London, United Kingdom

  • Customized Messages
  • Reports
  • Business Hours
  • Lack of visibily into important metrics
  • Minimizing missed calls
  • Integration with CRM provided detailed reports
  • Custom messages outside business hours 
70% reduction

In first-response time

Handled 313% 

Surge in call volumes

35% decrease

In missed calls

About Muslim Youth Helpline

In September of 2001, 18 year old Mohammed Sadiq Mamdani noticed that there was a serious gap in mental health resources available to Muslim youth in the UK. Mainstream mental health services were often not sensitive to the cultural and religious background of these individuals. The relative stigma attached to mental health from within the community also prevented Muslim youth from speaking out about their issues. Driven by this fact, Mohammed Sadiq Mamdani started Muslim Youth Helpline - a helpline run from his home. 

20 years later and Muslim Youth Helpline has grown exponentially to become one of the largest mental health helplines for young, vulnerable Muslims in the UK. MYH now offers 4 touchpoints for users:

  • Phone call
  • Webchat 
  • Email
  • WhatsApp 

In this journey to provide an unparalleled positive experience for their callers, MYH has implemented Freshdesk Contact Center and Freshdesk Messaging. We spoke to the MYH team to understand how Freshdesk Contact Center and Freshdesk Messaging have empowered Muslim Youth Helpline to deliver timely, frictionless support to the community. 

Requirements from a telephony solution

When choosing a cloud telephony solution, MYH had a very clear set of requirements. Elaborating on the need for a reliable solution, Maaria Mahmood, Director-MYH, said, “Since we are a frontline service for vulnerable people, there’s a need for the platform to always run well and not have any glitches. Essentially, if the helpline isn’t running well, the platform isn’t performing to its optimum.” Just as important as the stability of the product was the availability of round-the-clock support. 

MYH’s partnership with Freshdesk Contact Center first began in 2016 and since then, it has become an integral part of their internal ecosystem. The integration with Freshdesk Contact Center proved to be particularly valuable during the COVID-19 lockdown, when the team started working from home and incoming calls surged by 313%. Since all the users were connected on Freshdesk Contact Center, the transition to remote work was smooth and required no downtime. 


“We needed to partner with a provider that understands and values the service we provide. People are often at the darkest moments in their lives when they call in. Only when you understand that will you realize why any glitches that do crop up need to be resolved immediately”

maaria mahmood director e1606828656219 maaria mahmood director e1606828656219
Maaria Mahmood



Creating seamless operations with Freshdesk Contact Center 

The setup of MYH’s helpline service is fairly straightforward. The helpline workers operate on a rotating shift. Both helpline workers are responsible for responding to incoming requests on all four channels - although phone and webchat are the most popular channels currently. But given the nature of the work, MYH needed a telephone solution that had the following features:

  • It had to be simple to operate for helpline officers
  • It needed to guarantee anonymity to callers
  • It had to provide visibility into important metrics that would help management make data-driven decisions.
  • It had to integrate easily with other solutions - particularly Salesforce, which was their existing CRM 

Freshdesk Contact Center proved to be the ideal solution for MYH as its seamless, intuitive interface allowed helpline workers to adapt to the new system with minimal training. More importantly, Freshdesk Contact Center could also be integrated with Salesforce, their existing CRM system. This helped management gain a bird’s eye view of critical metrics like average call duration, average response time, and the number of missed calls. This allowed them to evaluate their helpline performance with greater accuracy. 


Favourite Freshdesk Contact Center features 

MYH’s overarching priority is to provide vulnerable youth with easy access to emotional support and guidance. This philosophy comes out in the Freshdesk Contact Center features that the team finds most useful:

  • Customized messages: MYH uses customized messages to give callers an understanding of what the helpline stands for and the services it provides. The customized messages keep callers engaged while they wait for a helpline officer to free up. 
  • Reports: Freshdesk Contact Center’s integration with the CRM software provides the team with greater insights into the performance of the helpline. Immediate visibility into the number of callers, abandoned calls, and voicemails that need to be followed up on helps the team stay organized. 
  • Call blocking: The ability to block callers, especially if they are abusive, is an important feature that helps MYH safeguard the security of its helpline workers 
  • Agent allocation: Calls can automatically be routed to the most idle agent, which saves time for helpline managers, who would otherwise have to manually allocate calls. 
  • Business hours: Customizable messages are sent to users who call in outside of business hours. This feature has improved convenience for helpline agents. Instead of them having to call back each of the missed calls to let them know the helpline is closed, Freshdesk Contact Center does this automatically.  

“Using Freshdesk Contact Center is quite easy, especially because all of our helpline officers can log on to the same platform and see what’s happening together, even though they’re all in different places. This would not have been possible with a regular phone setup," says Hadil Nour, Helpline Manager.

Delivering personalized support through Freshdesk Messaging

Apart from Freshdesk Contact Center, MYH also uses Freshdesk Messaging to support their chat support services. Some Freshdesk Messaging features which have proven to be useful to helpline officers include:

  • WhatsApp integration: The two main ways users can reach MYH on chat is through the webchat available on the website and WhatsApp. The ability to integrate WhatsApp with Freshdesk Messaging proved to be extremely important when MYH decided to launch this feature recently.
  • Customizable messages: The ability to customize messages on Freshdesk Messaging helped MYH create sensitive messages to welcome individuals and make them feel comfortable. 
  • Demographic information: Through Freshdesk Messaging, users are able to provide their demographic information. This provides context for helpline officers, helping them save time. Depending on the information provided, certain users can also be routed to more specialized support as needed. 

Business impact of Freshdesk Contact Center (formerly Freshcaller)

Freshdesk Contact Center has transformed MYH’s capabilities as a helpline both internally and externally. Its impact can best be seen in three critical areas: 

  • Improving user experience: Freshdesk Contact Center’s advanced reporting features has been integral in improving the user experience of callers. MYH is able to use the metrics to identify what should be the optimal call duration in order to provide the best support to callers. 
  • Resource planning: Visibility into the number and frequency of missed calls during shifts is invaluable for accurate resource planning. The helpline manager can decide whether agents should be moved between shifts or whether additional volunteers need to be added to improve the efficacy of the helpline. 
  • Training of helpline officers: Freshdesk Contact Center’s reports help management understand the top concerns of that month at a single glance. This is a very useful tool to provide more relevant and effective training for helpline officers. These insights also inform a lot of the management decisions. 

Tackling the COVID-19 surge

COVID-19 and the ensuing lockdown have put unimaginable stress on individuals and businesses across the globe. In the UK, it has resulted in a mental health crisis, which has disproportionately affected ethnic and religious minorities. 

During this period, MYH saw a 313% increase in calls coming in, from young people who were grappling with loss, intense pressure and new responsibilities. In order to cater to the huge increase in calls during the pandemic, the MYH helpline workers made extensive use of Freshdesk Contact Center’s remote working capabilities. Elaborating on the new remote setup, Maaria explains, “We started working from home one week before the lockdown was announced in the UK. The transition was very, very smooth because Freshdesk Contact Center was a system that connected all our users and allowed us to take calls simultaneously.” 

Looking ahead

The immense pressure created by COVID-19 and its aftershocks has made the service that MYH provides of even greater value to the community. How does the helpline plan to evolve to become even more effective? “We want to be at a point where everything that happens on our helpline is integrated with the CRM so that we can easily run reports on every aspect of the organization. At the moment that only happens in the helpline sphere, but it will soon be within relationship management and organizational aspects within MYH”, explains Maaria. Another important part of MYH’s future plans is expanding the popularity of WhatsApp as a touchpoint and expanding on Freshdesk Messaging’s potential to achieve this.  

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, we couldn’t afford to have even one day where the helpline wasn’t working and with Freshdesk Contact Center, we were able to achieve zero downtime”

maaria mahmood director e1606828656219 maaria mahmood director e1606828656219
Maaria Mahmood