Major US Unified School District Uses ServiceNow to Create Digital Connections Between Administrators, Parents, Guardians, Students, Teachers, and the Community

Serving Parents Digitally Top Assignment for Today’s Schools

One of the top ten largest districts in the nation, this unified school system serves over half a million students, parents, guardians, and community members.

With COVID-19 restrictions in place and virtual learning a new reality, the unified school district sought a digital solution that would enable and empower increased connection, rather than keep students and their families feeling detached while away from the classroom.

Understanding that their legacy systems and outdated call fielding processes would not be sustainable in this new climate, school leadership sought to streamline service for constituents. Their end goal? Provide a positive and modern user experience so that parents and community members could easily find answers to their questions and quickly make requests.

Aligning to a Single Plan

This unified district’s services extend far beyond the classroom, offering numerous social programs including housing support, afterschool programs, transportation, and more. As phone calls and requests for remote help skyrocketed amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, this school system knew they needed a better system to stay organized and continue offering these academic and social services alike to the community.

Previously, each individual school was left to its own devices to manage the overflow of phone calls, emails, and comments coming from families. This approach resulted in schools using various combinations of applications to track correspondence, including email, spreadsheets, online ticketing systems, phone, and chat. In many cases, information on these interactions went unsaved, resulting in a tremendous lack of visibility at the district level.

The added pressure from parents or guardians who could not physically visit schools to voice concerns prompted the organization to find a digital solution that could unify their disparate systems and processes. Thus, they set out to establish a centralized Enterprise Service Desk as a simplified entry point for frequently asked questions and concerns as well as a single source of truth to track requests and correspondence.

Partnering with a Trusted Advisor to Build a True CSM Solution

With the stakes so high for the unified district and its parents, failure to act wasn’t an option. As part of a comprehensive RFP process, they selected ServiceNow as their platform of choice and also selected Acorio as their ServiceNow partner for advisory assistance and implementation services of a district wide Enterprise Help Desk solution for parents and community members.

Our advisory services work began by building a mutual understanding of the environment, culture, constraints, and aspirations in order to create the right solution that would be sustainable for years to come. This extensive gathering of requirements happened over the course of six weeks, with in depth conversations with multiple levels throughout the organization. This gave our Advisory team an opportunity to see exactly how the individual schools were working and allow us to identify areas where they could unify to guarantee scalability and sustainability moving forward.

The Acorio team deeply understood the importance of a sustainable solution, working hard to avoid customization and staying as close to OOB as possible to guarantee the solution would withstand future platform upgrades. Together, we worked hand-in-hand with this client to craft a tailor-made solution that would set them up for success for years to come.

Prepped, Planned, and Ready to Roll

With the Advisory phase completed, our Delivery Team is now fully armed with clear target areas to hit the ground running and enter laser-focused to the actual implementation of the proposed solution.

As a direct result of the Advisory engagement, the client’s new tailored ServiceNow Blueprint uses ServiceNow Customer Service Management (CSM) to optimize how they receive and respond to requests by:

  • improving the user experience to increase satisfaction for students, parents or guardians, and community members
  • collecting metrics and identifying trends to find areas of improvement and drive efficiency

Tackling these two crucial needs will allow the organization to move from reactive to proactive service for students and their families. With this solution in place, they’ll soon be able to easily identify areas that need more attention – for example, districts that have a large number of requests for Russian language translation, or districts that experience an unusually high number of late school busses – and then take necessary action.

By establishing Knowledge in ServiceNow, the district also has new reporting and metric capabilities so they can make continuous improvements long after their initial rollout.

Revolutionizing Service for Parents and Families

Their new solution will also integrate seamlessly with their existing telephony system, Amazon Connect, thus allowing them to locate information on callers and share it with their agents. This will cut down introduction time and empower agents to anticipate their callers’ needs to provide a super-simple experience for users calling into the school.

Rather than the system placing them on multiple holds as their call gets routed to the appropriate office, soon all of the routings will take place on the back-end of the system so that calls will automatically route to the right team or offload to self-service.

Already leveraging Self Service and Virtual Agent in ServiceNow to handle Tier 0 requests, the district has begun filtering out a sizable amount of work for their agents. Right now, Tier 1 requests are routed to agents while Tier 2 requests (eg. anything regarding confidential personal information or involving special education) filter to specialists.

This framework makes the process more efficient for everyone involved: parents or guardians who are busy with work can quickly get information or provide feedback without sitting on hold, and agents have more time to focus on requests that necessitate their complete attention.

Empathy above All Else

Looking to provide service in a way that was both intuitive and human for its users, the client diverged from a traditional routing pattern by prioritizing empathy above efficiency.

While efficiency was a key focus of this proposed solution, the district more so prioritized that empathy serves as the foundation of their new CSM system. For example, they didn’t want their new system to waste parent or guardian time by filtering them through self-service if they needed specialized attention.

Making Data-Based Decisions

Beyond their newly-streamlined service, the unified school district will soon also have access to a comprehensive view of requests across their school system. Along with the AI/analytics capabilities in the NOW platform, this data will enable them to track patterns and make decisions using real-time data to better allocate resources and serve the community.

Lastly, the district also set up a mobile app to give community members another form of sending correspondence and finding information on the go.

Stepping into the Future of Educational Service with ServiceNow

With their blueprint done, this client now has a clear and concrete roadmap to achieve their goal of providing a modern and simple experience for its users. Empowered with the right tools, the district is now in the process of implementing their CSM solution with Acorio.

We’re happy to report that this solution will provide a unified experience for employees, students, and their families – strengthening the unified school district’s partnerships all around the community at a time when fostering connections has never been more important.

Are you interested in Acorio’s Advisory services? Get started today with your own copy of our Advisory workbook!