How one Canadian charity is improving its client connections with a new phone system
Muscular Dystrophy Canada is saving $3,000 per month and improving operations with Rogers Unison.
Since its inception in 1954, Muscular Dystrophy Canada (MDC) has existed to enhance the lives of those impacted with neuromuscular disorders by continually working to provide ongoing support and resources while relentlessly searching for a cure through well-funded research. With more than 50,000 Canadians diagnosed with a range of neuromuscular disorders, chances are you know someone who could benefit from the services that MDC provides. That's why the venerable Canadian non-profit is always looking for ways to make more efficient use of donor funds and vital resources, including technology.
A fundamental part of the services MDC delivers is communication. MDC staff had more than 13,000 calls, emails and interactions with clients in 2018-2019. "It's vital that our clients—the people living with neuromuscular disorders—can easily connect with our service specialists, who spend most of their time outside the office," says Pam Mosher, Director of Information Technology and Data at MDC.
When Pam first arrived at the non-profit, she knew improvements could be made to the organization's existing communication technologies, which often failed to live up to the expectations of both staff and clients. "We were taking messages by hand and trying to get them to the right people," she explains. "It seemed ridiculous that we were dealing with problems like this in an age of constant connectivity. Plus, the old system was expensive, and we always want to make the best use we can of donor gifts."
Jean-Alexandre Giguere, MDC's Manager of IT and Data, agreed upgrading the organization's phone systems was a top infrastructure priority. "Everyone had two phone numbers…And we couldn't transfer callers to a cell phone. “The system was so convoluted it could take a day or more to return a call. It was frustrating for everyone.”
MDC's old phone system also made it hard to collaborate and coordinate on a national scale. "Offices across Canada had their own toll-free numbers and phone setups that filtered incoming calls to local teams," says Pam. "It was confusing—not a good way for staff to feel connected and part of a team."
Making matters worse, the old phone infrastructure consumed valuable time. "We almost needed a specialized resource just to add a new user or to change the number of an extension," says Jean-Alexandre.
MDC needed a simpler—and, hopefully, less expensive—phone system that would save time while providing a better experience for everyone, including clients, MDC employees and IT staff.
Pam contacted Rogers, MDC's wireless services provider, in search of phone system options. "The quality of our relationship made me want to see what else Rogers could do for us, so I reached out."
Rogers suggested a cloud-based, mobile-focused business phone system. Designed to facilitate instant and seamless communications, Rogers UnisonTM lets MDC’s staff use any device they choose, including smart phones, desk phones, tablets and PCs.
"Now I have one toll-free number and one directory. It's made it easier to take calls no matter where our staff are working; it's united us as a team and made us feel connected to our co-workers."
Clients can now reach MDC staff using the service’s Auto Attendant, and Dual Persona features. "Clients and service specialists are connecting faster," explains Pam. "Dual Persona means it doesn't matter which number people use to contact us. They can even use old numbers we're transitioning away from. And if a team member needs to transfer a client to someone else, they can do it in seconds. Just type in the name of the person, then transfer," says Jean-Alexandre.
"The Rogers team really went above and beyond," adds Jean-Alexandre. “Their support through the entire implementation was awesome. They made it very simple and provided us all the training materials.”
And whenever IT staff need to step in, they find Rogers Unison simpler to work with. “It was easy for me to learn,” says Jean-Alexandre. “Admin people, too. It's easy to teach to anyone.”
MDC's IT team is now saving time and money. "Maintenance is no longer our concern. Rogers takes that responsibility," says Pam. "We're spending much less time dealing with the system. For example, our staff are now able to reset their own passwords."
Asked to quantify the results, Pam knows the numbers right away. “We no longer have physical devices, which resulted in 28 percent savings in the first year,” or about $3000 a month. “We expect more in the second year.”
"But it's not only the money,” adds Jean-Alexandre. “It’s the time we save. It's hard to put a dollar value on that. We're saving time spent supporting the old system, and we're no longer using an external resource to help with system updates."
Perhaps most importantly, MDC's team is providing improved assistance to people who have been diagnosed with neuromuscular disorders. Service specialists can attend to client needs more efficiently, and staff across the country work more cohesively as a team.
“The future for us is having better technology to achieve our goals but also to maintain that communication that we have all together and putting tools in place so that every department can do their job correctly,” says Jean-Alexandre. “Now we're a big family and we're always connected.”
To learn more about Rogers Unison, speak to your Rogers representative or visit: rogers.com/enterprise-contact
To find out more about Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s mission and goals, click here https://muscle.ca/