We’ve used our webchat service to speak to 11,000 people in need

This is what we’ve learnt

Andrew Horne
Sep 17, 2018 · 3 min read
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Web chat users

So who uses web chat? The answer is everyone. Parents, and lots of them worried about their kids. People in work with cocaine problems. People worried they were drinking too much. Professionals looking to see how to refer clients. And many others. No two people are the same, but there’s a common need out there for objective, warm, non-judgemental advice from a trained professional.

Reaching new audiences

We’re also engaged by many people who can’t or won’t use traditional services. Lots of people would find it hard to use local services because of jobs, caring responsibilities, or just because it’s not their preferred way to seek help. Lots of people don’t actually need ‘traditional’ services. They’re looking for a listening ear, support and advice. As the service has grown, people are using web chat for ongoing support and we’re beginning to offer set appointments so people can have scheduled time with a named keyworker.

Modernising our service

Addaction’s web chat service is now open seven days and five evenings every week. The weekends and evenings tend to be quieter, but with more in depth conversations. We chose our opening hours by analysing visitor traffic on our website. To manage demand we have two professional advisors on call each day. We also have an on call supervisor to support and advise on particularly sensitive cases. Each advisor manages a maximum of two conversations at a time so that nobody feels rushed.

Addaction’s web chat is a free and confidential service. It’s available at www.addaction.org.uk

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