Pasco County Schools reduced customer service costs by 41% with Let's Talk

Transforming customer service takes time and effort — and leadership at Pasco County Schools has the data to know it was worthwhile. They improved internal operations and experiences districtwide and saw success in results following an extensive review of cost-to-benefit.


86,000+ students
48 elementary schools
59 middle schools
15 high schools
14 charter school
3 virtual schools
6 other schools

Today, most school districts have dozens of entry points for communications and hundreds of staff members responsible for answering questions. Ensuring consistency, meeting response time expectations, and managing concerns before they become crises are all critical tasks for school district leaders. 

And with so many incoming inquiries, it can feel impossible to cut through the noise and understand what matters to families. This overwhelming volume of inbound communications also burdens staff with already high workloads. 

K12 Insight’s research has found 30% of families don’t know where to go when they have a question, and that 1 in 12 families is actively considering other educational options

But Pasco County Schools (PCS) is changing this narrative. Using a comprehensive customer service platform, they’ve ensured their families know where to go to get accurate and timely information and feel confident their questions are sent to the right person in the right department.  

Driving value: Let’s Talk reduced the cost of providing excellent customer service by 41%.

In March 2020, PCS turned to Let’s Talk from K12 Insight, the only all-in-one customer service and intelligence platform purpose-built for education. Initially implemented to support pandemic-related communications, the platform has since become a districtwide platform that has significantly improved customer service and operational efficiencies across the district.

PCS leverages Let’s Talk’s unified inbox, workflow automation, and AI-powered features to take incoming communications from every inbound channel and route it through a single platform. From there, keywords automatically direct messages to the correct person or department.

Graphic: How Let's Talk streamlines inbound communications

PCS recently completed an extensive review of Let’s Talk to determine the ROI and savings they have seen from implementing the platform. They leveraged a validated process from the ROI Institute to conduct their analysis. Their study found a benefit-cost-ratio of 1.68:1 based on the cost of handling single-topic inquiries,  meaning for every dollar they spent on Let’s Talk, they received $1.68 in benefit.  More importantly, they had a 41% reduction in the cost to provide better customer service than they were before Let’s Talk. This is on top of many intangibles that the district has directly seen – from national and state recognition of their community engagement to the ability to have real-time data and predictive analytics on trending issues, district response times and customer satisfaction. 

"Let’s Talk has made a difference in our daily work and has truly made an impact across our entire school system,” said Melissa Musselwhite, Director of Student Support Programs and Services, PCS. “When we implemented Let’s Talk, it took off quickly districtwide which presented the opportunity to measure the platform’s ROI. The results are evident from the numbers — we have seen great success with Let’s Talk.”

Boosting operational efficiencies while improving customer service

Let’s Talk has created a paradigm shift in not only how the district delivers customer service, but also how departments continue to create operational efficiencies, improve training, and save staff time. 

For example, PCS expanded Let’s Talk to its transportation department to improve customer service. When a family moves and needs to update their bussing pick-up location, all they have to do is submit a Let’s Talk dialogue within the “Transportation” topic. The message will go directly to the transportation department and the data can be updated without parents ever needing to pick up the phone. 

If further clarification is needed, staff can respond to the dialogue with a question. If the parent submits their request under the wrong topic, the receiving department can re-route the dialogue on the back end with a single click. 

Not only has this been a game-changer for families, but it has also saved time and created efficiencies for PCS staff, creating real-time training opportunities. Because all dialogues are logged in Let’s Talk, transportation team members, including new hires, can see existing responses in Let’s Talk to learn faster how the district handles replying to parents. This saves time for staff when it comes to training. 

“Our success with Let’s Talk is largely because of exposure to the ways we are using it and other departments have shown interest in implementing it for themselves,” said Musselwhite. “As we continued to expand Let’s Talk to departments throughout our district, it grew on its own with positive word-of-mouth and personal experiences.”

Cutting through the noise with real-time data

Let’s Talk also has a dashboard that offers quick and valuable insights from real-time customer input and feedback. 

“Before Let’s Talk, we didn’t have customer service data to rely on for spotting inefficiencies or providing support to overwhelmed teams,” said Musselwhite. “Now, if we notice duplicate efforts on responses or trending topics, we’re able to address it immediately and empower our teams to deliver superior customer service.” 

Today, PCS leverages the Let’s Talk dashboard to get daily updates on:

The dashboard coupled with the average Customer Experience (Cx) score and response times provided through Let’s Talk has empowered the district to identify issues and improve customer service in real time. 

Leveraging AI-powered automation for fast and friendly customer service

PCS continually leads the way for K-12 customer service, bringing in new technologies as soon as they’re available. Once the district learned 70% of questions coming into school districts every year are repetitive inquiries, they knew they could save even more time with Let’s Talk Assistant, the always-on, generative AI chatbot powered by Let’s Talk

Today, their chatbot answers hundreds of transportation and enrollment-related questions a month — saving staff hours every week and ensuring parents have access to information 24/7. Their chatbot is also connected to the Let’s Talk dashboard to track metrics on frequently asked questions.

Streamlining phone calls with SIS-integrated call center technology

Further advancing their goals of superior customer service, PCS introduced Let’s Talk’s Telephony features for fast, accurate assistance through SIS-integrated phone call management. 

Like every district, PCS receives a high volume of calls throughout the school year. In the same ROI exercise mentioned above, they calculated it once took an average of six phone calls to solve a single inquiry. Since launching Let’s Talk, they’ve reduced that number to one

Now, when a parent calls a school or district phone line, Let’s Talk will identify their phone number and bring up relevant customer information, including names, school sites, and bus route numbers of the caller’s child, making it much easier to resolve issues during the first call.

Instead of asking time-consuming questions about correct last name spelling or the details of specific bus drivers, staff have information on-screen immediately to get answers out quickly. With the power of Let’s Talk, PCS has minimized redundant calls and maximized staff time. 

A districtwide commitment to customer service success

Since launching Let’s Talk, PCS has developed customer-centric habits and workflows, setting them up for continued customer service success. 

They hold themselves accountable through a “Success Plan Scorecard” — a quarterly report filled with customer service metrics like average response time and Customer Experience score. The scorecard also has benchmark data comparing PCS to other like-sized districts around the country. The data is shared with internal staff, families, and the school board every quarter.  

The process of revolutionizing districtwide customer service is extensive and requires a commitment from leadership at every level — from the school board to campus principals. 

Let’s Talk has helped PCS tackle its customer service challenges, ensure transparency, and automate workflows — all while producing significant cost and time savings for the district. It’s clear: PCS sets the gold standard for K-12 customer service

Interested in learning how your district can reduce costs, save time, and improve customer service districtwide? Learn more here or request a free, no-obligation consult by filling out the form below.

Start delivering superior customer service in your school district. Schedule a demo with one of our experts today.

K12 Insight — a leading innovator of customer intelligence solutions for schools — helps you improve customer service and stakeholder engagement using a powerful customer experience platform and chatbot, research, and professional development.