How to use digital channels to relieve the strain of reduced resources

by Gurdip Sodhi

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 21 January 2021

Lockdown 3.0 is not how anyone had hoped 2021 was going to start. With ongoing budget cuts, supply chain issues and reduced workforces, organisations across the UK are continuing to feel the strain of Covid-19. One organisation that’s been pushed to its limit throughout the pandemic is The National Health Service (NHS), and with a new Covid-19 patient being admitted to hospital every 30 seconds, there’s no sign of the new strain loosening its grip. 

Up and down the country, ambulance services are reaching crisis points too. In Kent, fire and rescue teams have joined forces with the ambulance service, to deliver equipment and drive ambulances. In the West Midlands, the ambulance service experienced its busiest day on record, all while dealing with reduced call handling staff due to a Covid-19 outbreak in one of their three call centres. And in London, more than 700 patients were left waiting for an ambulance to arrive when none were available. So how can those organisations under unprecedented pressure use social and digital channels to help them manage the crisis and keep the public informed?

#1 - Be there, no matter the channel 🤝

With 999 call centres taking up to 40% more calls per day,  these traditional contact channels are stretched to the max. By opening up your digital channels to the public, you’re providing another way for individuals to reach out for non-urgent advice, helping to ease the burden on call operators. Whether you broaden your current social media presence, or take on a new channel like Live Chat, you can triage your inbound communications, reduce time and cost to serve, and provide health advice in real-time. Using a platform to bring all of your digital channels together, can save you time and create efficiencies across your teams too.

#2 - Amplify the important stuff 📢

Social media channels are a great tool for providing transparency about the work your teams do, educating people about the signs and symptoms of conditions and interacting with members of the public who may otherwise be unheard, but they’re also useful for raising awareness of other organisations which can provide help, support and care for the public too. With so much information circulating about the Covid-19 pandemic, retweeting or sharing guidance from official sources is a way to amplify the facts, keep your audience in the know and shut down fake news. From official government guidelines, NHS advice and mental health information and support, managing your content effectively in order to signpost your audience to useful resources and organisations can be invaluable.

#3 - Be more targeted 🎯 

When resources are tight, it’s tempting to broadcast some generic messaging just to tick social media off the list for the day, but taking a data driven approach instead could be the key to maximising impact and engagement. Discovering who is engaging with your content, when and how, as well as analysing which posts are resonating most with your audience, can help you to take a more targeted approach to scheduling your content, enabling you to effectively get important messages and resources to the public in the moments that matter.

#4 - Do more with less 💪

Working with a reduced workforce, due to people self-isolating and shielding, can leave you in the lurch - and even with all hands on deck, it’s a challenge to find the hours in the day to get everything done! When it comes to your digital activity, there are ways to work smarter, not harder. Embrace automation tools, like Triggers to automate actions, so you can silence the noise and make sure the most important messages land in front of the right team member, at the right time. And if you get a moment to spare, get ahead by planning and scheduling as much content as you can, so that’s one less thing to think about on those days that run away with you.

Looking for a trusted partner to help you achieve more with less in 2021? Our platform is full of features, manages millions of conversations and is affordable too! Orlo supports over 300 organisations, including Thames Valley Police, Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service and the National Police Chiefs’ Council, and we can set you up in as little as a day. Find out how we can help you to maximise your resources during the pandemic and beyond by booking your demo now.

Gurdip Sodhi

Gurdip is Orlo's Account Director and specialises in blue light service digital customer experience and marketing.

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