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How AI-powered chatbots change the game for customer service in K-12 education

When managing incoming communications from stakeholders, many districts face challenges like limited staff resources and time, outdated and inefficient technology, or a lack of process for handling inbound inquiries.

But there’s one solution that can help: chatbot technology

Chatbots play a significant role in managing the influx of communications — saving staff time by providing a quick and reliable way for stakeholders to get answers. 

In June, we hosted a webinar with The School Superintendent’s Association (AASA) and Krista Stockman, Public Information Officer at Fort Wayne Community Schools, to discuss how she and her team changed the game for communications in their district with a chatbot named Charley.

During the conversation, she uncovered the steps they’ve taken to make sure all students, families, and staff members have access to the answers they need — any time and from any device.     

Chatbots: The front line for your frontline staff 

Families and community members have a lot of questions and concerns regarding the school experience and, in the past, they’ve gone straight to school leaders — including the superintendent — for answers. 

This creates a bottleneck, overwhelming school staff and causing frustration among stakeholders waiting for responses. 

Fort Wayne Community Schools introduced “Charley the Chatbot,” as she’s known in the district, in 2020 to help promote community engagement and offer a convenient way for families to ask questions, report concerns, and provide feedback 24-7 from any device.

Charley — powered by K12 Insight’s Let’s Talk Assistant — can accurately answer 80% of stakeholder concerns. Families, students, and staff can access her from the district webpage on a computer, tablet, or mobile phone. 

Let’s Talk Assistant — AI-powered and always on — helps school districts across the nation deliver superior customer experiences through 24-7 access to crucial information.

“The more open, transparent, available, and welcoming you are, the better,” said Stockman. “In our district, we’ve seen an amazing response to the accessibility Charley offers.” 

Provide equitable communications access through chatbots 

Let’s Talk — the only all-in-one customer intelligence and experience platform purpose-built for K-12 schools — and Let’s Talk Assistant help districts provide a secure, instant, and safe way to collect information. 

Because Charley is available in Spanish, Fort Wayne Community Schools’ chatbot has improved accessibility for non-English speakers. Stakeholders may also submit dialogues to the chatbot anonymously, helping reduce barriers and ensure everyone gets help exactly when they need it.     

“Wherever our parents are, whatever their needs are, we want to meet those needs. If a parent has a question about their school, it shouldn’t matter the time of day and it shouldn’t matter whether they can physically come into the school,” said Stockman. “With Let’s Talk Assistant, we can meet them where they are and ensure every single stakeholder has access to their school and the information they need.” 

To learn more about how chatbots can help your district provide superior customer service and how Fort Wayne Community Schools uses Charley in their community, watch the full webinar.  

To learn more about how Let’s Talk can help transform your district’s customer experience, request a demo today.

About the Author

Max Lush
Max Lush is a Regional Account Director at K12 Insight. With five years of experience in the education technology industry, he has helped districts leverage tools that make processes and tasks more efficient and effective. Prior to working in edtech, he was a middle and high school English teacher.

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