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Fort Wayne 311 wins 2nd-place ranking

Statement as issued Tuesday by the city of Fort Wayne:

Fort Wayne, Ind. – The City of Fort Wayne’s 311 Call Center has earned 2nd place in a ranking of Top 100 small call centers in the United States and Canada, according to BenchmarkPortal.

This marks the second consecutive year that Fort Wayne’s call center has ranked in the Top 100 Small Call Center category, which includes private and municipal centers staffed by less than 100 employees.

“Our 311 Call Center is all about serving the public better and making City government more efficient, accessible and responsive,” Mayor Tom Henry said. “Our 311 staff is committed to providing the friendly, professional, helpful service that our residents expect when contacting their City government.”

Led by Julie Sanchez, director of Citizens Services, 311 includes a staff of eight full-time employees, who take calls and emails from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 311 serves as the main service center for answering general information questions about city programs, policies, activities and attractions. 311 call takers also receive and record phone or online requests from citizens and ensure that they are addressed or referred to the appropriate department for resolution. In 2012, the call center handled about 170,000 calls.

“We are working hard to become a community resource,” said Sanchez, noting that 311 has succeeded in providing quicker turnaround times and shorter wait times and has incorporated a performance-based model to better serve the public. “We strive to be a place where residents can get information and assistance, provide feedback and share thoughts and ideas about city services.”

The 2nd place ranking was awarded by BenchmarkPortal, an international organization recognized as a leader in call center expertise, certification and training, research and tracking of the industry’s best practices.

“The City of Fort Wayne’s 311 Call Center is among the best in its industry,” said Bruce Belfiore, CEO of BenchmarkPortal. “This award was granted on the basis of objective, metrics-driven performance. Fort Wayne stood tall against its competitors according to the world’s largest database of call center metrics – this is not easy to do, and we congratulate them on their accomplishment.”

Benchmark ranked call centers based on surveys distributed to its database of more than 1,000 public and private call centers in North America.

The City launched its 311 program in 2007 to make government more accessible. Since then, services provided by 311 have continued to expand; the department currently assists 22 City departments.

The 311 service is part of an ongoing effort to make City government easier to access and more responsive to the needs of citizens, businesses and visitors. Through Citizen Services, the City engages with the public to make improvements, measures departmental service performance, and through the use of innovation, collects community voice, which empowers citizens to help drive change.

Last month, 311 received a 2012 KANA Highly-Commended Customer Award for Best Citizen Experience from KANA Software.

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