Empathy helps defaulters to get back on track.

6 weeks

Morphological Psychology Design Sprint

KPN, the largest telecom provider in the Netherlands, needed a more empathic approach towards customers in financial difficulty. Research showed that the traditional tough approach is counterproductive and inhumane. How can we serve this group in a way that helps both them and KPN?

I found Koos to be an energetic and dynamic company, with a motivated team who are committed to delivering a successful project.

— Arjan Visser Credit Risk Manager at KPN


With a multidisciplinary KPN and Koos team, we conducted 18 in-depth interviews with customers who had been in a difficult financial situation with KPN. We decided to hold these interviews at the participants’ homes, as a trusted environment would enable us to gain deeper insight.

To provide KPN with a more empathic representation of the target group, we created a need based segmentation. This resulted in a set of user behaviour profiles with ideated service concepts that resonated with their needs and habits, to the benefit of both the customers and KPN. These concepts were prototyped and validated in group sessions. The input and feedback led to a redesigned overall process. 


We gave KPN a rich understanding of the needs and behaviours of its financially troubled customers. Moreover, we provided them validated service concepts to help create a more empathic customer experience. These included a unique product proposition for defaulters, a simple app function to make it easy to pay off part of your accumulated debt and a tool for the customer administrator to do business with KPN. Our findings also led to the redesign of letters and emails and a new specialised customer service department to address this target group’s finance-related questions.

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