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Is email holding back your staff?

Email inbox overload

Questions, suggestions, and concerns are pouring in from your community — and have been for awhile now. On average, school districts are experiencing triple the usual volume of inbound communications. 

Take a look at your email inbox. If you’re like other education leaders, you have emails stacking up by the hundreds. Maybe even thousands. 

Compounding the issue are the emails sent to individuals who can’t actually answer them, leading to an arduous process of forwarding messages, waiting for responses, and hoping something doesn’t slip through the cracks so you can provide the customer with an accurate answer. 

In many regards, an influx of incoming messages is a good problem to have. It means your community is engaging with you and — handled properly — it’s a prime opportunity to build trust and create positive customer experiences. Fumble it, and you risk confusion, frustration, and even declining enrollment. 

That’s why many school districts across the nation have turned to Let’s Talk!, a cloud-based customer service and community engagement solution from K12 Insight. Let’s Talk! gives parents, students, and employees an easy way to reach out while empowering (not bogging down) your internal team. The platform is accessible from your website as well as other key channels (including phone and text message).

Let's Talk! screenshotLet’s Talk! helps school districts increase staff productivity by systematically streamlining and reducing the volume of inbound communications administrators and staff respond to while ensuring stakeholders have quick access to the information they need. 

Below are four ways Let’s Talk! helps you empower your internal teams and reclaim valuable staff time — all while enhancing community engagement efforts.

1. Establish internal accountability and ensure every person gets a timely response.

Keeping up with communications across various channels — especially when your staff are flooded with inquiries — is challenging, and far too often can result in inquiries going unanswered. 

And the time commitment from staff adds up fast. A recent study shows workers waste an average of 164 hours per year toggling between different web-based applications. Add that to the time it takes to respond to each inquiry, and it’s easy to see why staff are overwhelmed.

With Let’s Talk!, school districts can streamline communications channels (establishing a universal inbox), track inquiries from submission to resolution, and ensure every person who reaches out hears back. Additional features, such as the comparison dashboard, help increase internal accountability for delivering timely, accurate responses and high-quality customer experiences. 

Let's Talk! Comparison Grid

Let’s Talk! Comparison Reports make it easy to see the key customer service metrics for staff and departments —  enabling you to quickly identify areas where your team excels or struggles so you can better allocate or reallocate resources. 

2. Make it easy to reach the right person or team — every time.

When was the last time you checked your contact information for accessibility and accuracy? 

The hunt for appropriate contact information on school and district websites can be frustrating. If your stakeholders can’t find the contact information they need, they’ll reach out whatever way they can find — including engaging with multiple staff members or departments that may not even be able to address the issue at hand. 

This can result in endless forwarding of emails, multiple staff members responding to the same inquiries (sometimes with conflicting information), or the distinct possibility of the stakeholder never hearing back. 

Let’s Talk! makes it easy for stakeholders to reach out and automatically routes inquiries to the right person or team based on the topic selected — ensuring nothing gets lost and that everyone receives a timely, accurate response. 

Make it easy for stakeholders to reach the right person, department, or team with Let’s Talk! See how Austin ISD used Let’s Talk! to successfully handle more than 2,000 inbound messages per week during the back-to-school season last year (a 10x increase over the same time period in 2019). 

3. Collaborate within and across departments and schools like never before.

Having staff scattered across multiple buildings or working from home doesn’t have to mean sacrificing internal collaboration. Forgo the hopeful forwarding of email threads and empower your team to provide exceptional customer service from anywhere by establishing a system for internal collaboration that can thrive despite physical distance. 

Let’s Talk! enables your team to assign questions to the appropriate team member(s), see who is viewing or working on a dialogue in real-time, and loop in additional team members using internal comments. 

“I love Let’s Talk! because it encourages our district and community members to talk to us. It opens the door as well as provides a safe and secure method of communicating concerns, recommendations, and kudos to our district.”
Dr. Tameka Bruce, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, Spring ISD, Texas

If a department receives a dialogue that’s better addressed by a different department or at the school-level (or vice versa), it can be easily reassigned on the back-end without the customer seeing the handoff. These features are especially powerful when staff members are working in multiple buildings or at home. 

Let's Talk!

Let’s Talk! enables internal teams to collaborate in real-time to deliver a single, timely response by showing who is viewing, commenting, or replying to a dialogue—reducing duplicated efforts. 

4. Make it easy for stakeholders to get answers 24/7, without further taxing your staff.

Research estimates that 70 percent of inbound inquiries are repetitive, meaning your staff is spending a good deal of time answering (or forwarding) the same questions. 

Chatbots like Let’s Talk! Assistant, which was designed specifically for K-12 school districts, offer a way for community members to get answers to FAQs whenever their schedules allow 24-7 from any device.

Oscar the Chatbot

Let’s Talk! Assistant, which integrates seamlessly with Let’s Talk!, gives families and other community members a fast, easy way to get answers with 24/7 automated customer service from any device.  

Ready to reclaim your staff’s time and stop relying on email? Sign up for a free, no-obligation demo of Let’s Talk!

 

About the Author

Lynn Fersh
Lynn Fersh is the Senior Director of Product Marketing at K12 Insight.

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