Making it easier to get help with legal problems

Making it easier to get help with legal problems

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

We have made changes to the Legal Help service, making it easier and quicker for people to get help with their legal issues.

Launched this morning, the new call queueing system in the Legal Help phone line will improve access and efficiency for people calling the free 1300 number.

People will still call the same number, 1300 792 387.

Associate Director of Access and Equity, Jon Cina, says the improved system will allow us to more effectively prioritise and respond to people based on their legal needs.

‘The new system has been designed to reduce waiting times and the number of abandoned calls, meaning we can help people faster and more appropriately manage the increasing demands from the community,’ Jon said.

‘From today, when people call the 1300 number, there will be a new menu option — depending on what option is selected, the new software will allocate a priority code to the caller and an appropriate staff member will be assigned to the call.'

Put simply, Legal Help has incorporated more sophisticated contact centre strategies to allow callers to self-select the help they require. Automated messaging to filter and control incoming calls is commonly used in other contract centres and means that people can get through to the right team more quickly and effortlessly.

‘We have built specialist lines so that some legal matters can be triaged automatically without input from a Legal Help staff member,’ Jon said.

‘Most notably, people who are at the police station and about to be interviewed in relation to a criminal offence, will now be able to self-select and be transferred directly through to the Criminal Law team servicing those calls without having to wait in the queue.

‘This means that our most vulnerable and our priority callers will be serviced more effectively through the use of technology.'

Callers can still request a call back if they are unable to wait to talk to a staff member. If they end up in the wrong queue, they can easily return to the main menu and make another choice, or a Legal Help staff member will transfer them to the right queue.

‘Callers will also be able to talk directly to a person if needed, and can do so in over 20 languages other than English,’ Jon said.

‘Our Legal Help telephone services is staffed by bilingual lawyers, which enables us to provide direct assistance without the need for a third-party interpreter.’

In 2016–17, Legal Help received 191,030 calls, an increase of 2.5 per cent, and dealt with 125,512 of these calls, 13 per cent more than the previous year.

‘We recognise the need to respond to increasing demand and changing community expectations by providing a more efficient and effective service that’s easier to access,’ Jon said. 

‘That’s why one of the priorities in our 2017–18 Business Plan is building a modernised and sustainable Legal Help contact centre.

‘The upgrade to our phone queue system is one of a series of changes to Legal Help that will enable the service to function as an accessible and effective main entry point to the legal assistance sector. We look forward to rolling out more improvements in 2018.’

More information

For more on the new phone queue system, please contact Himmat Singh, Program Manager, Legal Help, (03) 9280 3706.