In June 2012, the Department of Human Services sought feedback, insights, and ideas on how we could use a ‘live chat’ function on our website humanservices.gov.au.
Live chat is a function which will allow customers to talk directly to a staff member from our department in an online text-based discussion. This feature is sometimes referred to as Online Chat or Instant Messaging.
Over 280 customers and staff were involved in the online discussion. Discussion topics focused on what you would like to use a Live Chat function for, what it should look like, how it should work, when it should be available, and the key factors that would influence your decision to use this option. We also asked participants to complete a short survey on some ideas for this function.
We received lots of valuable feedback and suggestions about how we could use Live Chat. You told us you would be keen to use this function if it was quick and easy to log in to, and it would be beneficial to be able to quickly receive answers to general enquiries and assistance with online services. You told us that it would be important for you to be able to use this in the evenings and from mobile devices. You also said it would be useful if we provided some Frequently Asked Questions that you could check before you started a chat with a staff member and that you would like to be able to save, store or print the chat logs.
Your input has helped us to ensure we are designing a service that meets your needs and expectations. We expect to begin trialling this feature with some users in late 2012.
Your feedback will continue to influence our plans for the future of humanservices.gov.au including which features and improvements should be our priority.