clear overview of the clients’ route. With a slidable arrow clients can keep track of where they are.
Co-creation with users ánd clients
To develop visual tools properly, Flatland’s consultants mapped the entire process in a client journey. There they discovered that the one the biggest hurdles was the first interview. Often, clients expectations didn’t match the reality of debt counseling and they lacked a clear overview. So, managing expectations and creating clarity is an essential part of the program. Nowadays the debt counselors start the first interview creating a context map, in which we first map all aspects of someone’s situation in a visual way.
Toolkit for low-literate people
For national debt organisation Schouders Eronder we developed a toolkit, especially for low-literate clients. Debt counselors are not always aware of low- and ill-literate clients and their specific needs. So the toolkit was designed to help counselors understand and help their clients better. The toolkit consists of cards with talking points visualised in clear icons.
Your power lies in simplifying very complex processes. Counselors therefore need to stop using their professional jargon and truly connect with their client!Fara Kambiz project lead Schouders Eronder
What we did:
- Mapping the processes and main challenges
- Mapping the client journey, using empathy maps
What we delivered:
- Conversation tools with templates
- Paper folder for all administration files
- Toolkit with cards
With visuals you will clarify complex issues and help people create overview.
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