Dallas County: Making county services more accessible with a virtual assistant

Egen also helped bring critical language services to citizens. 

Seal of Dallas County

To better serve its diverse population, Dallas County turned to Egen to help it develop a virtual assistant and provide critical services to citizens in the languages most used by citizens. 

Dallas County’s mission is to provide exceptional services that promote a thriving community. As the second most populous county in Texas and the ninth largest in the country, the county serves over 2.6 million citizens in the Dallas area. 

The county population is diverse, with a large number of both English and non-English speakers. According to the latest census data, the Latino population comprises 41% of Dallas County, followed by White people (27%) and Black people (22%), plus a significant Vietnamese population.

Realizing that county services were not easily accessible to everyone, Dallas County set out to create more language-inclusive systems. It worked with Egen and Google Public Sector to promote equitable access to services in the most widely used languages across the county. This initiative was aimed at using the power of innovative technology to provide greater accessibility to services across a diverse constituency.

Dallas County began using Contact Center AI (CCAI) and the Enterprise Translation Hub (ETH) to provide services to citizens. Both solutions, powered by Egen and Google Cloud, enable the county to extend services to many more citizens effortlessly. 

A new virtual assistant powered by CCAI helps citizens find what they are looking for when visiting the Dallas County website. Egen helped design and build the custom virtual assistant trained on county data to provide answers to citizen’s questions, working with Dallas County to align on the top 25 most frequently asked questions based on website and call center statistics. The virtual assistant provides support through instant message conversations available in Spanish and English. 

This assistant, which is available 24/7, saves citizens a significant amount of time by providing helpful answers to commonly asked questions and serving up county contact information like email addresses, phone numbers, and locations. 

The ETH program translates existing service documents. Translating existing documents from English to more than 130 different languages used to require a large amount of resources and excessive time and effort for staff to make them fit in the existing format. ETH can now translate existing documents, forms, county commissioner newsletters, and much more without losing the original meaning of the document, saving Dallas County resources and preserving citizens’ ability to understand each document as intended.

Within the first week of the ETH program, seven departments operating within Dallas County enrolled to have their documents translated. In that same timeframe, the virtual assistant held more than 2,000 conversations, covering a wide range of topics. 

These projects allow the county to communicate better by providing resources in citizens’ native languages, bringing language access to 90% of the population. By bringing services to non-English-speaking populations quickly and effectively, the county is making it easier for individuals, companies, and community partners to engage in government information services.

Dallas County is well on its way to using innovative technology solutions to improve people’s lives.

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