The CCL Methodology - A Virtuous Circle of Practice

You have a mission -- to provide services to your constituents. CommunityConnect Labs (CCL) has a mission -- to help reach underserved populations so you can deliver those services.  We employ a unique methodology to engage those hard-to-reach communities.  Our methodology is a bit unique in that it's a virtuous circle.  We'll start with outreach.


You have funds to provide services.  You've built programs to get those services up and running.  But that's not enough.  This isn't FIELD OF DREAMS -- if you build it, people won't necessarily come.  They need to know your program exists.  And that's where outreach comes in.Outreach is comprised of the various channels you reach your constituents on.  That will vary by your service population.  Most users have a cell phone and like getting texts.  Some users prefer an email.  Some users don't have a mobile phone, particularly seniors or those in rural areas, and so outbound voice calls via Interactive Voice Response work best to reach those communities.  Other populations are present on Facebook or WhatsApp.Advertising and awareness are another important part of outreach.  You may have an amazing CCL chatbot on your website to answer user questions, but if they're not aware of it, people won't use it.  So doing proactive outreach to meet your constituents where they are helps get the word out about your services.  CCL can provide advertising on social media and other channels, or partner with your agency, department, or media partner.


Engagement is the art of having conversations with users.  Outbound messaging is all well and good, but users have questions.  When you text users to tell them about a new benefit -- perhaps they're eligible for Medicaid or to claim an Earned Income Tax Credit, but they reply only to be met with "I'm sorry, I didn't understand that," you're going to leave them frustrated.  CCL focuses on two-way communications, whether that's SMS, voice calls, or a chatbot or screener on your website or social media.  You can answer basic user questions and direct them to appropriate resources, increasing customer satisfaction and reducing the burden on your staff.  (If users don't get their questions answered, they are going to call or show up in person).


Making users aware of your programs and services and having a two-way conversation with them are the two parts of our process.  Next comes follow-up.  Using the channels users like to be reached on, we then survey users to find out -- did they get the resources they need?  Did they get their question answered?  Did they receive a call back from a non-profit?  Were they able to make an appointment with your agency or department?  And was the service or program provided satisfactory?This key feedback loop and analysis enables you to figure out if your consituents are actually able to get the services and resources they need and how they feel about them.  One program we did for a state health department involving referrals for patients to non-profit partners for service gave the agency key insights into service delivery and satisfaction by partner.  Prior to the CCL program, they did not have this information.  It enabled them to figure out more efficient resource allocation and to help address issues non-profit partners had, helping both partners and patients.


The final piece of the virtuous circle is data and reporting.  All CCL solutions have analytics and reporting built in, including robust dashboards.  CCL dashboards have date, channel, and language filters as well as detailed aggregate metrics on messages sent and received, questions asked, actions taken (such as eligibility screener completions), and then product-specific analytics like most popular and least popular and most helpful/least helpful questions/topics for chatbots or screener results for eligibility.  All dashboard information can be downloaded in Excel or CSV for importation and analysis.This information is not just used to power dashboards, but to further refine your entire CCL solution, such as adding more training data for chatbots or revising two-way SMS communications to clarify user questions.CCL can also use our data partners to access more information on your constituents, for example identifying target populations based on demographic and other information (such as Social Determinants of Health or Community Needs Index) or providing contact information like email addresses or mobile phone numbers.Lastly, CCL can help do final analysis and reporting on program success.  In the past, that has included work such as running regression analyses on state Census campaigns to measure the effect of SMS outreach and chatbots versus lookalike populations that did not get that outreach.