Sentinel Hotline is a communications software that lets you set up phone numbers and post updates by simply typing them into the dashboard for your callers to hear instantly when they dial your Hotline number.
Sentinel Hotline keeps people continuously informed in a crisis with the minimum of effort from incident and communication teams.
In a crisis there are many people who may be impacted who become frustrated and worried if they are not kept updated. Hotlines reach those people who are not on your systems but have an urgent need for information.
Your hotlines are a trusted source on reliable information, so people are not left to search social media for information. Control the message they hear on your hotlines easily – everything is typed or pasted into the dashboard, giving you a chance to proofread every statement and make sure you’re getting the message right.
Sentinel Hotline is cloud-based, which means each line can handle unlimited calls simultaneously and there is no waiting in a call queue: a drawback with live person call centres.
Using the latest text-to-voice technology, simply typing an update into the system converts the message to an exceptionally realistic voice that callers hear when they dial in. The messages can be instantly updated from any mobile or desktop device with 28 languages supported.
Activating the voicemail feature allows incident controllers to listen to the messages and prepare the response before calling back. This is a much more effective than a live person hotline which is costly and the live person does not have the advantage of knowing the issue raised by the caller before handling the call.
Manage your voicemails easily and at your own pace from the dashboard. Prioritise those who need a more urgent response and download voicemails for auditing or sharing with colleagues. However, the voicemail function is optional: you can always turn it off if you don’t want callers to be able to leave messages.
Sentinel Hotline only takes a few minutes to set up. The dashboard allows you to activate up to 10 hotlines, enable them for voicemails or set a security PIN for private hotline updates. Hotline numbers are often set up in advance of a crisis so they can be publicised.
The dashboard displays the inbound call number and any voicemails. Realtime stats show how many calls you’re getting as the incident progresses.
SMS and email alerts used in a crisis can only be sent to people who you have contact information for, but a hotline keeps people whose details are not known fully informed. Misinformation and rumour spreads rapidly over social media and inhouse social media teams only have limited capacity to fight malicious or untrue posts.
Our cloud software means that even if your servers and telecoms go down, your hotlines will always be available. Elderly people who may not be as confident on social media or do not have internet access (such as people travelling abroad) and employees’ relatives can be reassured. Your customers and suppliers can have their own PIN protected hotline updates so they know what you want them to do. Charges for the user are low cost and charged at standard rates as the hotlines are set up as local numbers.
A breaking news banner can be embedded on your website by pasting in a simple code and your hotline updates are instantly displayed. Those looking for updates are likely to go to your website first: Sentinel Hotline lets you update your website and hotline updates at the same time.
Sentinel Hotline can be purchased either as a monthly or annual subscription, and allows up to 500 inbound minutes a month, with overage costs as extra should you exceed your monthly limit.
Hotlines can be prepared in advance and enabled or disabled, so you are not being charged when they are not in active use. However, purchasing in advance of a crisis allows you to distribute and publicise the phone number so people know what number to call should an incident happen.