By Sarah Nicastro, Creator, Future of Field Service
With over 20,000 volunteers and 200 branches, Samaritans is a charity working across the UK and Ireland to offer round the clock emotional support for people who are struggling to cope with life’s challenges. Samaritans’ vision is that fewer people die by suicide and to make this vision a reality, Samaritans answers a call for help every six seconds and campaigns to make suicide prevention a national and local priority.
When we think of essential services, an operation like Samaritans is toward the top of the list – always, but in an even more heightened sense with the significant emotional toll that COVID-19 is taking on people. Prior to the pandemic hitting, Samaritans had begun a journey to modernize its contact and communications operations with an investment in IFS Customer Engagement. Since COVID-19 has come into play, Samaritans has had to quickly adapt to explore how volunteers could continue to provide support for those in need, without travelling into its branches.
Multi-Channel Engagement Platform Will Expand Capabilities, Improve Reliability
Francis Bacon, Assistant Director of Digital Services for Samaritans is responsible for caller services, which includes support provided by phone, email, the forthcoming online chat service, as well as the recruiting and training of volunteers. He also oversees the intranet, help desks, and leads the charity’s digital journey.