We’re very excited to be one of the first charities to offer live breastfeeding support via web chat. At the moment we are just trialing the service – so some technical things may not be working exactly as we want them to be – we’re testing some things and they will be refined as we go along. Be assured though that the support you receive will be of exactly the same quality as if you had called the Helpline.
As this is a trial project, we’d love your anonymous feedback if you take part in a web chat – the volunteer you’re chatting with will share a survey link with you which will take a couple of minutes to fill in. There’s no obligation to complete this, we just want to try to make the service as good as it can possibly be.
How it works
If the sign below says ‘Chat’ it means we are available to chat. Click on the ‘chat’ sign to begin a conversation.
If the sign says ‘Sorry we’re closed’ it means there are no volunteers available to chat at the moment. Please try again later, or call our Helpline on 0300 100 0212 between 9.30 am – 9.30 pm.
We aim to offer this service as much as possible but it will depend on when trained volunteers are available.
If the sign says ‘chat’ it means there are volunteers currently on web chat – however if you get a message saying ‘connecting you to an agent’ that appears for more than 60 seconds, it means the volunteers are currently busy on other chats. In this case you will get a message saying ‘please try again later or call the helpline’.
If the ‘chat’ is closed and your query is not urgent you can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
How does live chat work?
Please ensure you have a reliable internet connection before starting a web chat. Mobile phone signals can vary and if you move around during your chat and lose signal, the chat will be disconnected.
When you click on the ‘chat’ button, a new pop up window will open.
If you have been given a reference number from a previous chat, you can enter it in the box that says ‘reference number’. This means the volunteer you chat to will be able to see your previous conversations.
If you haven’t chatted to us before, you don’t have a reference number, or you don’t want the volunteer to see previous conversations, no need to enter anything in the box.
When the new window appears you’ll see a message that says ‘connecting you to an agent’. If a volunteer is available to chat, she will greet you and her message will appear in your window.
Sometimes if all the volunteers are busy on other chats, the ‘connecting you to an agent’ message will disappear after 60 seconds and a message ‘please try again later or call the helpline’ will appear instead. In this case you can either wait for someone to become available, try again later or call our Helpline on 0300 100 0212.
During a chat, you can tell when the volunteer is typing by the small icon on the bottom left hand side showing a pen writing on a notepad. The text won’t be displayed as we type but only when we’ve completed a sentence or paragraph.
Once the volunteer’s message appears, it’s your turn to reply.
To reply, click in the bottom box and start typing. The volunteer won’t see your message until you press enter or click on the ‘send’ button.
Sometimes if the volunteer has a lot to say, it might take a while for her message to appear. Please don’t close the window while we’re typing or you might miss out on some important information. Our volunteers will make it very clear when they are ending a chat.
Is this service confidential?
All chats are completely secure and confidential between yourself and the volunteer.
We want to find out about the people who are using live chat to help us improve the service and ensure we are reaching as many people as possible, so our volunteers may ask you some questions about your age, postcode and background. These are entirely optional – you don’t have to answer these if you don’t want to.
How does it differ from calling the Helpline?
The volunteers who answer on live chat have been trained in exactly the same way as the volunteers who answer calls on the Helpline, in fact, they also answer calls on the Helpline! You will receive the same, independent, non judgemental, mother-centred support and information that you would on the Helpline.
The volunteer may be able to signpost you to further information on other websites more easily than she would be able to on the phone.
If the volunteer (or you) feels it would be more appropriate to talk things through on the phone, she may suggest this – but you don’t have to do this, and no one will call you without you explicitly giving your permission and your phone number.
Wherever the chat window says ‘agent’ – this means ‘NBH volunteer’.
Can I save the conversation to refer back to later or print out?
At the end of the conversation, before you close the pop up window, you will be asked if you want to receive an email transcript of the call. Simply enter your email address in the box provided and a transcript will be sent directly to you. We won’t use this email address for anything else.
You can’t save the conversation, so don’t close down the pop up chat window until you have the information you want.
Please note that this service can only be provided to UK residents.