05 July 2018
The Best Live Chat Role in Digital Policing
Recently, Click4Assistance’s partner Civica and customer Essex and Kent Police joined the National Police Chief’s Council and the Ex-Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire for an UKAuthority live panel to discuss how to make digital policing a reality.
“UKAuthority is the prime communication channel to public sector decision makers in the digital space. We are the trusted, independent media organisation, promoting digital innovation and best practice for better and lower cost digital public services that citizens choose to use.” – Helen Olsen Bedford, CEO and Publisher, UKAuthority.
Civica is a global IT-based services partner. They specialise in digital solutions, software applications and managed services for the public sector and regulated private sector markets.
Essex and Kent have been collaborating since 2007 to improve their policing by having a more effective and efficient use of resources. This includes police officers, staff, buildings and vehicles. They also strive to achieve better value for money.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) is a national coordination body for law enforcement in the UK and the representative body for British police chief officers.
The panel was led by Helen Olsen Bedford of UKAuthority and explored how the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s National Enabling Programmes and the Police ICT Company, are collaborating to expedite the use of digital and service technologies to meet common requirements that supports standards, APIs and data handling across force’s.
The key to digitalising policing is by finding the right balance between supporting data sharing and saving on costs via standardisation, whilst offering the flexibility to tailor systems to suit local requirements.
With 43 forces, it doesn’t make sense developing several individual solutions that are for similar purposes. It certainly isn’t cost effective either. There is that need for systems to be easily replicated, but is completely agile to each force’s needs.
From Blueprints to Tailored Implementations
For every company that implements Click4Assistance’s live chat the blue prints are the same. Visitors can instantly speak with a representative via text based message in real time. Simple as, that’s its purpose.
What makes our solution stand out from the rest is how customisable it is, both within the account and the visitor facing aspects including buttons and windows. Each police force can set up their own:
- Users and their security access and permissions
- Predefined Replies
- End Categories
- Restricted Entries
- Auto Navigation URLs
They are able to save and schedule reports to measure chat uptake, operator productivity, and customers’ satisfaction etc. Routing groups can be set up to direct the chats to multiple departments. Users can alter their Dashboard with a choice of backgrounds, which windows they have opened and how they are positioned. Their entire account is flexible to their needs.
Each police force has their own corporate branding which is presented on their websites. Live chat can seamlessly fit with their website persona, as they can customise the windows to include their logo, colours, operators’ photos and useful links etc. Personalising the chat ensures that residents have confidence speaking with their local policing team.
When implementing chat onto a police website they have many options regarding exactly what web pages to place it on and what type of enquiries they want to attract. Some force’s may wish to have it on every page for general enquiries working in conjunction with their 101 helpline, others may choose specific pages such as following up an open case or reporting minor crime like graffiti etc. One of the main elements of choosing where to place the button is what resources do they have available, do they have the man-power (or woman) to handle a high volume of questions or will they need to streamline it to a key area.
APIs can be implemented to ensure that integrated legacy systems are kept up to date with the latest chat data. The continuing flow of communication between the systems guarantees that operations are streamlined as representatives are able to access the data easily.
Use of Live Chat in Policing
Covering the largest geographical area in England and the fifth largest in the United Kingdom, Devon and Cornwall Police added the best live chat solution in the UK to their website in 2016. They use the communication channel for general non-urgent enquiries and selected Click4Assistance as their provider as we gave them the best flexibility and protection of data.
They have been able to customise their chat to fit completely with their website branding. Using a cartoon character within their chat button, they have created consistency with other aspects on their homepage and an approachable feel for those a bit wary of contacting the police.
They have optimised the space available on their pre-chat form to ensure residents have all the information they need. This includes the chats operational times and purpose of use, alternative useful links, and a validation checkbox for the visitor to accept the terms, along with a link to their policy ensuring their full understanding and that GDPR rulings are met.
They have used chat in a completely different way to Essex and Kent Police which we will be exploring in another blog. But each force’s use of the communication channel has been built on the same foundations and tailored in a way to benefit their constabularies and their residents.
To find out more about how the Click4Assistance solution can benefit your organisation, speak to our public sector co-ordinator on 01268 524628 or arrange a free personalised demo by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.