Susan G. Komen
Why the world’s leading breast cancer nonprofit enlisted RingCentral in its cause
With the onset of the pandemic, we decided to make Susan G. Komen a 100% remote organization. That let us take the money we’d been spending to maintain our offices and put it directly into fighting breast cancer. And we were able to make that remote transition in large part because we had RingCentral.
Hosted Systems Administrator
The leading nonprofit fighting breast cancer in the United States
It would be difficult to think of a more noble service than ridding humanity of a dreaded disease that impacts the lives of more than 250,000 women each year. And as the world’s leading nonprofit in the fight against breast cancer, that’s exactly what the Susan G. Komen organization is doing.
Komen’s achievements over its nearly 40-year history are astonishing. The organization’s work to increase early detection and improve treatments has helped reduce the breast cancer mortality rate by 41% since 1989. And Komen’s total funding for breast-cancer research to date, $1.1 billion, represents the largest collective investment of its kind made by any organization other than the US government.
In fact, since its founding, Komen has invested more than $3 billion in a multipronged approach to this battle: funding groundbreaking research, advocacy programs and patient support in more than 60 countries. The organization helps millions of women each year.
A legacy phone system that was undermining the cause
As a nonprofit that depends on donations to carry out its mission—and with many of these donations coming in by phone—Komen needs a reliable, flexible telephony solution. But Carlos Soto, Komen’s Hosted Systems Administrator, explains that the organization had been operating with a feature-poor, on-prem system.
“One challenge with the old phone system was cost,” he says. “Maintaining the phone lines and the servicing contract for the on-prem hardware—that was all pricey. But also, because it didn’t give us the functionality to operate as a true call center, we had to outsource our Breast Cancer Helpline to a third party, and we had to pay for extras like dedicated fax lines.”
But as frustrating as it was to pay more than they wanted for telephony—money, Carlos points out, that Komen would rather have put toward fighting breast cancer—the system presented far bigger challenges. “We couldn’t make even small changes ourselves, like adding users or moving them into different call queues. We had to put in a ticket and wait. And when the system failed or we had a power outage, we had no phones—which meant missing donations.”
RingCentral joins the cause
When they rolled out RingCentral MVP with Video, Komen now had a highly reliable, mobile, and feature-rich communications solution that contributed to—instead of hindering—the dedicated staff’s efficiency and productivity.
“We really appreciated being able to adjust the phone system ourselves, online, in minutes,” explains Carlos. “That was such a benefit to our operations, because now our managers and supervisors could quickly add or move users on the fly, whenever their needs changed.”
Another benefit, Carlos notes, was having digital faxing capability built into the RingCentral platform, where employees could now use their business phone numbers to send and receive faxes online. “The fax functionality was a huge bonus,” he says. “We used to have to share fax machines and pay for fax lines. Now nobody needs to wait for a turn at the fax or to stand over a machine waiting for a fax to come in. It’s all digital, on their RingCentral apps.”
The RingCentral mobile app gives us so much mobility and freedom. If I’m on a call or a RingCentral Video meeting on my laptop, and I need to run an errand, I can just switch the call to my mobile phone and head out. It’s fantastic for keeping us all productive and connected without tying us to our desks—or tying us anywhere.
Hosted Systems Administrator
With RingCentral Contact Center, Komen brings its helpline in-house
Komen found still more ways to improve operations, and the team’s ability to help individuals diagnosed breast cancer, when they implemented the RingCentral Contact Center customer support solution.
Krista Park Berry, Director of the toll-free Komen Breast Care Helpline, points out that deploying Contact Center gave her small team of expert agents the tools they needed to bring the helpline home. “When we brought our helpline program in-house, we wanted a system that would seamlessly triage a variety of communication channels with integrated call log documentation. When supporting over 15,000 calls a year, Contact Center brings increased efficiency to our work.”
As Krista explains, Contact Center’s features enable the helpline’s agents and managers to operate more efficiently than ever.
“With the RingCentral for Salesforce integration, our agents can easily take notes during a call and not have to re-enter the data. Those notes go straight into that caller’s Salesforce profile, where the next agent can see them. For a person going through something as challenging as breast cancer, not having to retell their story each time makes for a much more comfortable experience.”
Another Contact Center capability improving the helpline team’s operations is skills-based routing. As Krista explains, this feature is solving one of her team’s longstanding challenges. “We’ve created a Spanish-language skill, so we can direct Spanish-speaking callers to the right agents immediately,” she says. “And when we combine this with the callback option in Contact Center, we can ensure these callers also have the ability to request a callback from a Bilingual Helpline Specialist.”
One key capability we have now with RingCentral Contact Center is three-way calling to escalate a call—to dial in a supervisor or emergency services if a patient exhibits the potential for self-harm. Having this solution in place for higher intensity calls brings our team confidence and peace of mind.
Krista Park Berry
Director of the Komen Breast Care Helpline
An easy transition to a fully remote workforce
Until 2020, most of Komen’s staff reported to the organization’s Dallas headquarters every day. But as Carlos explains, the organization was beginning to experiment with offering employees a hybrid working model. “We had started offering people the ability to work in the office a couple days, and then wherever they chose for the rest of the week. We had this capability, even pre-pandemic, because everyone had RingCentral on their laptops and phones.”
But when the 2020 lockdowns went into effect, Carlos notes, Komen’s management team quickly decided to make the remote working arrangement permanent for the entire staff. “Again, they were able to make that decision in large part because RingCentral had already let us prove we could function just as effectively—making business calls, having video meetings, managing call queues and our helplines—even with everyone working at home.”
I think what I appreciate most about Contact Center is that we’re now able to handle the Breast Care Helpline calls ourselves, even with a small team and everyone remote. I know the company we outsourced those calls to was doing their best, but nobody knows these callers like we do, and nobody’s going to take care of them as well as we can.
Hosted Systems Administrator