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Katja Werz

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The people behind the Coronavirus hotline for Nebenan.de

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The new hotline for Nebenan.de, a German portal for neighborly help, is an important addition for ensuring that at-risk groups can be better protected during the acute Covid-19 pandemic. It lets people who don't have their own internet connections request assistance. In Part 3 of our "We are there for you" series, we introduce the team that set up the hotline.

Collage of Stefan Marienfeld's team, with Hedi Meinhardt, Benjamin Becker, and Christian Scholz.

Deutsche Telekom has set up a Coronavirus hotline under 0800 8665544, to help at-risk groups maintain social distancing during the pandemic.

"When the colleagues from Corporate Responsibility approached us and asked if we could set up a hotline to support neighborly help, we didn't hesitate to say yes," says Stefan Marienfeld from the UC & AI Managed Solutions business unit. The unit provides conferencing solutions, routing for service centers, chatbots and voicebots, service numbers, and hotlines, among other services. "We were able to streamline the process despite many people working from home. Once we had coordinated the requirements of the new hotline for Nebenan.de through WebEx and conference calls, everything went really quickly – in just six hours, we had established the main cornerstones for the hotline and the nationwide routing," adds Marienfeld.

"My team members Benjamin Becker and Christian Scholz programmed the call flow and set up the interface for sending the data from the requests for help to Nebenan.de in record-breaking time. In parallel, Heidrun Meinhardt spoke and produced the texts for the voice menu," he continues. "It makes me very proud to see how the team responded to a situation like this. The feedback from our customer is the best motivation to keep up the good work," he says and quotes from an email he received from his contact at Nebenan.de: "I'm at a loss for words. It's exemplary how quickly, diligently, and professionally you carried out our joint project. Now it's up to us to make the number as well-known as possible."

The hotline can be reached under the number 0800 8665544 (in Germany).

Callers leave their phone numbers, postal codes, and the category of assistance they are requesting (help with shopping, with the household, or with pets, for example). The request is then published on Nebenan.de automatically in the corresponding postal code region, so registered users on Nebenan.de can see the request and respond to it.
"Speaking the texts for the voice menu didn't work out very well from home, however," says Marienfeld. "So our 'Speaker' Heidi Meinhardt drove to the office, since we have a professional microphone and recording equipment there."

Volunteer assistance is a key element that www.nebenan.de, the portal for neighborly help, provides: It connects people throughout Germany who want to help and support each other.
 

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