How AI can help you stop wasting everyone’s time

Posted on April 18, 2024

robot and website icons

Most people learn about your government services and programs online. They don’t typically start on your homepage – they start with a Google search. This now means, they start with Gemini.

AI tools like ChatGPT, Gemini, and Perplexity are answering questions about your services. Are they getting them right?

This depends on how good your information is. Is your information clear? Is it accurate? Is it up to date?

Your website is the foundation of your customer service

People use your government agency’s website to get services, learn about local topics, and comply with rules.

When your online information isn’t very good, you are wasting their time and yours. Unclear and inaccurate information leads to:

  • Phone calls and emails
  • Incorrect or incomplete forms
  • Compliance and enforcement issues

What does this look like in your organization?

  • A simple permit application takes months of back and forth because the applicant filled a form out incorrectly.
  • Staff spend most of their day responding to emails and playing phone tag to answer people’s questions.

AI can improve your website experience

When it comes to people’s experience of your website, it’s important to consider their mental model and assumptions.

Most people:

  • Think of their local government as a unified organization and do not understand the nuances of departments and divisions.
  • Use your website to get a question answered or complete a task.

An AI chatbot search can answer questions and connect people to actions (apply, request, pay). It can simplify the complexity of multiple departments and provide a single window into your local government.

Test it out. Try asking common questions in any AI tool and see the results. If the information is wrong or unhelpful, you’ve probably got a content problem.

Here are some tips and tools to start tackling the issue.

How to make content work better with AI

Find your content gaps

Learn what people are asking about, how they frame their questions, and the results they’re getting.

Polimorphic offers a free AI search tool you can add to your website. The tool simplifies the experience of sifting through your agency’s complexity.

2 views of Rowan County’s website: a complex list of departments and a simple AI search box

The internal dashboard shows you what people ask and what the results are. If it generates poor responses, it’s likely other AI chatbots will too.

Get free AI search for your website.

This will help you prioritize and target your efforts. Sometimes just a single sentence needs more clarity to improve an AI response.

Write with plain language

Plain language is writing that is clear, straightforward, and concise. It’s understanding something the first time you read it. It’s not just people who will better understand your information – large language models will too.

Plain language training is one of the best upskilling investments you can make for your organization. Your website content will improve. So will your staff reports, enforcement letters, and daily emails.

AI can also help improve your writing. Use it to simplify complex phrases, summarize long reports, or even improve how well your content performs in Google search.

Make AI testing part of content management

Every web page should have someone assigned to review it for accuracy and relevance. They should check pages regularly for:

  • Visitor analytics
  • Accuracy
  • Helpfulness
  • Broken links

They should also test common questions about their content using AI chatbot tools to see how it performs.

Remove outdated information

Your website is not an encyclopedia. It’s also not a filing cabinet. Part of managing content is knowing when to remove it.

Old information can confuse people, search results, and AI responses. Create a schedule for removing content that’s no longer relevant or helpful.

Final thoughts

AI is a powerful new tool people use every day. You need to consider it as a key source people now turn to for information.

AI presents an opportunity to provide clear answers to complex bureaucracy. But if your information is unclear or inaccurate, the confusion will continue to waste everyone’s time.


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