Spanish-speaking Texans can now chat with Maya, the Texas WIC chatbot, to learn more about WIC services.
Texas WIC launched its automated virtual assistant, Maya the chatbot, in June 2020 to meet the needs of current and potential clients and increase staff efficiencies statewide. Chatbots are an easy-to-use automated form of online communication that can answer common questions and provide users with information tailored to their needs.
According to a 2017 Texas WIC survey, 36% of Texans who receive WIC services said Spanish is the main language spoken in their home, said Jessica Leyendecker, communications strategist for Texas WIC.
“We always try to provide the same level of customer service regardless of what language is spoken,” Leyendecker said. “We take pride in having the chatbot translated in-house. We couldn’t have done it without our Translations Services unit.”
Texas WIC began working with the Translations team in the HHSC Office of Communications this past spring to translate the chatbot’s programmed answers into Spanish. They translated almost 15,000 words — which is about 30 single-spaced pages, noted Rosy Alor, communications and outreach liaison for HHSC Communications.
The chatbot translation is the latest milestone of Texas WIC’s ongoing project to improve the experience for people seeking more information about its services.
Texas WIC received a U.S. Department of Agriculture WIC Special Project Grant to develop the chatbot to better serve Texans. It contracted with Texas State University to evaluate the project.
The first phase was the creation of Maya, followed by offering Texans live chat and two-way texting services, which became available in January.
For more information and to chat with Maya, visit the Texas WIC website and click on the pink chat icon in the lower right corner.