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How to plan for a stronger, more connected school year

The back-to-school season sets the tone for a new school year. To help you jumpstart the new year, explore our guide that includes valuable tips for simplifying two-way communications, calming the chaos, and making data-driven decisions.

The back-to-school season sets the tone for the new year. However, August and September come with their own set of challenges.

While school staff prepare to welcome students back to the classroom, it’s also the busiest time of year for receiving inbound communications from stakeholders across the school community. Endless questions, concerns, and requests pour in at unmanageable levels from every direction on every channel. Because of this, responses are slow, siloed, and inefficient — leaving school staff feeling overwhelmed and parents feeling frustrated.

Let’s Talk — the only all-in-one customer service and intelligence platform built for education — can help your school district go beyond anecdotes to understand the experiences and challenges faced by families to streamline inbound communications, promote family and community engagement, and build trust.

1. Create a one-stop shop for all questions and concerns.

Parents and students need critical information at the start of the school year — like bus routes, school dropoff and pickup procedures, registration details, and meet-the-teacher event schedules.

Let’s Talk empowers school district leaders and frontline staff to listen to community feedback, collaborate on and respond quickly to incoming dialogues, send outbound communications, and provide superior service to their entire school community.

2. Calm the chaos.

Endless inquiries coupled with a demand for immediate answers can leave school staff feeling overwhelmed.

Let’s Talk provides a unified, districtwide inbox for inbound communications — including email, voicemail, and text message — that automatically routes messages to the right department or staff member. Let’s Talk gives your stakeholders confidence they’ll get answers quickly — ensuring all families have access to the information and support they need.

3. Streamline responses.

Critical Race Theory. Book bans. Mask mandates. It’s hard to predict what issue is coming up next.

Consistent messaging is critical for managing trending topics and keeping your district out of the headlines. To help staff respond to tough questions consistently and accurately, you can set up response templates in Let’s Talk with vetted and approved messaging.

4. Provide 24-7 service.

More than 70% of the questions fielded by school districts each year are repeat questions.

Let’s Talk Assistant — the first chatbot built specifically for K-12 school districts — provides always-on customer service to help district stakeholders get answers to frequently asked questions.

5. Identify issues before they become crises.

All it takes is one crisis to change everything. And it’s far too easy for important messages and concerns to get lost — especially during the busy back-to-school season.

The Let’s Talk dashboard — powered by AI and predictive analytics — provides live data and insights to help districts make better decisions, spot trends and needs, and prevent crises. And with Let’s Talk Critical Alerts, you’ll receive early warnings to prevent health, safety, and security issues before they escalate.

6. Uphold your commitment to improving inclusion and equity.

Some families can be hard to reach — particularly economically disadvantaged, underserved, and multilingual families.

Let’s Talk helps school districts be more inclusive to families by providing translation tools that can translate dialogues in up to 13 languages by default (with additional language options available) and Spanish language capabilities with the Let’s Talk Assistant chatbot. Using Let’s Talk, your district can better manage multilingual communications, demonstrate cultural competency, and meet the diverse needs of your community.

7. Anticipate the needs of your stakeholders.

From questions about Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) to curriculum concerns, there are many hot topics you can expect to hear about from parents every school year.

Let’s Talk Knowledge Base helps school districts create informational articles answering frequently asked questions — which can help reduce the volume of inbound stakeholder inquiries by as much as 60% with Knowledge Base.

Let’s Talk allows you to go beyond anecdotes to understand the experiences and challenges faced by families, strengthen trust, and improve customer service.

8. Ensure accountability.

A decentralized web of complexity and muddled accountability presents new challenges as school districts experience an influx of communications through email, text messaging, website contact forms, social media, messaging apps, and other emerging technology.

Let’s Talk helps school districts deliver effective and engaging customer service, easier and quicker — saving school staff time, energy, and sanity. Each dialogue is assigned to a staff member, and the real-time dashboard provides quick and valuable insights into the number of dialogues, response rates, and customer satisfaction.

9. Make proactive changes based on data.

You can’t improve what you don’t measure.

The Let’s Talk dashboard — powered by AI and predictive analytics — is simple to access, understand, and use. With simplified data and predictive analytics to reveal trends and needs, you’ll receive deep insights into the perceptions and experiences of your school communities. This allows you to make better decisions, spot trends and needs, and even reduce student and staff churn.

10. Consolidate your solutions.

School districts often have a lot of applications and technology. Improve efficiency and reduce the “swivel chair” effect by integrating Let’s Talk into your district’s day-to-day processes — such as IT ticketing and outbound communications to parents.

Automated workflows to help eliminate repetitive tasks to boost efficiency, manage costs, reduce risk, and streamline internal communications. And with Let’s Talk Campaign Manager, you can manage outbound communications to your stakeholders.