How we established an interactive support site for a leading UK charity

Brief

 

Connect Assist was appointed by one of the UK’s largest children’s charities to launch a fully integrated digital enquiry service for a new regional website.

 

The charity was commissioned by a local authority to set up the website as a way of providing free and confidential support for young people in the local area.

 

The service aimed to provide those in need with quick and digestible information about issues they were facing, such as support with family breakdowns and exam stress.

 

Solution

 

From the outset, we worked closely with the charity to devise a digital first approach that would provide a user-friendly interface for the target users, focusing on the website as the first port of call.

 

As many young people often feel embarrassed or uncomfortable talking to strangers about sensitive issues, we created a live chat platform to provide users with the option of a confidential form of communication.

 

Whether seeking advice for themselves or for someone else, through live chat they are able to connect online with a trained advisor via a channel they feel both comfortable and familiar with.

 

The live chat function is operated entirely by volunteers, who are trained to handle a wide variety of difficult situations. Many of the volunteers also have first-hand experience of helping others through vulnerable periods and are therefore able to relate to service users on a more personal level.

 

We also implemented an up-to-date self-help platform and database of information, allowing users to independently seek answers to a range of issues and queries. This service, which users can access anonymously, filters information from a digital database containing information on topics such as bullying, body image, sexual health and emotional well-being.

 

Results

 

Since 2013, the website has proven extremely effective within the local community in which it operates. By analysing the statistics from the self-help service, we have been able to identify that the most common days that people search for advice are Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursdays, from 9am-3pm and then again from 7pm-8pm. Additionally, it has emerged from these analytics that the most common months for using the self-help service are June, July and October.

 

By implementing the online self-help service and measuring activity and access, we have been able to accurately uncover when users are going to be online and therefore tailor the live chat service accordingly.

 

The online advisers are also able to keep track of previous conversations with users via the CRM system. For example, after every conversation with a user via the live chat service, users are sent a feedback form to their email address. This form has proven extremely insightful, allowing users are able to rate the support they received. This allows the charity to respond to feedback on an ongoing basis.

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