Everything we do is about people. Customers, agents, employees, humans.
Perhaps that's why one of the most outstanding and illuminative sessions from FourNet's recent Digital Transformation Summit was hearing in detail about a recent project with Alzheimer's Society.
Our Senior CX Service Designer Caroline Thomas hosted a fascinating session with five representatives from the Society, along with FourNet's Contact Centre specialist and Solutions Architect, Amanda Henderson. They outlined why, and how, we've helped the charity, its employees, and those it serves – people living with dementia.
The session began with an emotional Alzheimer's Society video. WARNING: Some of you may find the story emotionally distressing or triggering.
The Human Element
Our panel session detailed how the very latest cloud-based technology is being harnessed through our partnership with one of the UK's leading dementia charities to transform fundraising and support services and enhance Alzheimer's Society's inclusive approach.
FourNet's solution architects have worked hand-in-hand with the Society, along with our partners NICE, for more than a year to design, build, install and deliver a new care and support centre, which is expected to transform the charity's dementia support services and fundraising capabilities.
Jennie Mummery, Senior Support Care Engagement Manager at Alzheimer's Society, said that the new system is designed to cure a whole range of problems from which the charity had suffered previously. She said one of the key issues was to ensure prioritisation of emails and calls among a flood of incoming enquiries from members of the public, and to be able to sift out important contacts from less important contacts, including safeguarding concerns, big donations from supporters, and day to day contact from those living with dementia.
She said the organisation previously suffered from using many different systems and platforms in what she described as a "Frankenstack", which the new all in one system will resolve.
Providing help and hope
Paul West, IT project manager at the Society, said: "We wanted a multi-channel contact centre system, with different ways of interacting with supporters and the people we are providing services for. We needed the system to be versatile enough to fulfil all the services we offer – from fundraising to support line teams, etc. We are not a commercial organisation or a sales room.
"At the end of the day we are in the business of providing help and hope for people living with dementia or caring for anyone living with dementia."
Amanda Henderson, FourNet's Solutions Architect, said "the human element" was of over-riding importance, and revealed that this project was a personal as well as a customer journey, since a member of her family lives with dementia.
"This phrase kept on coming up, it had to be 'dementia friendly'. It was putting that human element into the design. If you have someone calling 20 times a day, not remembering that they've called, how could I flag that to an agent and give them an insight into why they were calling.
"It really made me think very differently about what the design for this contact centre should look like, to incorporate the human element. The rule book literally went out the window to make sure it was dementia friendly."
Liam Hogan, Alzheimer's Society's Technical Business Analyst, said: "One of the biggest focuses we had at the outset was not to find just another supplier, but to find someone we could work collaboratively with – and FourNet and NICE have both been very collaborative, they digested what it means to be dementia friendly."
"We saw this project as an opportunity to unify the way we work. Previously the contact centre solution for the fundraising team and the dementia support teams were different. That was a big issue internally. Now they can work much more harmoniously."
Amanda said the system was tested extremely thoroughly and everyone knew how it would impact them, and the benefits.
Paul told the summit that change is "always tough" but pointed out that the launch at each of their sites around the country had been highly successful.
Liam added: "It was such a seamless transition. That's direct feedback we have had. People realised that the change was a lot smoother than they expected. That's a testament to ourselves, to FourNet and NICE."
Sandeep Shikotra, Support Care Engagement Manager, said: "The feedback has been amazing from the advisors – about a clean interface, really easy to use. And the impact on the people calling us, it's a big more difficult to measure, but people didn't experience any issues."
"The future potential is amazing."