A meaningful life on daily operation at dtac
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a deep impact on the economy and our way of life, but it has also unveiled the bright side of humanity. We have witnessed tireless efforts from healthcare workers and the full support of populations the world over to their frontline fighters.
At dtac, empowering societies by connecting our customers to what matters most has been the core of our business for more than 30 years. Internet connectivity impacts nearly every part of our lives, and we believe in making it personalized and relevant for our customers.
With the #dtacHeroes series, we are featuring dtac employees who work on the frontline of connectivity to stand beside our customers. Previously, we featured Wasan Chanplab, who gave his all to to keep doctors and patients connected at Siriraj Hospital and Chinthanadit Pornsirikiat, who is supporting Thai businesses at this critical time.
Next, we met Sunisa Sakephon, a dtac call center agent bridging the gap between patients with chronic diseases and clinicians from Siriraj Hospital. Her mission is called “dtac fights back against COVID-19”.
“It’s a humanitarian mission as a part of a series of dtac’s social contributions during this COVID time, providing in-kind support to Siriraj Hospital through staffing resources. This helps patients with chronic diseases and clinicians to stay connected via the Siriraj Connect mobile app,” she said.
On one hand, using mobile app seems easy for those tech savvy. When you see through the lens of those on the wrong side of the technological divide, it is such a challenging task. The majority of Siriraj Hospital patients are the elderly who reside in many parts of the nation – urban to remote areas. Many of them live alone, meaning that they need to live by themselves with little assistance from outsiders.
When it comes to technology, it is a new thing from them. This is the challenges a dedicated team of dtac call center agents are facing today.
“There’s a case. He’s an elderly living in southern Thailand, Chumphon province. Normally, he travels to Bangkok once a month to seek a special medical treatment at Siriraj Hospital. For each trip, he’ll need to catch a bus in the evening to arrive Bangkok on the following day in the morning. Then it takes many hours to line up and meet a doctor. He’ll then go to a bus terminal by a public bus, which will arrive in Chumphon in the morning on the following day. Look, it takes around two days for medial treatment. Not to mention about logistic costs and in-town transportation. There’re many cases that patients have additional expenses for hotel rents. Thus, improving this process with online appointments and consultations is a game changer for such patients,” said Ms. Sunisa.
Expertise for social impact
Because the target group are not familiar with technology, the dtac team brings their expertise in customer service to apply with those patients. It takes around 30 to 40 minutes to introduce what is Siriraj Connect and how it’s important to them. By contrast, dtac customer service must be done by three – four minutes per request.
“It takes a longer period of time as we need to slowly explain step by step. In fact, their children and siblings play a more important role in taking this job,” she said.
For those who live alone, it might be problematic but under control. The team will do whatever or how long it takes to help them downloadable, allowing them to use Siriraj Connect. And this is the ultimate goal of this mission.
“Imagine when we teach our parents to use mobile phones for the first time. Can you feel the struggle? Did you get frustrated? For these elderly living in remote areas, it’s considered a huge threat in technological accessibility. For instance, many cannot the read English alphabet. Others are completely illiterate. Even harder, it’s a remote training. The struggle is real,” Sunisa added.
The team finds a solution to figure it out by creating their own techniques. For example, press the triangle sign on the right hand side instead of saying go to Google store. Take step by step until the download succeeds. A lot of them asked the team whether the team get fed up with teaching them.
Sunisa said: “To be honest, we never get bored of teaching them or being asked. We treat them like our grandparents. Having achieved of app download and ability to use Siriraj app is meaningful for themselves, for medical staff and for us too. They’re able to access medical treatment, more time-efficient, cost reduction and less likely infectious.”
Happiness in return
There are around five members in the team today, responsible for reaching out chronic patients in the list to stay connected with Siriraj’s medical staff. Everyone in the team is proud of playing a part of this mission. Although they lost some commission fee that comes from taking customer calls, the happiness they get in return is worth more to them.
Here is how dtac heroes bring their expertise of consumer service to make a social contribution, leveraging service-mind skillsets and emphatic communications to make a social impact. We all play a part in the efforts overcoming the crisis time and stand beside our customers, community and societies together.
We will get through this unprecedented time together.