Future Voice enables YMCA to support callers in need anywhere anytime

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The Customer

The YMCA provides critical services for young people, providing them with the building blocks for a fresh, strong start and a better quality of life in the community.

Since 1844, the YMCA has focused on family and youth-work, to housing, support, training and education, providing opportunities to enhance the lives of those who need it.

Today, YMCA has grown to serve more than 65 million people in 120 countries regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation or socio-economic background.

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The Challenge

As a third-sector operation, budget is a constant challenge for the team, especially after the pandemic magnified certain obstacles, such as fundraising and ensuring consistent communication.

YMCA’s previous telephony system had been in place since 2009 and lacked vital features for modern ways of working, such as the ability to work from home or integrate with Microsoft Teams.

Through the pandemic, agents had to juggle multiple apps for communicating internally and externally, reducing productivity and affecting team morale.

Given charities’ general reliance on part-time staff and volunteers, training new starters on using the phone lines (And resolving early issues) was a regular frustration. Plus, the previous system had no way to collate information, for example around call times or dropped calls, meaning assessing the productivity of the team was a struggle too.

New in his role, Rob Ramsden, YMCA’s IT Manager, needed to find a better way to keep phone lines ringing, even when employees were working from home, and ensure managers could keep track of productivity.

The Solution

Soon after, Rob got a call from Future, asking if YMCA needed any help. The timing was perfect, and Rob soon organised a call to meet the team and discuss options.

“Even from that first call, it was clear Future Voice liked a challenge and truly wanted to get to know the business, to figure out if there was anything else they could help with.”
– Rob Ramsden, IT Manager, YMCA

Future Voice took the time to fully understand the internal operations and processes that a new phone system would impact, before setting a fairly quick turnaround time – only a couple of months – to completely deploy the new system across multiple lines within YMCA’s head office.

Given its low cost per user, intuitive user interface, and built-in features like live wallboards, reporting can call recording, 8×8 was chosen as the right platform to solve all of the YMCA’s challenges. It would also ensure a strong foundation for any other enhancements to its IT and communications systems.

As this was Rob’s first IT Manager role, Future Voice also acted as a second pair of eyes to ensure the deployment went smoothly. This included checking the numbers to be ported, as well as ensuring compatibility and testing integrations, with YMCA’s other systems, where needed.

The team also delivered free training for all staff, ensuring they could use the system and customise their users to each person’s preferences.

This support was greatly appreciated, as Future Voice noticed that a large group of numbers had been missed off the porting list, which could have led to further delays, if it hadn’t been caught early in the process.

“Mark and Steve were absolutely amazing, answering all my odd questions and making sure everything was in order. They even let me know when there was a large batch of numbers missing… They were like my very own Quality Control!”
– Ramsden

The Results

The difference for the YMCA has been night and day.

Teams can now effectively collaborate, taking their work phone numbers wherever they go on laptops, tablets and mobiles. Plus, the same UI on all devices ensures a consistent experience for staff, no matter the device agents use.

That ease of use has also meant fewer calls to the IT team for quick ‘how to’ questions. It’s also produced more optimised calls that take less time, make happier callers and increase the volume the call centre can handle.

The finance team is certainly happier too, saving compared to its previous system!

Team leaders can now maintain visibility over colleagues working from home, thanks to real-time reports and live wallboards, and call recording ensures compliance while enabling leaders to train agents more easily when working remotely.

“We couldn’t be happier with the results. It’s an absolute game-changer for us and we can’t wait to take our relationship with Future Voice even further as we scope out a much larger project.”
– Ramsden

That project is rolling out the 8×8 system to all of the YMCA’s retail stores and periphery locations, delivering a single, low-cost communications system for the entire operation.

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