A mobile app called Fayfixit for smartphones makes it easy for Fayetteville residents to report non-emergency issues to City Hall. More than 2,000 residents have already downloaded the app according to city officials. Issues of concern can also be reported online at Fayfixit.com. This allows residents to bypass phone systems to make transactions faster and easier with no wait time. Those who prefer, however, may call 433-1FAY (1329). Either way, the process is easy for making complaints or reporting issues.
The customer service system is not fully implemented. Only three departments of city government are connected: Environmental Services, Storm Water Management and Traffic Services sign division.
“Eighty percent of the complaints pertain to environmental services issues,” said Assistant City Manager Jay Reinstein. Nearly 3,800 reports of all kinds, ranging from missed collections to dead animals and illegal dumping to bulky items left at the curb were received over a 12-month period ending June 30. Other departments of city government, which will eventually be in the system, include Code Enforcement, Parks & Recreation, Street Maintenance and PWC street lights. For issues pertaining to these areas, for now, residents can phone 433-1FAY.
Here’s how the system works: “Service requests automatically go to FayFixIt, which generates service requests. All work orders that come in are given priorities,” says Project Manager Joe Viittorelli. “They go directly to the departments and should cut down on our response time,” according to Customer Service Supervisor Tiffany Brisson, who says the City gets about 100 complaints a week on average. Issues meant for departments not yet connected are sent manually to directors. The City call center received more than 60,000 calls during the last fiscal year. Four representatives field the calls, and thanks to the new smartphone app and the Internet, telephone wait times have been reduced significantly, said Brisson.
There are 62,000 single-family households in Fayetteville, nearly 60 percent of which are rentals according to Reinstein. That makes keeping up with issues challenging since renters don’t know local procedures, and in some cases really don’t care, he adds. Reinstein notes that more than 8,700 issues have been reported to city hall since the FayFixIt system was launched 18 months ago. A request for service is just that: It’s a report to investigate, after which a departmental supervisor is dispatched to check out the problem. Reporting them is one thing. Getting them taken care of is another.
Jimmy Womble is what Reinstein calls a “super user” of the system. Womble lives in the Scotty Hills community and walks through the neighborhood several times a week. He takes notes along the way and uses the FayFixIt app to report problems he comes across.
“I made one report simply because I was so frustrated that some neighbors don’t seem to understand or care about their responsibilities,” said Womble.
State law dictates how violations are handled by the City and it can sometimes be a cumbersome process. Reinstein acknowledged that from a customer perspective it can be very frustrating. “This tool is not an end and be all…we need to do a better job of educating our citizens,” Reinstein says. “Every department of city government has established benchmarks which are used as performance evaluations but residents have to do their part,” he concluded.