When customers speak, the response is faster and better

By Pat Kelly

Dayton RTA customers have the option to sing praises and air complaints with the new Comments & Concerns Feedback program.

Dayton RTA, Dayton, OH, always tries to provide the best possible transit service. As hard as we try, as a public agency we know we are going to receive comments and complaints about an RTA experience at one time or another.

Because of this RTA has arrived at a new way to capture customer feedback and better connect with customers. We launched our new online customer Comments & Concerns Feedback program last July. RTA customer service representatives also use the new program. The new online system guarantees that every comment will get a response when customers provide all the necessary contact information.

Before we implemented Comments & Concerns Feedback, only a few employees could record comments. Now, staffers from any RTA department will be held accountable to respond. At the Web site, customers can click on Customer Support, then Comments & Concerns Feedback, to connect to the new form. RTA assures that this feedback helps us meet our goal to provide safe, reliable, clean and accessible service.

Our IT business analyst, Tom Saltsman, says the new software routes all customer comments to an appropriate person through an RTA email list. Once the customer submits the commendation or complaint, the system tracks the message and generates reports. It also sets response target dates for resolution and a tickler message reminds the responsible person to take action.

The software tracks the number of issues and groups them by type, time and route, enabling the RTA management team to make changes and improve performance if necessary, according to Saltsman.

Commendations range from thanks for helping fire scene victims to praise of a bus operator. Comments often involve questions about the sale of passes. We urge customers to tell merchants they want local RTA token and pass sales outlets. Complaints frequently involve schedule misunderstandings.

Get more great articles like this one with a subscription to BusRide!
Click here to subscribe.

RTA customers receive timely responses by paying careful attention to the response boxes on the form. Dates, times and route numbers are essential for investigation and follow-up. If customers need to report an event or issue that did not take place on a bus, the site offers options that prompt another location or RTA facility name along with the date and time.

Thanks to this new software, RTA is able to assure its customers of a higher level of customer service and a method to get their feedback to all levels of the agency.

Pat Kelley serves Dayton RTA, Dayton, OH, as manager of customer support and information.