What is the main purpose of the call centre?
“The call centre is about making Marie Stopes accessible to the public, and to provide information on the services that our various centres offer. While a lot of the information is available on our website, not everyone has internet access, which is where we come in.”
What information do people want when they call you?
“Most of the callers we hear from want to know about the centres’ basic services, prices, opening hours, location, etc. But many will also ask about the kinds of things that would concern anyone who might be seeking our services, like issues of privacy and confidentiality, professionalism, cleanliness, or how to deal with complications following a procedure. We are able to reassure potential clients about our standards.”
Do you ever have to counsel people on the phone?
“Yes, we do from time to time. But we don’t give the intense counselling that a client would get from a trained nursing sister at a centre. Although I do think the call centre staff should be given training to give more intense counselling since often we are the first person a client is speaking to during a difficult time in her life or a direct contact for her after a procedure.”
What is the most difficult kind of phone call to deal with?
“The difficult ones are when clients phone in wanting our services free of charge, and then compare Marie Stopes with government hospitals. Or when they want to know about our donor-funded centres where services used to be free but due to funding constraints are not any longer. Some callers want to access our centres after hours, even at night or on Sundays and public holidays, outside of office hours. Other difficult calls are from women who want their pregnancies terminated when they are over 20 weeks, which we are not able to do. In accordance with the law, Marie Stopes only performs termination as far as 20 weeks and not beyond that.”
What do you enjoy most about your job?
“I feel so good about being able to help save people’s lives! I enjoy helping them to their satisfaction and I am happy being accessible to the women who are in need of Marie Stopes out there.”
How many languages does the call centre operate in?
“We operate in five languages: English, Afrikaans, Xhosa, Zulu and Sotho.”
What are your hours of operation and how can clients reach you?
“Our open hours are:
Monday to Friday: 7am to 10pm
Saturday: 7am to 2pm”
Call us on 0800 11 77 85
Or you can also get information through SMS. Dial *120*535