By Melissa Quinn
Spot graffiti on a park bench? How about a pothole? City officials hope a new web and phone-based system will make it easier of residents to report problems around town.
Officials unveiled “Call.Click.Connect.” on Monday, a program aimed at streamlining and improving the city’s customer service efforts.
“Call.Click.Connect. places city government at your fingertips. Most importantly, it empowers our community to fully engage with its government,” said Mayor Bill Euille at a press conference celebrating the system’s launch.
Residents can call 703-746-HELP or access the customer service system through the city’s website to make requests or report issues. The program issues a tracking number, which allows residents to follow their request as it makes its way through City Hall.
Once a request is entered, residents can pinpoint the location of their issue on an interactive map, which lets city staff to see exactly where they need to deploy the necessary resources.
Additionally, if residents witness unethical behavior on the part of public employees — or have other concerns — Call.Click.Connect. acts as a central hub to alert officials.
“This new customer service initiative represents a new era in city engagement with the public,” said City Manager Rashad Young. “From questions about trash pickup to concerns about legislative policy, Call.Click.Connect. will make the resolution of customer service requests and inquiries easier than ever.”
Previously, residents with issues or complaints used an email service that went directly to the respective department, with data aggregated by the communications department.
Officials say Call.Click.Connect. will make it easier for city staff to track the most pertinent issues. They also touted the program as giving staff the ability to track trends, fine-tune service delivery, identify rising concerns and make more informed policy decisions.
Creating the system was a mutual effort by the communications and information and technology departments. Several years of brainstorming and planning went into the launch, officials said.