A Glasgow-based software firm has been helping the national Crimestoppers helpline to manage fluctuating contact centre demand and stress levels on call-handing staff.

Simul8, a tech firm which models complex business processes, has enabled the charity to better forecast busy times and how to reduce the impact of highly charged calls on staff.

By using the modelling software, provided on a bro-bono basis by Simul8, managers at Crimestoppers were able to build extra capacity to cope with fluctuating demand.

At the same time, they were able to use the data from the software to improve day-to-day management, such as being able to prioritise calls more intelligently and hit rigorous call reporting targets, while also taking into account the emotional impact on employees.

Crimestoppers has, for some 30 years, served as a conduit between police and the public, allowing for anonymous reporting and handling 600,000 contacts annually, resulting in over 175,00 reports of crime passed to the police.

With call volumes and online reports going up 50 per cent over the last five years, Crimestoppers was keen to find a way to make its contact centre operations more efficient.

And, with workers being required to handle often challenging and upsetting information, a key driver was to ensure that the system could work in a way to reduce stress on employees.

As Karen Ogborn, Crimestoppers’ chief of staff said: “This is something that we, as an organisation, pay great attention to. Many of the phone calls can be dealing with sensitive subjects like child sexual abuse or violent crimes, so it’s important that the wellbeing of the staff receiving those contacts is given the highest priority. 

“In a short space of time, Simul8 has become essential to the way that the organisation is run. It was initially selected to examine a business case for employing more staff, but now it provides guidance to the management team on a variety of different issues on a daily basis.”

Simul8 CEO, Laura Reid, said: “Crimestoppers does invaluable work and we knew we could provide a way to help them improve efficiency and staff wellbeing without making wholesale, expensive changes and incurring additional costs. We were happy to get involved in supporting the fantastic work they do to help reduce crime across the UK.”