During the unprecedented time of COVID-19, many Americans are finding themselves out of work and for the first time, are forced to turn to the government for assistance. Whether people are seeking unemployment benefits or trying to connect with new jobs, accessing/navigating online resources has suddenly become a priority for nearly two thirds of the U.S. population.
It quickly became clear that many of the government websites have not been equipped to handle the volume of requests coming in and that siloed systems only increased the hurdles people faced when trying to find help. In an effort to connect people to the resources they need, private companies are stepping up to support their communities.
When looking at ways to alleviate the pressure on public resources, some companies are leaning on technology they use every day. For a quick response, the answer isn’t always developing new technologies, but rather leveraging platforms that already exist in new ways.
Salesforce, for example, is a great resource that under normal circumstances is used to help companies break down silos, streamline processes and better understand customers. It can also be used to stand up a platform that can help many in a very short amount of time.
By taking just one of the problems people are facing and tackling it head-on, we can begin to see how technologies like Salesforce can be best put to use in an emergency situation. For example, people are losing their jobs and struggling to pull together all the resources they need from existing government organizations. One group may help with food scarcity, while others connect people to housing assistance or is responsible for ensuring people know about all the local grants available for job training. These organizations may span local, state and federal levels of the government and charitable organizations, with no connection to each other. If you aren’t familiar with the resources available, a person could be easily overwhelmed just trying to connect with all of these groups.
When you layer on top of the issue that many of these websites can be hard to navigate or discern as to whether you qualify, people may give up instead of receiving the valuable services and support they need during a pandemic. Not to mention, a person could spend a lot of time applying for assistance they were never qualified for and completely miss opportunities that were tailor-made for their situation.
It may seem small, but add the power of Salesforce to this one problem and it can transform individuals’ experience and provide real relief in a very difficult time.
By collecting data into one easy-to-use dashboard and combining it with a friendly, front-facing-user WordPress site, a company can quickly stand up something that can help fix these problems. By aggregating all information, regarding what sources they come from and creating filters to only present relevant information, a user would be saved massive amounts of time and frustration. By creating a backend supported by Salesforce, users input information and only get results that directly apply to them.
As innovators within the technology industry, we can help our communities navigate these difficult times. Technologists, founders and Salesforce administrators are uniquely qualified to meet this moment. The platform that we leverage every day to scale our organizations, meet user demand, and create valuable connections through data collection can solve many of the issues facing Americans who are out of work and/or seeking assistance for the first time. Especially when call centers are overwhelmed and there is no option of going to a face-to-face meeting with someone to have processes explained. Now more than ever, easy-to-use digital solutions are critical.
It is on every single person to come together and help each other during this trying time. If Salesforce can be reused in this way, imagine how else it can be leveraged to help the millions that are being impacted by the pandemic. If your organization is in a place to help, consider examining how and where your knowledge and online tools could be repurposed to quickly stand up emergency resources for your community.