Experiment: Channel shifting: The impact of presenting different information on clients' chosen communication channels

Research Question:
Can we influence the channel through which clients submit an enquiry by changing the information featured on the departments' contact us webpage?
Project Summary:
The Immigration, Refugees, and Citzenship Canada (IRCC) Client Support Centre (CSC) receives client enquiries submitted via the phone channel or via the online form. As phone answer rates remain suboptimal, there was interest in experimenting with ways to encourage clients to submit an enquiry via the online form. We tested the impact of changing the information displayed on the CSC contact us webpage on the communication channel that clients used to contact the department. We tested three slightly modified versions of this webpage: • Version 1 (original) • Version 2 (online form benefits, i.e. convenience and accessibility) • Version 3 (online form benefits + disadvantages of phone channel, i.e wait times) Result: Surprisingly, Version 1 (original) resulted in the highest click through rate towards the online form. It's possible that mentioning a 30-minute wait time for calling an agent indicated in Version 3 may have inadvertently made the phone channel slightly more appealing, not less. These results show why rigorous experimentation is so important before fully implementing new ideas.
Design Details:
We used a quasi-randomized assignment design to compare three contact us webpage versions. The webpage were coded so that users were exposed to one of three different webpages.
The webpage versions tested were: - Version 1 (original) -Version 2 (online form benefits, i.e. convenience and accessibility) -Version 3 (online form benefits + disadvantages of phone channel, i.e wait times) The added text in Versions 2 and 3 was presented in a light blue information banner so that it stands out from the remaining text on the page.
For each version of the webpage tested, the data collected included the number of times it was viewed and the click rate towards the online form
The original version of the webpage led to the greatest number of click-throughs towards the online form.
Experimentation Area:
Service Delivery
Experiment Status:
Last Updated:
Oct 16, 2020
Local Branch and/or Unit:
Client Experience Branch
Reference No.:
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada