Mayor Henry taps Sanchez to manage 3-1-1

Video to follow later this afternoon.

News release from the City of Fort Wayne:

Mayor Henry Taps Sanchez to Manage 311
New Slot Puts Emphasis on Effectiveness, Enhanced Customer Service

Striving each day to make government more welcoming, more convenient and more responsive to the needs of residents and businesses, Mayor Tom Henry today announced the appointment of Julie Sanchez to the City of Fort Wayne’s new position of 311 Manager. Sanchez’s management skills and the attention of a full-time administrator help the Mayor take another step toward the full integration of SmartGov throughout City operations.

The City’s customer service department, known as 311 – One Call to City Hall, gives Fort Wayne residents a simple, direct point of contact for all non-emergency city services. Residents can contact 311 by telephone or online through the City’s website to report potholes or abandoned vehicles, to have street lights replaced, to check on trash collection and recycling issues, or to obtain a wide variety of other services.

“Day in and day out, 311 connects Fort Wayne residents with their City government,” said Mayor Henry. “It puts government at your service, at your fingertips. It was our first SmartGov tool. Now, with Julie’s promotion into this new position, we will be able to expand 311’s customer-service capabilities and enhance its effectiveness. More service hours, more departments served and new points of access are just some of our goals.”

The 311 center has been the hub and day-to-day frontline for City customer service since its inception in 2007. The center’s six Customer Service Representatives handle over 12,600 calls on average each month. The center is currently open from 7:30 a.m. through 5: 30 p.m. each day.

The recently established 311 Manager position will allow the Mayor to better realize the potential of this significant service resource, including these objectives:

[list type=”black”]
[li]Expand 311’s hours of call-center operation beyond 5:30 p.m.;[/li]
[li]Enhance the customer service experience with quicker turnarounds and shorter waits;[/li]
[li]Integrate all City departments into the system;[/li]
[li]Blend 311 seamlessly with SmartGov;[/li]
[li]Tap the performance-based features of 311 to better serve the public and promote an advanced level of continuous process improvements;[/li]
[li]Increase 311’s Web presence and the number of service types available;[/li]
[li]Add new communications channels to enlarge reach and ease of use (Facebook, Twitter, Smart Phone apps, etc.); and[/li]
[li]Use 311 data to better anticipate issues, secure efficiencies and develop new services.[/li]
[li]Provide feedback based upon 311 contacts; and[/li]
[li]Recommend policies and procedural changes to streamline operations.[/li]

As part of the City’s “guarantee of service,” both Mayor Henry and Sanchez will make follow-up calls to City residents who have utilized 311, ensuring they received the highest level of customer service and that their issues have been successfully addressed.

“At its heart, 311 is all about serving the public better and making Fort Wayne more attractive to new jobs and business investment,” observed Henry. “Cities that deliver high-quality, cost-efficient services are good for residents and create the sort of environment that companies need to thrive. Julie is the kind of business-oriented public servant who understands the potential benefits this technology can offer, both in service and cost-savings. She also knows it’s about the personal touch, that first impression. She is committed to ensuring our friendly, professional, helpful front door gets better and better.”

“I am excited for this new opportunity to help make City services more accessible and effective for residents,” said Sanchez. “Mayor Henry has made it clear that supplying high-quality customer service to the people of Fort Wayne is our top priority. I am eager to get to work strengthening this vital program.”

Sanchez began working for Fort Wayne in 1996 as a Redevelopment Specialist. In this capacity, she provided customer service to local firms working with the City, served as a liaison for business interests, and helped attract new development and investment in Fort Wayne. Her accomplishments include the development of the Casselwood Shopping Center, the Adam Township Industrial Area, as well as administering the City’s highly successful Commercial Façade Grant Program.

With the development of SmartGov, Mayor Henry is continually employing new methods, new technologies and process improvements to build a more competitive community and make government easier to use. Phase one of SmartGov has been about delivering more information and increasing access. Phase two, exemplified by the new approach to 311, is about promoting collaboration, interaction and customer responsiveness to strengthen our community.


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