Helping relate increase accessibility and meet people where they are with live chat service
Access to Relate’s counsellors was restricted to face-to-face, phone and e-mail counselling. As a result, Relate was unable to cater to clients with specific needs and preferences, who were unable to travel to their centres or those who needed immediate support.
Relate decided to add an alternative service channel, Live Chat, which was quick, easy and would increase accessibility and break down barriers for counselling.
Relate is a federation of charities and operates counselling centres across England, Wales & Northern Ireland. As the country’s largest provider of relationship support, more than one million people every year access information and support through a range of different channels.
At Relate, chat has become a very popular channel for counselling. With a 20% increase in chat volumes last year, we have delivered more than 44,000 chats in less than three years.”- Stephen Thorlby-Coy, Head of Relate Response, Relate UK
Relate is a national federated charity accessed by more than one million people every year. The organisation currently operates in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and will this year celebrate its 75th year anniversary.
As the country’s largest provider of relationship support, Relate boasts a strong network of practitioners who offer face-to-face, phone and email counselling from 70 centres spread across 600 locations. However, with a constant increase in demand for relationship support and in the number of people spending time online, the organization saw an opportunity to leverage technology to reach a larger and more diverse audience with its current resources.
“Many potential clients find it difficult to travel to our centres due to a busy lifestyle or economic reasons. Also, some clients prefer to maintain anonymity while discussing sensitive issues. We were looking for a solution that would help us reach out to more people by increasing access to counselling, breaking down barriers and reaching wider demographics,” shares Thorlby-Coy, Head of Relate Response at Relate UK.
Relate made the decision to go with Moxie Live Chat after evaluating similar products available in the market. Thorlby-Coy highlights the key reasons for doing so:
“We chose Moxie as it provided us with the flexibility to customize the chat environment and enabled counsellors to perform majority of the tasks within the agent desktop. Unlike other chat products that opened links in a new window, with [Moxie Live Chat], counsellors were able to open links within the agent desktop and did not need to juggle between two-three windows during customer interaction. This is a great feature for us.
Especially, when a counsellor needs to direct an online client to a partner organization, they can organize the bookmarks and resources, send it over to clients in real-time, and also guide them while they took a look at the web site, from a single interface –– all this while the chat session continues.”
In addition to the unified desktop that Moxie’s product offers, Thorlby-Coy mentions that Relate counsellors preferred Moxie Live Chat amongst all the tools they were asked to try.
As a charity, we compete with the private insurance organizations for national contracts. These are contracts for providing organizational benefits such as increasing employee efficiency, and reduce stress and anxiety for various organizations. With a powerful live chat solution, we are able to better compete in the market and win these bids.” – Stephen Thorlby-Coy, Head of Relate Response at Relate UK
Quantifying the benefits of Moxie Live Chat, Thorlby-Coy notes that the service started out with central government funding targeted to help parents. Relate’s live chat solution helps those who are unable to travel to the centres because of child care responsibilities, financial troubles or other such reasons. However, three years post implementation, Relate has exceeded the targets (number of people they would help) and is doing much more with live chat than they had initially planned.
Relate has seen a constant increase in chat volumes each year. “Chat has become a very popular channel for counselling. With a 20% increase in chat volumes last year, we have delivered more than 44,000 chats in less than three years. [Moxie Live Chat] has helped us exceed our targets on the number of people we initially aimed to reach out to and help resolve their relationship issues.”
Thorlby-Coy further mentions that with Moxie Live Chat, Relate has gained a competitive edge. He says, “as a charity, we compete with the private insurance organizations for national contracts. These are contracts for providing organizational benefits such as increasing employee efficiency, and reduce stress and anxiety for various organizations. With a powerful live chat solution, we are able to better compete in the market and win these bids.”
Lastly, Relate has also been receiving excellent customer service feedback for this new channel. “We run a customer satisfaction survey at the end of all our counselling sessions via live chat. We have received very positive feedback and our customer satisfaction rates are over 90%. People find this channel effective and very useful,” notes Thorlby-Coy.
Moxie’s proactive chat is another tool that Relate is keen on exploring. “Proactive chat would be nice for us to have. Many people spend a lot of time looking at some of our web pages about sensitive issues. These issues are difficult to talk about and it would be great if we are able to proactively engage these people into having a conversation with our experienced counsellors,” shares Thorlby-Coy.
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