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Tired of email? Here's how this school IT expert reduced email for his district

Most school IT professionals would love to get rid of email, but they can’t afford to lose their jobs as email marketing is a moneymaker.

K-12 education has changed drastically in recent years and, in many districts, current software solutions may not be fully serving the needs of all stakeholders — including students, families, staff, and community members. 

Traditional help desk and ticketing workflows have become obsolete as enterprise-wide customer experience solutions fill the gaps left by outdated systems. 

The demand for chatbots, AI, and machine learning continues to grow, and the number of education technology tools used by districts has nearly doubled. School districts, on average, access 1,449 edtech products each month.   

In March, we hosted a webinar with school IT experts who have leveraged CX/CI technology solutions to put customer service at the forefront of their districts. During the conversation, they shared how they simplified communications and improved service while creating efficiencies in their internal workflows.   

“At one point we had over 300 shared community mailboxes. And that created a giant problem for us,” said Derek Moore, Chief Technology Officer from Palo Alto Unified School District. “Because there wasn’t a lot of internal communication around who was managing the inboxes, it became kind of a black hole — which, in turn, made it difficult to get people the answers they needed.” 

AI helps lighten the load for school IT departments

Tools with AI capabilities –– including chatbots –– improve the customer experience while shortening the to-do lists for staff and school leaders. Although a human touch is always appreciated, direct communication with a live representative isn’t always needed. 

AI chatbots –– especially those that can be trained to respond to specific questions or keywords –– give districts the ability to provide answers 24/7, whether they’re from parents looking for COVID policies or staff members requesting their W2s.   

“When we used email exclusively without Let’s Talk, many of the questions sent to our email addresses weren’t directed at the people answering them. We spent so much time and energy tracking down answers across departments, just to provide acceptable service,” said Moore. “Let’s Talk has elevated the level of customer service we’re able to offer while eliminating shared mailboxes and the associated problems.”

The AI chatbot from Let’s Talk is fully trainable, can be pre-programmed with common FAQs for school districts, and automatically deflects specific questions to the right departments.

Customer service is a win for IT and the entire school community 

For decades, it’s been the assumption that communities needed schools. That is still true today, and now –– more than ever –– schools need their communities. With school choice and increasing education options for parents, schools that provide superior customer service have a significant advantage.  

Successful districts have a customer service strategy that centers on equitable communications access and transparency. They recognize that two-way communication between district leaders and their stakeholders is one of the best ways to develop relationships and build trust, leading to better enrollment and more stable funding.     

Let’s Talk — the only customer experience and intelligence platform purpose-built for education — helps K-12 districts deliver superior customer experiences easier, faster, and more intentionally. 

The platform offers: 

  • A unified inbox that streamlines internal and external communications
  • Simplified data to help you make knowledgeable decisions
  • Real-time stakeholder input and feedback
  • A solution for customers with time, language, or technology barriers
  • An optional always-on AI chatbot and Knowledge Base 

Watch the full recording of our webinar, “How School IT Leaders Can Use CX/CI to Deflect Tickets, Reduce Redundancies, and Streamline Communications.”

Ready to learn more about how Let’s Talk can help your district provide superior customer service? Request a demo today.  


Melissa Vazquez
By Melissa Vazquez
Originally published March 25, 2022 Last updated October 25, 2022