Adult Social Care in 2020 – Interactive, 24/7 & Affordable?

With Local Authorities in the UK currently receiving more than 5,000 requests for adult care and support every day, it’s no wonder that those responsible for delivering such services are looking for more efficient ways to fulfil their obligations. As people live longer and our understanding of complex age-related health issues improves, the demand for adult care is only set to increase, piling further pressure on stretched service providers and Local Authorities.

Automated Telephony

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems are now deployed in all industries and across the globe. However, they have a particularly important role to play in ensuring that Local Authorities are able to provide 24/7 access to care service users.

Such systems can provide essential, accurate and up-to-date information to customers as and when required. This has three major benefits:

Adult Social Care in 2020 - Interactive, 24/7 & Affordable?
  1. It caters to the growing number of users who want or need to access information outside of traditional working hours. IVR systems can also be of great help by directing callers towards other, more thorough resources that are accessed via other channels.
  2. It lowers costs by automating information retrieval and reducing the workload for human agents.
  3. It improves service provision by ensuring that callers reach the right agent at the first time of asking. This benefits both customers (who appreciate not having to be transferred) and agents (who don’t waste valuable time talking to and transferring callers they can’t personally help).

This last point is particularly important in regards to crisis care services. In such instances, callers need to reach the appropriate agent as quickly as possible.

Integrated SMS

Integrated SMS is an essential and remarkably useful technology when deployed as part of an omnichannel strategy that takes the entire user journey into account and allows customers to quickly and intuitively move between channels.

In the adult care context, it acts as a way of automating a number of key tasks that ensures the system is both more efficient and functional around the clock.

For instance, integrated SMS can be used as a ‘next step’ technology after a customer has interacted with a Local Authority via another channel. Once a customer has scheduled a care appointment via telephone or mobile web, reminder and confirmation SMS messages can be sent out, ensuring that vulnerable individuals are fully aware of the details of their appointment and minimising the likelihood of missed appointments.

SMS can also be used in real-time to direct users to relevant resources through the inclusion of embedded links. Whether they lead to online forms, FAQs, or the Local Authority portal, these embedded links are delivered directly to customers via a channel that many individuals have immediate access to.

Mobile Web

Mobile web provides Local Authorities with a platform through which more extensive information can be communicated to customers. It’s also accessible 24/7 and is an interactive channel, allowing users to complete a wide variety of tasks with little or no human intervention.

In this respect, mobile web fulfils three vital functions:

Adult Social Care in 2020 - Interactive, 24/7 & Affordable?
  1. Providing comprehensive information and guidance (in the form of Q&A’s, step-by-step guides, and multimedia walkthroughs) to users on a 24/7 basis.
  2. Acting as the channel through which a large number of interactive and automated resources can be reached, including self-assessment forms, eligibility checks and appointment schedulers.
  3. Allowing customers to access personal information regarding the care they receive, such as when they’ve scheduled appointments and how their assessments or claims are progressing.

Chatbots

Though Chatbots are by far the newest addition to Local Authorities’ care provision systems, they’re also the most interactive and showcase a considerable amount of potential. Chatbots represent a movement towards a more human technology – a process that’s largely being welcomed by care providers.

The humanisation of care technology boasts several important benefits:

  1. It provides service users with a channel in which there’s always someone who can listen and respond to their concerns. This can have a considerable psychological impact and may help to reduce any sense of isolation.
  2. With improving machine learning capabilities, chatbots are able to learn about service users, alerting caregivers to changes in the habits and health of an individual
  3. Chatbots provide service users with an interactive means of recording information. While this can be used to set up appointment reminders and to store useful information for individuals with a wide range of health issues, it’s particularly useful for those who suffer from illnesses that affect the memory, such as Alzheimer’s.

Efficient, affordable and interactive, across the entire user journey

By deploying these types of technological innovations across the entire user journey, Local Authorities improve the quality of service provision whilst also freeing up agents to assist those most in need.

Creating this type of holistic, omnichannel care provision system is also both remarkably affordable and scalable, allowing Local Authorities to improve their adult care services without breaching the tight budgetary constraints imposed upon them.

Adult Social Care in 2020 - Interactive, 24/7 & Affordable?

What Next?

With considerable experience of working with public sector organisations, we understand that Local Authorities face a unique set of challenges when it comes to providing affordable care services that satisfy users. That same experience has allowed us to develop a solution that encompasses the entire user journey and meets three key criteria – affordability, interactivity, and accessibility.

Working together, we’re able to build a system around your adult care services that relieves pressure on your human agents, provides customers with more accessible communication channels and reduces costs by automating a wide range of tasks using interactive technologies. If you’d like to find out more, please don’t hesitate to call on 01344 595800 or email us.