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Back-to-School Breeze: The Role of Chatbots

Find out how chatbots can change the game for your back-to-school season

During the back-to-school season, school districts see a spike in questions. 

What is my child’s bus route? Is the lunchroom peanut-free? How are you handling COVID exposures? 

The top districts that keep their students, staff, and funding have one thing in common: They deliver a superior customer experience. And during the back-to-school season, it’s more important than ever to provide clear communication and accessible information to prevent frustration and overwhelm. 

During the last school year, three out of four parents said they couldn’t always identify the right person to help them with their question or concern during the 2021-22 school year. And 62% couldn’t always reach the right person or department. 

How to fix the problem 

Recently, school districts across the country have been turning AI-powered chatbots to free up staff time and provide an always-on option for stakeholders. 

Chatbots can accurately answer 80% of inbound questions, especially FAQs like “When is the first day of school?” and “How do I register my child?”

On average, 70% of questions school districts receive are repeat questions. And if many of those are handled by a chatbot, school staff have more time to manage the complex inquiries requiring personalized assistance.

During the 2021-22 school year, Virginia Beach City Public Schools utilized the Let’s Talk Assistant chatbot — which correctly answered 91% of stakeholder inquiries. For the district, that meant 1,340 inbound questions were managed without staff interaction, significantly lightening the load for the frontline.

By using the chatbot, these stakeholders got instant answers to their questions — no matter what time of day they asked. 

Why it matters

Ensuring information is available is crucial — but it isn’t always easy. Some parents might not be able to come into the front office to ask questions during school hours. Others may have language barriers. In addition, frontline staff are strapped for time and may not be able to respond to every message quickly.   

Families have high expectations for their students’ education, and many other options if their needs aren’t met. Delivering superior customer service is more important than ever, and with more families relying on new forms of communication, like texting and phone applications, schools need to pivot to meet the needs of their communities. 

Chatbots are essential for every district’s customer service strategy because they provide an always-on, easy-to-access solution for answering questions and providing information in real-time. By providing 24/7 access to common FAQs, you can ensure accessible, equitable access to information for parents while streamlining your inbox and saving staff time.  

Learn more about how the back-to-school season can be simpler and more streamlined with a little AI-powered help.    

By Rebecca Kabir
Originally published August 11, 2022 Last updated January 3, 2024