Huntley adds chat feature to village website: ‘It’s definitely growing’

Huntley's virtual assistant feature pictured June 11, 2024.

Huntley residents and visitors to the village website now can use a chat feature to get questions answered or connect with a person who works for the village.

Officials announced earlier this week that they launched the new chat feature online, although the functionality has been live for a few weeks. The feature, called “Huntley Assistant,” allows people to ask questions, and Morgan Kaiser, a management analyst at the village, said the chat feature won’t say anything it doesn’t know.

Kaiser said there’s a list of “pre-made” responses that the village has for the chat, and the chat will give information if people ask one of those questions. He said he’s added some questions to the list since the chat went live, including information about garbage and recycling.

Kaiser said if someone asked about how to pay their water bill, for example, the chat will give information on how to pay the bill. If someone asked, for instance, how to make a ham sandwich, they’d get connected to a village employee. Kaiser said there’s a team of eight people who answer questions throughout the workday.

Even if users are asking a question that’s on the pre-made list, they still have the option of connecting with a human.

People can access the chat feature through the village of Huntley website,, but also through the village app that launched earlier this year. The app comes with some preset options such as checking the village calendar, but the chat is accessible in the lower right-hand corner of the website.

Neighboring Algonquin also has a chat feature on its website. Huntley is at least the second McHenry County municipality to roll out a chat feature this year. Woodstock overhauled and debuted a new website in February and added a chatbot as part of the overhaul.

In Huntley, Kaiser said, the village is averaging about five chats per day.

“It’s definitely growing,” Kaiser said.

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