How to act as a city when the government asks everyone over the age of 70 to stay home to quell the COVID-19 crisis? The city of Oulu wanted to help its residents by ensuring their well-being with a massive calling campaign. The problem became the contacting of thousands of people and how to implement this effectively. “The purpose is to provide low-threshold assistance that secures the everyday help of Oulu residents,” sums up Lotta Löfberg, service manager from support services for the City of Oulu. With the help of LeadDesk, the City of Oulu ended up contacting everyone over the age of 80 at first and later expanded this to include people aged 70-79.
In the case of the city of Oulu, a huge number of contacted residents emerged as a key challenge. Being the fifth-largest city in Finland, there are more than 7,500 residents over the age of 80 alone, and the extended group of 70-79-year-olds has more than 14,000 more residents. With mobile phones and Excel, this would have been almost impossible due to such a large number of contacts.
The chosen solution was LeadDesk, whose COVID-19 campaign aims to help public administrations carry out massive call operations as well as set up emergency lines for the corona epidemic. After quick discussions, the operating environment itself was built in less than 24 hours after the contract was signed.
The next task was to train the callers. The team spirit between the city of Oulu, Monetra, and the church has been good and at peak times there have been closer to 200 callers with very different technological know-how. However, thanks to the easy-to-use software, the whole training itself took only an hour. Furthermore, this one-hour session included, in addition to training in the use of the software, a review of the city’s security and confidentiality regulations, as well as information on GDPR practices.
According to Lotta Löfberg, Service Manager, there has been a lot of positive feedback on the use of the software, and LeadDesk’s system has made calling much easier and faster.
The City of Oulu ended up with a calling strategy in which the city’s residents were divided into smaller areas and the call lists themselves were uploaded directly to LeadDesk. This eliminates the need to mark answered and rejected calls separately, and the software automatically deletes numbers from the list once they have been successfully contacted. In addition, a maximum of three call-attempts was set in the settings, after which the person was approached by other channels if this was not possible over the phone.
Praise has also been given for the opportunity to add the same outbound phone number to each caller, on which a recorded message notification was built to inform potential callers on the contact reason.
With the help of LeadDesk, the efficiency of calling was taken to a whole new level and 7500+ people over the age of 80 had been contacted within a week, even though the average call time is over 5 minutes. At the time of writing, an expanded group of 70-79-year-olds (approximately 14,000 residents) had begun to go through and this, too, should have been completed in a couple of weeks.
For many at-risk groups, the corona epidemic has meant isolation at home without regular social contact. The low-threshold assistance offered has been well received in the city.
The City of Oulu has received a lot of contacts from its residents, most of whom have been very pleased about the service offered.