KJT - Chat Startup

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KJT - Chat Startup

  1. 1. Start-up of chat service Geert Strobbe Teamleader chat team Secretary of Kinder- en JongerenTelefoon Vlaanderen VZW
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Our starting point </li></ul><ul><li>First counsellors </li></ul><ul><li>Lessons learned (first year) </li></ul><ul><li>Questions from & advices to starting organisations </li></ul><ul><li>Accessibility factors for a chat service </li></ul>23-10-2007 Kinder- en JongerenTelefoon Vlaanderen VZW
  3. 3. The starting point... <ul><li>Decreasing number of phone call in 2002 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Note: at that time our number wasn’t free. Since we have our free number we’ve had an enormous boost of phone calls </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mini-study </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conclusion: rising importance of “new media” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Different options... </li></ul></ul>23-10-2007 Kinder- en JongerenTelefoon Vlaanderen VZW
  4. 4. Chatroom young people discuss among each other <ul><li>Characteristics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Group discussion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discussion between young people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Childhelpline as moderator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Via Website (www.kjt.org) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology: “chatroom” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anonymous (“nickname”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emancipatory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Frequency: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. Every Wednesday evening </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thematic ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jargon </li></ul></ul>23-10-2007 Kinder- en JongerenTelefoon Vlaanderen VZW
  5. 5. Private Chat Young people come with question(s) to counsellor <ul><li>Characteristics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chat between two people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chat with ChildHelpLine counsellor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dialogue = comparable to telephone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Via Website (www.kjt.org) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology: “messenger”, “private chat” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anonymous (“nickname”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Frequency: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>On long term: daily opening hours, as for the telephone </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Difficult to express emotions? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jargon </li></ul></ul>23-10-2007 Kinder- en JongerenTelefoon Vlaanderen VZW
  6. 6. Forum Young people help each other <ul><li>Characteristics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Group discussion (off-line) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discussion between young people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ChildHelpLine as moderator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>via Website (www.kjt.org) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>technology: “Newsgroup” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anonymous (“nickname”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emancipatory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Structured around topics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Frequency: continuous </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jargon </li></ul></ul>23-10-2007 Kinder- en JongerenTelefoon Vlaanderen VZW
  7. 7. Our choice: Private Chat <ul><li>Anonymous </li></ul><ul><li>(nearly) Free : parents pay internet-connection </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Less than 10% via dial-up (90% ADSL, cable,...) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>and easily accessible for young people... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>85% of young people have access to a PC with internet access </li></ul></ul>23-10-2007 Kinder- en JongerenTelefoon Vlaanderen VZW Resultats Of our poll... +/- 10 years ago... 73% 80% 10% 85%
  8. 8. Counsellors Recruitment & Selection <ul><li>The first counsellors were recruted out of the pool of phone counsellors. (with at least one year of experience). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advantages: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Understand the basics of our organisation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Possible to compare with/start from telephone experience </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Counsellors are able to help with start-up </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Enthousiasm: pioneering </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disadvantages: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Organisation: first counsellors supporting several communication channels </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Interview </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Verify a number of basic points: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ basics” of the organisation must be understood </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Counsellor must be able to type/or be ready to learn it </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid wrong expectations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Chat as a counsellor ( not a “free” chat ) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>One chat at a time </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ready to participate in additional supervision sessions for chat </li></ul></ul></ul>23-10-2007 Kinder- en JongerenTelefoon Vlaanderen VZW
  9. 9. Counsellors Training (1) <ul><li>Classic training (3 days) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Chatsoftware </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Specific aspects for registration </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conversation methodology training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Chat as communication channel (typical limitations / possibilities) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Chat as helpline </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Re)view the 5-steps model from a chat-viewpoint </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Role play with team members (+ feedback) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Role play with youngsters (+ feedback !!) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content (thematical) course is separate / common for all channels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No “new” subjects pop-up (but some shifts appear) </li></ul></ul></ul>23-10-2007 Kinder- en JongerenTelefoon Vlaanderen VZW
  10. 10. Counsellors Training (2) <ul><li>Practical training: reading </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not possible (with first team members) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Compensation: invite youngsters for training session with feedback </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Practical training: writing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not possible (with first team members) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Compensation: start with duo-sessions, where two counsellors work together on one chat, to acquire knowledge, self-confidence,... </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Supervision </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Separate supervision for chat-team (not together with telephone) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Goal: discuss about chat-related issues, share solutions, agree on common approach,... </li></ul></ul>23-10-2007 Kinder- en JongerenTelefoon Vlaanderen VZW
  11. 11. Lessons learned (first year) <ul><li>Characteristics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Average duration : 22 min </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Slow: Limits the number of chats that a counsellor can do on one evening </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mainly girls (+/- 60 %, comparable to e-mail) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Age: 14 – 17 jaar (estimation) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited number of recurring callers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often “heavy” chats on “difficult” subjects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>High quality chats of the counsellors (high level of emphathizing, ...) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(nearly) No scolding/giggling chats </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Low threshold to start chat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Short “step 1” (acquintance) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lots of young people say “I don’t dare to call you on the phone” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Safety: distant and close at the same time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>!!! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>As well for young people as for the counsellor </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More requests than we can answer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Closer to phone than to e-mail </li></ul></ul>23-10-2007 Kinder- en JongerenTelefoon Vlaanderen VZW
  12. 12. Typical questions from starting organisations (and some good advice  ) <ul><li>Chat Software </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chat software </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integration with other tools: website, intranet, transcripts, registration,... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Training environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Identity management” : correct management of user names, passwords,... </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Chat: start of “virtual office” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Share documents via the internet: time tables (permanences), documentation, ... </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Anonymity: Communicate about sex of counsellor ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If useful in chat, why not ? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>No “free chat” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t worry: in practice, most chats handle about difficult subjects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A counsellor is doing only one chat at a time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>High counsellor satisfaction </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Chat duration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maximum duration of chat (guideline) (E.g. 60 min) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Closing time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pick a topic: “What’s now the most important for you?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On the good way? Check where you are, half way (e.g. after 30 min) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sometimes youngsters are “multi-tasking”  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sometimes we must help to end the chat ( do you have another question? ) </li></ul></ul>23-10-2007 Kinder- en JongerenTelefoon Vlaanderen VZW
  13. 13. Typical questions from starting organisations (and some good advice  ) <ul><li>Advice: start from “the known” environment (telephony), and translate to chat </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conversation methodology,... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Concepts: recurring callers, “click”, “silent”,... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supervision / intervision </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Language </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Less formal than in normal written language (even e-mail) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But, typically, yougsters adapt their language to the (old) counsellor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Less jargon than expected </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Organisation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Find balance between “staying within the organisation” and “experimenting with new things” (in order to cope with new challenges) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Counsellors / building a team </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Start(ed) from experienced telephone counsellors. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Listen to/understand/solve the upcoming problems </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Let them be proud about themselves: the pioneering experience </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ boot-strapping”: grow step by step </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Extend later with brand new counsellors (when start-up is under control, experience is there,...) </li></ul></ul>23-10-2007 Kinder- en JongerenTelefoon Vlaanderen VZW
  14. 14. Typical questions from starting organisations (and some good advice  ) <ul><li>Chat transcript available for caller (or not)? </li></ul><ul><li>Counsellors / transcripts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Transcripts are literally what’s said (only missing point is “timing”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Requires openness/trust of the counsellors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Everybody can read all chats in the registration tool </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Chat location </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chat requires concentration from counsellor. Most /all counsellors chat from home (conditions: quite place, no disturbances from family, no family around,...) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Quality guarantee </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Start with duo-sessions (two counsellors for one chat) to build experience and self-confidence </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Recurring chatters </li></ul>23-10-2007 Kinder- en JongerenTelefoon Vlaanderen VZW
  15. 15. Factors that make chat service accessible for target group <ul><li>Internet access for target group </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cost (ADSL vs PSTN), </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal PC (in bedroom) or shared PC (in living room), </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>... </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Finding the way to the chat </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Via website ? (# visitors/timeframe) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>When target group is on website? What do they do on the website?,... </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Clear icons,... </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Alignment of openinghours with expectations of the target group? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. Before parents are at home, ... </li></ul></ul>23-10-2007 Kinder- en JongerenTelefoon Vlaanderen VZW

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