Psychology Direct – A New Unified System and Custom-Built Payment Application.


Psychology Direct are a UK company based in Surrey that started in 2008 with a mission: to make accessing qualified psychologists quicker and easier. Whether it is working with schools to aid young people with special needs, or finding an expert witness for a legal case. The numbers speak for themselves: they coordinate a network of over 1000 qualified psychologists. The work they do is vital and urgent in which they champion an approach focused on humanity and dignity.

Psychology Direct approached A2Z Cloud to improve on and unify their systems so they could focus on what is most important: getting the best support, where it is needed most.

The Challenge

Psychology Direct are experts at what they do, but their system obstructed them. Having an on-site platform with no cloud support meant the business often ran into issues. For example, if a member of staff was sick or was needed out of office. Psychology Direct needed a unified cloud system to collaborate on and run efficiently. Here is where they have benefited from a full digital transformation.

Originally, none of their business management tools interacted with each other, leading to a system overburdened with cross-manual checks and opportunities for human error. This wasn’t just prone to mistakes; it was frustrating to use on almost every count. With multiple pieces of software needed to take an order from inquiry to delivery (therefore multiple manual transitions of data), so much time was wasted.

This is where their collaboration with A2Z Cloud began. They started with Zoho CRM to centralise their information, but they quickly encountered 3 varying problems that required unique solutions.

Solution 1: The client database

Psychology Direct had ideas on new ways to organise their client database, aiming to optimise time spent within databases. Zoho CRM has the ability to filter and search client’s data. But, there was a need to find the right psychologist within easy travelling distance. 

The process of locating a psychologist for a client had to be simplified. The tedious task of sorting contacts within an acceptable transport radius of a client was time-consuming for the business, causing a dip in productivity. Psychology Direct needed a map where they could type in the postcode of their client and immediately locate near-by psychologists with availability.

This wasn’t something base Zoho CRM could do, so A2Z Cloud suggested building a solution from scratch in Zoho Creator, a low-code platform. This would create a custom application they could integrate with their other systems. With an easy to use interface and no more manual data migration, the process was greatly simplified. This meant that the process from client inquiry, to booking a specialist, was now fully streamlined.

Solution 2: A new finance system

As part of their full digital transformation, Psychology Direct knew they would eventually need a new solution for their finances. Their current model was completely unsustainable and required multiple manual checks in order to ensure no errors were introduced at any stage of the process. It involved several systems, alongside matching spreadsheets that had to be physically printed out on paper and re-digitised again. This did give them checkpoints, which they liked, but wasted time and manpower.

A2Z Cloud suggested Zoho Books to match their CRM system. This could be fully integrated into the CRM, so no more printing and retyping. They still wanted certain manual checkpoints, so those were implemented so that, even though everything was pulled through automatically, they could still be reassured that the data was correct. Additionally, there was the option to roll these back as they got more comfortable and built trust with the new system.

Solution 3: A custom payment application

Psychology Direct was experiencing problems with the unique way that the Education sector liked to book sessions. This was one of their most lucrative markets, but they operated differently from their other clients. While most of their clients would book out a psychologist for an allotted time, on a specified day, schools tended to buy large batches of sessions. This created an allowance that they could spend as such.

Both Psychology Direct and their clients needed visibility to this balance. In addition to this, it was essential the new system could split payments between the client paying, and the psychologist receiving payments. 

This visibility with integrations to CRM and Books was not available as a standard product. Therefore, A2Z Cloud built a custom app in Zoho Creator to allow the splitting of payments, so schools could pay one large fee which could then be distributed to consultants as needed.

As a result of this, their systems were greatly simplified. All information was synced with the client record in CRM, removing the time-consuming task of manually tracking hours in budgets. This has improved client relationships by preventing messy miscommunications or errors.

The final transformation

After going live with their newly transformed system, the team at Psychology Direct found a boost in productivity and online collaboration. Their processes were no longer spread across 10 different in-house systems, which were originally difficult to use and prone to errors.

Being cloud based was a lifeline before the company even knew they needed one. Shortly after the implementation, the Coronavirus Pandemic swept across the UK. With their old system, Psychology Direct may have struggled through the lockdown period, all their old systems were on-site. However, with A2Z Cloud’s help, however, they were able to continue work remotely, with ease.

Ready to experience transformation like Psychology Direct?

Begin streamlining your operations, boosting productivity, and simplifying complex processes with our comprehensive digital solutions. Get in touch with A2Z Cloud today.

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