With an ageing population in the area they serve, demand for their services is increasing, meaning that they need to ensure that they can scale their operations, whilst maintaining consistency and quality of service.
Age UK Islington volunteers undertake the vital task of contacting people seeking their services to better understand their circumstances and anticipated needs. Once they have spoken to a caller, they will then decide the type of support they require. One of the major challenges faced by Age UK Islington is that the decision made by each volunteer is different and subjective, it is the volunteer’s perception of the situation which decides what support each person needs.
Because this is a decision based on individual perception, the result could vary from volunteer to volunteer, which can lead to inconsistencies, or in the worst case, it could result in people who need Age UK Islington’s help and care not getting the right support that they need.
Age UK Islington wanted to ensure that they could have a consistent gauge of people’s situations, enabling them to provide the right care to those who really need it. With the number of volunteers and the people under the remit of Age UK Islington increasing, they needed to tackle these discrepancies in order to accurately and reliably identify those who need their support the most.
Razor were engaged by Age UK Islington to deliver a technology prototype, that could help to make the decision-making process simpler and more standardised.
This allows all of the call information to be extracted from the Microsoft Dynamics CRM, in a highly secure manner, in order to establish a guided process for volunteers to follow when speaking with those seeking help.
At each step of the process, the volunteer can ask their caller a series of pertinent and personalised questions, which as a result doesn’t just capture the volunteer’s perception of the situation, but helps Age UK Islington to collect their exact answers.
Using Microsoft’s Azure Cognitive Services, including sentiment analysis, this information can be processed to intelligently capture and determine the emotion from the data analysed. These results can then be combined with the volunteer’s perception in order to establish a consistent baseline analysis of whether the person seeking help can cope, or whether they need assistance.
We have successfully developed a prototype which is currently being trialled by Age UK Islington and their volunteers.
We’re continuing to refine the process and the combination of human intuition and sentiment analysis, and early feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
We will continue developing the solution for Age UK Islington, introducing more metrics and predictive analysis as the data and feedback continues to come in, helping us to provide them with a perfectly tailored tool which can improve the help and support they can provide to those in need.
Proactively contacting people – instead of waiting for them to contact us – is a vital part of our future services strategy. The reason it’s not usually done is because it’s difficult and involves large scale mobilisation of volunteers.
Razor have helped us work through these challenges with enthusiasm, creativity, incredible technical skills, and… patience.
We only work with people who want to do things ‘right’ – and they do.