Alcatel-Lucent has announced that NSPCC, the UK's leading charity specialising in child protection and the prevention of cruelty to children, has widened its reach to thousands more children, young people and adults through a new expanded system of communication channels.

Utilising the Alcatel-Lucent Genesys solution, the NSPCC can – for the first time – communicate via email, SMS and web chat to interact with children and young people in need across the UK. In just 10 months, the system has enabled the NSPCC to engage in over 50,000 web interactions and increase the number of phone interactions for its helplines by 24%.
The NSPCC has created an advanced system that routes all interactions, both web and phone based, through one central communications system. The key driver behind the 'Helplines Development Programme' was to allow all potential users of the services to communicate via their preferred channel of contact. Many children today are more comfortable using the web, e-mail, SMS, or instant messaging than they are picking up the phone.
“The nature of our work makes us unique, and yet we still have similar business needs like any other contact centre: we needed to optimise resources, reduce costs and continually increase service levels, while keeping privacy top of mind — and we’re doing just that,” commentc Phil Reed, chief information officer of NSPCC. “The Genesys platform provides the reach and the flexibility we needed and enables us to route all calls, e-mails and web interactions on one system to ensure consistency for all users of the service. With an improved infrastructure, we can fully monitor and optimise the service across all channels, making the most of our resources.”
As part of the project, the NSPCC has invested heavily in new online tools to make its website a more user friendly place for children and young people – including an integrated chat function that enables website users to connect directly to a counsellor. And because certain users find it easier to express themselves in writing or pictures rather than to talk to a counsellor on the phone, the NSPCC also added interactive white boards, which allow users to write or draw pictures on the virtual board – which the NSPCC has found helps many children express themselves more easily, especially where serious issues are concerned.
“Adding these new functions has enabled more children, young people, and adults to feel comfortable talking to us. For the period of May 2009 to March 2010, we have had 40,500 one-to-one chats between children and counsellors and have answered over 14,000 Personal Inbox messages, an email service which allows users their own private area on the website. We have also seen an increase in the number of boys contacting ChildLine,” Reed adds.