The National Relay Service (NRS) is an Australian Government initiative to empower people that are deaf, hard of hearing and/or have a speech impairment to make and receive phone calls with the assistance of a trained relayer. For many, this service has a direct impact on everyday life and enables independence of call making in a range of contexts – including work, personal admin, social and emergency-based scenarios.

The design and build services carried out by Concentrix Tigerspike in this article are just one part of the overall service set offered by Concentrix.

Business Need


The NRS required a re-platforming of its mobile service provision, presenting an inherent opportunity to improve the relay call experience across its iOS and Android apps. The apps needed to provide an accessible, cost-effective upgrade to the experience, as well as ensure that the solution was robust, reliable and that it could handle and prioritise emergency calls through the service. In addition, it needed to provide clear pathways to other call types and services provided by the NRS, serving as a connective hub.

HOW THE APP IS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

“You guys might have saved his life."

While on the TTY 106 line Kamil had a call come through with only tones, and on the follow-up welfare call, he only got the disconnected message.

Following the process, Kamil called through to the Police who went on-site and found someone in need of medical assistance, and stated “You guys might have saved his life”.

Approach


Concentrix Tigerspike partnered with the NRS and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, over a 3 month Agile Design & Build project to deliver the apps. Underpinning the human-centric design approach to this project was engagement with the Deaf and hard of hearing community, facilitated by the advocacy organisation Expression Australia. With their assistance facilitating and interpreting Auslan (sign language) based sessions, rounds of research with the community were effectively run at their facilities. This provided a rich body of knowledge that informed the prioritisation of app features, and was shared for the implementation of improvements at the higher service level.

HOW THE APP IS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

“I pump his chest, I think I save his life”

Dean took a 000 call for an ambulance that lead him to be relaying to the caller how to perform CPR on a tattoo faced man who knocked on his door then collapsed.

In a highly stressful situation, Dean remained calm and continued to relay between the Ambulance officer and the caller what was happening and ensured the Ambulance and Paramedic arrived at the correct address in a hurry.

Dean remembered his training, yet needed to conform to the situation as time was critical. As the ambulance was pulling up out the front the caller said “I pump his chest, I think I save his life”

Outcome


The NRS apps connect people across Australia with each other every day, with up to 225 daily active users in peak times - demonstrating a significant increase in usage since their launch.  The apps offer fast, intuitive relay call-making, being brought inline with modern native chat-based app experiences. Additionally, they offer the optimum possible level of accessibility. Features such as the display of queue position during busy times was integrated based on user feedback, and robust, reliable access to emergency services was implemented with a minimum to zero connection time. The apps empower people with specific communication needs to make phone calls from their mobile phones, leveraging the power of their native platforms to provide a robust solution within lean, rapid agile delivery.

REACTION

"Concentrix Tigerspike should be very proud of this app, users are voting with their feet in using this app, one-third of all calls to the NRS are coming through the app and that is positive feedback."

Kathleen Silleri, Consumer Safeguard Branch, Australian Governement

REACTION

"Concentrix Tigerspike should be very proud of this app, users are voting with their feet in using this app, one-third of all calls to the NRS are coming through the app and that is positive feedback."

Kathleen Silleri, Consumer Safeguard Branch, Australian Governement