About AVA, Arlington’s Virtual Assistant

What is AVA?

AVA is a fast and convenient way to provide customers with the answers they need.

Powered by the answers to more than 700 frequently asked questions from the Department of Environmental Services, the bot is likely to become the tool of choice for those who need to contact the customer contact center — a busy place that receives more than 60,000 calls a year! With the bot, customers can avoid making a phone call and get the info they need quickly and easily. And, the more bot is used, the better it becomes at delivering responses to it’s users. The bot will also free up staff to spend more time addressing complex service issues.

The bot is the initial prototype and first step for a more robust bot strategy for Arlington County customer service.

How do I use AVA?

Click on the green bubble in the bottom right of your screen. A chat window will open and you can type a question in the field that says “Type your message.” Either click the arrow or enter to submit your question. Sometimes there is a brief delay while the bot returns your answer. If you don’t see an answer, you may need to scroll.

Arrow pointing to chat bubble in bottom right hand corner

What web browser does AVA work in?

AVA works in Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Edge, and Safari. AVA works on desktop computers and mobile devices.

Is AVA human?

No, AVA is a fully automatic bot and uses Artificial Intelligence(AI) to give users access to the data they need.

What kind of information can I ask AVA?

AVA is now available to answer questions related to the Department of Environmental Services. Over time, the County will add information from other departments as it is made available.

Is AVA available in other languages?

At the time of launch AVA is available in English only. We aim to provide translation services for other languages in future versions of AVA.

How do I talk to a human?

Currently there is no option to talk to a human in the chat bot. The best way to get personal service is to call 703-228-5000 for Environmental Services questions and 703-228-3000 for general County questions.

Who do I call in case of an emergency?

In the event of a life-threatening emergency, call 911. AVA is not connected to emergency services.

Is AVA a live, human chat?

No. AVA is what’s known as a “Q-and-A” bot that is loaded with an initial database of 700+ frequently asked questions identified by the DES Customer Service Team.

Will the County ever have live chat?

As part of the CARES initiative, we’re evaluating a number of methods to provide the most effective customer service experience possible. Live chat may be one of the options we evaluate for future releases of AVA.