Ontario 211 wins industry award for customer satisfaction: Callers love Ontario’s groundbreaking helpline

Ontario 211, the information helpline for Ontario’s community and social services, won a coveted award for highest customer satisfaction from SQM Group. With a 92% satisfaction level, 211 achieved the highest ranking for any call centre in the government industry. SQM benchmarks over 450 leading North American call centres.

“This award represents good news for 211 and our callers,” said Bill Morris, Executive Director, Ontario 211 Services Corporation. “We’re proud to have been able to maintain our high standards of quality even as we expanded the reach of 211 province-wide.  And, we are very pleased 211 was able to help so many callers address their needs with one call.”

211 is currently available to 94% of Ontarians.  The goal of reaching all Ontario residents will be met in the coming weeks through launches in Cochrane, Temiskaming, Nipissing, Sudbury, Lambton, Elgin, Prescott and Russell.

“211 represents an exceptional partnership by Ontario’s United Ways, municipalities, community data contributors, the Government of Ontario and Canada to work together,” said Morris. “Recently an agency in London secretly tested 211 on behalf of the London Free Press. I really can’t say it better than to quote the editorial headline, “In helping the public, 211 service hits a home run.”

By connecting callers with the right community and social services, 211 prevents problems from spiralling into a crisis. 211’s information and referral specialists answered more than 560,000 calls in 2010. They have access to information on more than 56,000 agencies, programs and services across Ontario. 211’s free, anonymous and confidential helpline is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year, and is available in more than 150 languages.

Ontario 211 Services Corporation is a non-profit supported by the Province of Ontario, individual municipalities, local Ontario United Ways, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Dial 211 or search www.211ontario.ca to find the right community and social services.

The survey for 211 and conducted by SQM is anonymous and confidential. Following are some typical comments from callers during the survey:

  • “Very, very friendly, got the information I needed, they gave me more than one resource.”
  • “I’m legally blind so I find it very difficult to find numbers. They help me no matter what the number is.”
  • “She had local knowledge, she was able to connect me immediately to two agencies I could speak with and she had detailed information on those agencies.”
  • “I think it’s a great service. I do a bit of paralegal work and it saves me doing a whole lot of running around to find these numbers.”
  • “Because it wasn’t a machine and she was very pleasant.”
  • “She was receptive. She was willing to try and get information for me. She was understanding and did research as well.”
  • “They asked me in depth questions making sure that they understood what my need was and what I was looking for. So I really appreciated that.”
  • “Because I have something I wanted to donate to a women’s shelter or unwed mothers. It was a gift that I didn’t need and so they referred me to two places and the second place was quite happy to receive it.”
  • “They got me the appropriate person and that person called me back right away.”