Monklands Women’s aid: the right phone system at the right price

Client: Monklands Women’s Aid

HQ: Airdrie, Scotland

UK employees: 11

Silver Cloud client since: 2016


The background

Monklands Women’s Aid are a specialist domestic abuse service, covering Airdrie, Coatbridge and surrounding areas. They support women, children and young people who have or are experiencing domestic abuse. They do this in many ways, including refuge accommodation (safe houses), outreach support, advocacy, support groups, youth groups and 24/7 on-call telephone support.

They are a charity, funded mainly by the Scottish Government and the local authority. At times, they also receive funding for individual projects from other sources, such as Children In Need, which supports the youth group and outings for children and young people.

There are 11 members of staff, all at its HQ in Airdrie. In a typical year the charity might support around 650 women and 150 children and young people.

Referrals for support come from various sources including Police, Social Work, Health, Education, friends and family, as well as directly from the person affected. These initial contacts are almost always made by telephone, making this a vital lifeline for people in need and crucial to Monkland’s operation. When the office is closed, calls are diverted to an on-call service using mobiles, which is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.


The challenge

Sasha Bennett, Business Administrator, takes up the story. “In May 2016, we were in the process of moving to new office premises. We wanted to change our phone provider at the same time, as our existing supplier was giving us a very poor service. Silver Cloud got in touch, so we asked them to come in.

“Silver Cloud explained everything in a very clear and down-to-earth way. Most importantly, there were no hidden costs, which is especially important to us because every penny we spend on overheads could be going directly to help the people we serve. Some of Silver Cloud’s engineers then went to the office that we were planning to move to, and worked out all the technical details like where we would need to put lines and so on. They then gave us a quote, which we approved.”


Our solution

We talked to Sasha in depth about what Monklands needed from their communications service. Eventually it became clear that a Samsung OfficeServ telephone system was the right choice.

It’s a hybrid system, so we explained the benefits that would bring, such as increased flexibility. Our solution made commercial sense too, as it replaced the costs from multiple suppliers with one at a wholesale rate. We installed broadband to ensure a fast internet connection to the internet, and a cordless phone so that calls could be taken in any area of the office.


The result

Sasha says: “Everything went totally smoothly. I was so impressed with how efficient and helpful everyone was, and everything was in place for our first day in the new office. The ongoing service has been great too: any time I need to pick up the phone they’re there to help me. Very different from some other companies I’ve worked with, where as soon as they’ve got you signed up you’ve had it for customer service! So although I get quite a few cold calls from Silver Cloud’s competitors, I’d never consider moving. It’s not just because of the service: from time to time I compare our costs to others’, and I can see that we’re getting a great deal.”

Since then, Sasha has also asked Silver Cloud to supply a new photocopier, and she recently asked them to provide some mobile phone services too. Sasha adds, “As soon as the other mobiles come out of contract I’ll be asking Silver Cloud to provide those too.”

The experience has turned Sasha into a loyal Silver Cloud customer. The proof in fact, is that this case study exists. As Sasha says, “Normally if someone asked me to do this I’d say, ‘No thanks’. I always tick the ‘opt out of marketing’ box! But in this case I’m more than happy to make sure that Silver Cloud get credit where credit is due.”

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