FORT MYERS, Fla. (March 9, 2018) – Graduate students from the University of Michigan School of Information partnered with the City of Fort Myers and Florida Gulf Coast University Marieb College as a project of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation Collaboratory. Students participating in this alternative spring break program conducted research on technology accessibility to understand how to better accommodate technology needs of residents in Fort Myers and improve the customer experience and efficiency of using these services.
Last week, the participating graduate students sent out a survey asking residents if and how they use the City of Fort Myers website to pay their utility bills. More than 900 responses were collected, and the students presented their findings to city officials on Friday, March 3.
The students’ findings revealed that some customers’ late utility bill payments could be avoided through setting up email or text alerts individuals when a bill is approaching the due date and an awareness campaign to enable Auto-Pay signup online rather than having to physically go to the payments office.
Mr. Saeed Kazemi, City Manager, said he is eager to adopt new technologies to create efficiencies. “It’s always wonderful to bring together students who can conduct research and tailor an approach based on the latest technologies available to meet the needs of our community,” said Kazemi.
This program is a collaboration between the Southwest Florida Community Foundation and the City of Fort Myers to work with local and national partners such as Florida Gulf Coast University and the University of Michigan to bring best practices and innovation to the government processes we deliver to our residents.
For more information, please contact Donna Lovejoy at 239-321-7217.