04 October 2016
Sefton Council’s Live Chat Integration Story
Sefton Council are the governing body for the Metropolitan Borough of Sefton in Merseyside, north western England. The Local Authority consists of 66 councillors, with three for each of the boroughs’ 22 wards.
With the Council’s online services, visitors are able to report issues including broken street lights, apply for a blue badge or an allotment, or pay for council tax or a parking fee.
Many councils find that queries including reports, claims, or payments increase the number of emails and phone calls. Resourcing can be stretched, especially with the recent cuts in budget. Introducing live chat can help reduce the impact on email, telephone and face to face enquiries allowing residents to ask questions directly from the website and enabling advisors to handle multiple enquiries simultaneously.
Why Did Sefton Decide to Implement Live Chat?
In order to help reduce impact on the customer service teams and encourage use of the digital services, Sefton Council contacted Click4Assistance in October 2015 for advice regarding Live Chat integration.
Following an extended trial to assess suitability, the Council subscribed to the solution on 1st April 2016 as ‘business as usual’.
Sefton’s ‘Residents’ tab on their website allows visitors to search for information including:
Advice and Benefits
Bins and Recycling
Schools and Learning
Parking Roads and Travel
The solution was implemented across the entire website to ensure the residents could get help at any point of their journey.
How did Sefton implement the solution?
Sefton implemented a ‘sticky’ button in the bottom right of every webpage that stays in view as the visitor scrolls up and down the page. When clicked, an embedded window is presented that displays a pre-chat form which gathers the visitor name and further information regarding use of the live chat service before the visitor proceeds to the chat session. A short sentence explains that their agents are unable to take payments or discuss personal individual issues and if chats are found to be abusive or inappropriate, they have the right to terminate the chat altogether.
The embedded window open discretely in the bottom right of the page, so Sefton’s website can still be seen whilst the visitor is in chat. The windows have been customised to Sefton’s corporate branding – ensuring the visitor is assured they are talking to Council representatives, rather than a third party provider.
Local Authorities including Sunderland, Buckinghamshire and Blackpool Council have all integrated Click4Assistance Live Chat, achieving cost and resourcing savings, along with improved feedback from residents. For more information, or to discuss your requirements, contact our Local Authority coordinator on 0845 123 5871 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.