During difficult times the volume of queries always increases, but with ongoing concerns around the cost of living, they spike significantly.
Flexing resources to manage this is time-consuming and can be challenging.
If a parent carer is looking for help because of a stressful or anxious event or situation, it’s key that the Contact Helpline Team is available to take these complex and sensitive calls, live chats or queries sent via email or the web form.
However, many of the queries coming into the Helpline Team were general queries with similar themes (eg Universal Credit) that could be answered via information on the website.
The Contact website has a wealth of information and is an invaluable resource for families. But invariably, people will reach out via phone or email if they cannot locate the information they need after a quick search, hence the volume of general queries noted above.
A number of inbound enquiries were also from individuals that were not within the sphere of who Contact could help – for example people based outside of the UK or with a disabled child over the age of 25, and this issue also needed to be addressed to help protect the time of the Helpline Team.
It was clear a solution was needed to guide users to information on the website that went beyond the menu or search function.
Although Charlie has only been working for Contact a few months now, they are super pleased with how things are working out, with over 600 families a month leaning on Charlie for useful bits of information and guidance.
There has also been a great pattern developing in the analytics – early on in Charlie’s deployment, parents were quicker to seek out support from a human, but as time has gone by, more and more parents are relying on Charlie to provide trusted information and guidance.
The acceptance of Charlie the chat bot has been really strong.
Although we help to support and look after Charlie, the onboarding and training given to the Contact team has given them the autonomy to keep Charlie up-to-date and allow extra content to be added simply and easily.