Tunstall Vitaris is Tunstall Healthcare Group’s French connected care business, based in Le Creusot, we support 120,000 subscribers, and deal with over 1.5m calls per year (1m incoming and 500,000 outbound calls). The work we do spans psychological support services tackling isolation and wellbeing, and providing proactive support to caregivers across the entire French territory with a strong regional presence and local service.

Set up over 27 years ago, we have experienced substantial growth over the last two years in particular, and I put that down to the strong motivation of the team and the way we work.

So why have I mentioned a smashed windscreen in the title of this blog? When I had my car windscreen replaced recently, I was so impressed by the level of service I received and the fact that the engineer asked me to fill in a two question survey right there and then, it inspired me to do just that at Tunstall Vitaris.

So a couple of years ago, I decided to implement a net promoter score programme. This is based on the highest level of quality – enabling us to have an incredibly open and transparent relationship with our customers, aiming to build a long-standing trust. This also, importantly, leads to 98% of our customers saying they would recommend us to a friend.

Inspired by the Tunstall Spanish telecare model

Older people feeling isolated is a major societal phenomenon: it is estimated that 1.5 million people aged over 75 years in France are often lonely, and social isolation has a proven detrimental effect on physical and mental health.

What surprises me every day is the feedback from our outbound proactive calling campaigns. We frequently encounter people reporting symptoms of anxiety and depression, and our work supports people in many different ways. It’s important to us to listen to what our customers say and use this to tailor our service to become even better. Here’s a few examples of the kind of comments we hear which help us to understand our customers and improve our services

  • “As the world progresses, it is stupid. Old age is not a gift.”
  • Answer to the question how are you?; “I’m alone.”
  • “I’m 20 in my head but 91 in my body.”
  • “A psychologist by phone is like a confessional, it’s easier to talk without seeing you.”
  • “As we age, we must handle the ups and downs like the weather.”

During 2015, 26,249 “fight against isolation calls” were made by Tunstall Vitaris, and more than 40,000 should be made in 2016. People receiving the calls were generally very positive, and the conversation often ended with “I’m very happy talking to you”.

I’m very proud of our dedicated team, because at Tunstall Vitaris we all know why we work here: we work together to help people whatever their needs. This often drives us to go beyond our duties and established procedures.

At Tunstall Vitaris, independence and opportunity are valued within the group, and our work in this field is very flexible, very collaborative, able to bring out creative solutions that allow us to offer solutions more adapted to the needs of a changing world.