Relate is the largest provider of relationship support in England and Wales. With more than 600 locations across the UK, the charity helps people to strengthen relationships through a network of licensed local counselors by offering support in person, over the phone and via chat. Their services include relationship counseling for individuals and couples, family counseling, counseling for children and young people and sex therapy.
As well as in-person and phone support, Relate has long offered message counseling through live chat. At first, Relate used Vee24’s live chat solution to provide this service, but the team was finding it difficult to use, unreliable, and constraining. This experience was so frustrating that they were considering abandoning the use of live chat altogether.
However, after conducting a website user experience survey, they discovered that their clients strongly wanted a live chat offering. With such clear and positive feedback for live chat, Relate began searching for a new provider. As Sarah Berry, Assistant Director of Strategy, Innovation & Client Experience at Relate, explained:
Relate launched Comm100 Live Chat in 2022 to offer a message counseling service to their clients. Although a charity, Relate needs to generate income through its counseling services to fund itself. By offering Comm100 Live Chat, Relate enhanced a key revenue-generating channel that is now helping them to target an otherwise under-served client base.
“We are predicting a 40% increase in our message-a-counselor service this year, and I don’t think this would have been possible without Comm100 Live Chat. Our clients love speaking to us on live chat as many of them feel uncomfortable sharing over the phone or in-person. It’s the perfect way to provide personal, 1-1 support in this digital age.”
– Sarah Berry, Assistant Director of Strategy, Innovation & Client Experience at Relate
Alongside Comm100 Live Chat, Relate integrated Comm100 Task Bot. This is an essential feature for Relate to streamline the user journey and improve team efficiency.
When a website visitor starts a chat, they are greeted by a Task Bot that asks them what they are seeking help with. This pre-chat conversation is essential for Relate because their clients have varying needs and situations. By asking these initial questions, Relate can create different customer journeys based on this information, ensuring that every visitor receives helpful and accurate support. Automating these introductory questions also saves considerable time for their agent counselors, allowing them to spend more time supporting clients.
Once the visitor has chosen from the selection of answer options, they are directed to the appropriate resource or page for more information. Alternatively, if a visitor wishes to speak to a counselor, they can be immediately routed to an agent on live chat or request a phone call.
“The ability to triage our clients with Comm100 Task Bot is fantastic. Our clients have very different needs and by asking these upfront questions with the bot, we can ensure that we are directing them to the right place and giving them the very best support. It also saves our agent counselors so much time. The Task Bot identifies who the client is and what they need help with so our counselors can focus on our purpose – helping strengthen relationships.”
– Sarah Berry, Assistant Director of Strategy, Innovation & Client Experience
Relate also added Comm100 Ticketing into their strategy to help them provide full-cycle support and improve the client experience. Many of Relate’s clients frequently return to them requesting more support. With Comm100 Ticketing in place, when an existing client initiates a conversation, the tickets are merged so all the client’s information and previous conversation histories are collated in one place. As well as providing the counselor with all the information they need to provide helpful support, this also ensures that the client is always routed to the same counselor each time.
Given the uniqueness of Relate’s services and client needs, there are many features within Comm100’s platform that are critical to them. Here is a snapshot of just a handful of them:
- Live chat supervision: Given the nature of Relate’s counseling services, many chats need particular attention and care. With Comm100, admins can monitor chats and evaluate the situation in real-time. If needed, they can then join or takeover the chat at any point.
- Easy-to-build and edit Task Bot: As well as being simple to build with no coding, Task Bot is also easy to update and edit without needing to seek support or request a ticket. Relate can simply log on to the platform and make the necessary changes with Task Bot’s easy-to-use drag-and-drop functionality.
- Easy-to-use UI for managers: Comm100’s platform is “incredibly easy to use” for administrators, allowing them to select agents, add features, and set up routing rules with no assistance. For Relate, this control is essential as, for example, they often need to shut down certain services at fast notice when they hit capacity.
“It felt like we were at the ceiling of what we could do with Vee24. With Comm100 it feels like we have barely scratched the surface of its capabilities. There’s just so much potential and we feel empowered by it. Before, we didn’t feel confident in promoting our live chat offering. Now Comm100 Live Chat is an essential income-generating channel.”
The quality of Comm100’s training and onboarding was a standout factor, according to Relate’s Annette Braithwaite, Digital Services Manager. Comm100 provided Relate with fortnightly cadence meetings to train them on the products and ensure that every team member, regardless of tech literacy, felt fully confident before launch, as Annette explained:
“Our agents have a very wide range of tech literacy, but Comm100 made sure that they catered to this by providing training that was appropriate to every level. It really was fantastic and made sure that our staff felt confident using this new tech. All of the little things they did – recording the sessions so we could watch back when setting up a new feature, creating a demo platform where the agents could practice using chat before launch – it really made a difference to our agents and to the success of the technology overall.”
With Comm100 at their side, Relate expects their live chat counseling service to continue to expand and become one of their top revenue-generating channels.
On top of this, since launching Comm100, the charity now has far greater access to a range of funding. Comm100’s AI Chatbot could open up funding opportunities for them by providing a bot that offers 24/7 relationship support to new parents.