Sources: aicep Portugal Global
The Embassy of Portugal in Brasília has launched a new communication tool, via WhatsApp, aimed at providing “immediate and automatic” assistance to citizens seeking information about consular acts.
The idea came from Tiago Rodrigues, second secretary of the Embassy and in charge of the Consular Section, who saw in this tool the opportunity to provide the community with a 100% automatic system, consisting of menus, which will allow the user to obtain, simply and quickly, information on consular acts, without consuming human resources for the Embassy.
“Here in Brazil, Whatsapp is a primary communication tool. Everyone uses it for personal, professional or business purposes. And, in fact, as our human resources are scarce and the volume of calls and emails we receive is very big, we wanted to use a tool that could answer most of the questions that people have”, explained to Lusa Tiago Rodrigues.
In this tool you can find information about the issuance of citizen cards, passports, necessary documentation, prices of these consular acts, as well as about appointments and times.
“Basic questions that are basically the most frequent”, explained the person in charge of the Consular Section.
The answers to these questions were already on the website of the Embassy of Portugal in Brasília, but a diagnosis revealed that the internet pages are “increasingly institutional and less used by people in their daily lives”, which “They want to have a functional communication tool, and in Brazil, Whatsapp is that tool”, explained Tiago Rodrigues.
“It is a tool that does not consume the Embassy’s human resources, it is entirely technology-based and that solves a problem that we have identified, which is a great need for information on the part of people who do not seek our ‘site'”, he added, stressing that the feedback has been “very positive”.
If the experience of this new tool is successful, it could be replicated by other consular posts in Brazil and, eventually, by the rest of the consular network around the world.
“The gain from this tool is immediate, because people who access the number soon learn many of the things they ask over the phone and in person. We gain a lot with this tool and our hope is that the community will feel more informed about a number of things that until now had been asked otherwise. It’s a gain of time,” said the Portuguese ambassador to Brasília, Luís Faro Ramos.