Eir, the principal provider of fixed-line and mobile telecommunications services in Ireland, announced the launch of a new approach to provide specialised support for older customers. ‘Age friendly care from eir’ has been designed in partnership with Age Action and Age Friendly Ireland, and includes the introduction of a dedicated phone line supported by a team of care agents who are specially trained in working with customers aged 65 and over.
Eir, working closely with Age Action and Age Friendly Ireland, brought together representatives and members of Age Friendly Ireland’s Older People’s Councils, to design a care journey with the needs of older people specifically in mind. eir’s new ‘age friendly’ care programme will provide a dedicated phone line for customers aged 65 and over, with a specially trained, dedicated care team who can cater to their needs. eir’s ‘age friendly’ care line can be reached on 1800 252 252 and will be accessible between the hours of 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. If an older person wishes to nominate a friend or family member to manage their account on their behalf, this nominee can work with the age-friendly care team to resolve any issues.
Sinead O’Gorman, Managing Director, eir Customer Operations, commented on the initiative, “staying connected is now more important than ever, and the pandemic made telecommunications absolutely essential for all aspects of life. Our customers are at the core of every decision we make, and tens of thousands of eir customers are older people. As technology evolves eir is working to ensure that communication services remain accessible for all customers. We can always improve the level of care we provide, particularly for this cohort of customers and so, to truly understand their needs, we worked with Age Action Ireland and Age Friendly Ireland members and representatives, to actively seek stakeholder guidance.”
“To date we have gained invaluable feedback and our plan is to continue to work with these two groups on an on-going basis, until we are satisfied that we are providing the best possible service to our older customers. In fact, Age Action members have been carrying out ‘my eir user’ testing for the past two weeks, in order to identify any need for improvement in our online service. This speaks to eir as a business, our values, and what really matters to us.”
Vicky Harris, Head of Programmes at Age Action said, “as an advocacy organisation, working for equality and rights of all of us as we age, we believe that the lived experience of older people should inform the design of policy responses and services that effect them, which is why we have supported eir to develop age friendly customer care. We hope that eir’s participatory approach to developing the service, with older people who have volunteered their time, will benefit many people over the age of 65, particularly those who experience digital exclusion.”
Catherine McGuigan, Chief Officer of Age Friendly Ireland said, “eir has engaged with members of Older People’s Councils to listen to their experience of their service. Today’s launch is evidence of a marked shift in how eir will respond to the express needs of older customers. As a shared service of local government that runs the national Age Friendly Programme, we are delighted to work with businesses who wish to make their services more Age Friendly. Quality customer service from telecommunication providers is an enabler of a good quality of life for older people, supporting access to services, social connections and leisure opportunities. We are very pleased that eir has listened to the voice of the older customer and that they are committed to taking these steps to improve their service provision.”