Stafford County today launched its new customer service online platform, AskBlu, as an accessible web chat assistant on the County’s website, app and as a text message feature. It was launched in partnership with Citibot and GoGov, leading providers of interactive solutions for local governments. Blu, a great blue heron, is the mascot for AskBlu as well as the new ambassador for Stafford County and its communication efforts.
With AskBlu, residents can quickly and easily get answers to their questions, find information on various County services, submit service requests, and send a message to County staff. The platform was developed with the latest AI-driven chatbot technology, allowing the County to automate and scale its customer service efforts to help with the day-to-day needs of both staff and residents. Stafford County is the only locality in Planning District 16 (King George, Caroline and Spotsylvania counties, and the County of Fredericksburg) to use this technology on its website.
AskBlu’s web chat service can be found on the County’s website (www.staffordcountyva.gov), where desktop and mobile users will notice the feature on the bottom right section of their browser window. Clicking on the icon launches a chat window, greeting residents and prompting them to enter their questions or service requests.
Apple or Droid users may download the “Stafford County – Ask Blu” app for mobile phones. Users may submit requests and access other information and services like job listings, Board agendas, minutes and so much more.
Another option is to start a conversation with AskBlu by text message. Stafford County residents and visitors can text the word “Hello” to (888)-450-1664. AskBlu immediately responds with a short greeting explaining how residents can use the service.
Suppose, at any time during the interaction a resident needs assistance or help from County staff. In that case, AskBlu can help them submit a message directly to staff, and the appropriate staff representative can follow up with them during business hours.
A great blue heron was chosen as the symbol of AskBlu because Stafford County is the home of one of the largest heron rookeries on the eastern coast of the United States. Blue herons are omnipresent around Stafford County in the water, land, and air. To read more about Blu’s back story, please visit www.staffordcountyva.gov/aboutblu.
And any time you have any issues with Blu, please call us at 540-658-8600.