Professional Comment

Why Care Providers Shouldn’t Shy Away From Communication Technology During Difficult Staffing Times

By Tim Morris, Managing Director of communications provider, Cymphony (

A stretched workforce only has time to concentrate on the basics of its function. For carers that means tending to residents with little-to-no extra to resource to give to new customers and concerned families.

For any business, offering the basics in customer service is not enough. Care providers must find a way of giving good experience without adding to an already stretched workforce.

Tim Morris believes that introducing communication technology to the business frontline could not only relieve carers of the additional pressure of their day-to-day job, but significantly improve the experience of new customers and existing residents’ and their families.

Relieve the reception bottleneck
Communication for care providers is vital. Providing a consistent and personalised experience, accompanied by an accessible avenue for communication, can make all the difference to your customers and their concerned family members. Outsourcing your telephone answering service is the perfect way to do this.

Missed calls and voicemail messages are never a positive experience . Telephone answering service technology can help care companies eliminate this outcome without compromising on the personal touch. So, regardless of your teams’ availability, customers and their concerned family members have constant access to your business.

Outsourcing your telephone answering service is also a cheaper alternative to hiring a full-time member of administration staff. By using a telephone answering service, you can eliminate the worries of recruitment, training, payroll and all the other costs associated with employing members of your head office team. Another benefit of a telephone answering service is that you only pay for the time you use,so no sickness or absences to deal with.

This makes a 24/7 telephone answering service perfect for care businesses looking to provide a consistent service and reduce the workload on their already stretched team.

Capture more valuable job candidates
As a sector dealing with over 120,000 unfilled vacancies1, ensuring that your recruitment process is engaging and easy for prospects to navigate is key.

By providing 24/7 access to your business you can keep candidates motivated and engaged. This is a critical step to develop a sense of loyalty and connection with a soon to be employer. This also tackles the problems associated with DBS checks which can take on average six weeks (but often much longer), by which time many successful recruits might have accepted another role outside of the industry.

Give customers instant connection through live chat
Live chat is one of the most effective ways of streamlining customer communication.
It will not only improve your internal efficiency but also provide a better customer service experience for your customers.

Live chat can be a really useful tool for promptly addressing problems that a customer might be facingon the channel of their choice, whether that be on your care app, website, or social media pages. Customers and their families now expect instant responses, and care providers that fail to offer functionality, convenience and responsiveness will fall by the wayside.

Of course, not all live chat services are created equal. Unlike Cymphony’s human-led service, many rely on impersonal AI (bots), often leading to infuriating loops of inappropriate or unhelpful responses. When outsourcing your customer communications, I recommend care providers find a communications provider that offers real human operators. Due to the isolation and uncertainty caused by the pandemic, it has never been more important for care providers to be attentive to a customer’s individual needs. Using a personalised and human approach instead of AI systems provides this service – especially when interacting with customers, carers or family members. A soft, empathetic and, most importantly, human approach in the care sector is crucial when dealing with sensitive issues.

When outsourcing your customer communications, ensure that the provider you choose will eliminate these frustrating and impersonal interactions by getting to understand your business – not just regurgitating answers to your FAQs.
Outsourcing telephone answering or implementing live chat is yet another way to ensure your business delivers a consistent message to all your customers across all of your platforms.