Metro Magazine

JUN 2014

Magazine serving the bus and rail transit & motorcoach operations since 1904

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Page 39 of 63

ership team to read those and deal with them accordingly," Woelfel says. To do just that, Jeferson Lines' lead- ership team meets to discuss key themes discussed in the surveys and devise ac- tion items to fulfll those needs. "We know we can do anything, but we also know we can't do everything, so we are purposeful in reaching agreement on major things that will have the biggest impact," Woelfel says. "With all the data available, it is just not being efcient to understand what the customer wants, but being too busy to react." Some items Jefferson Lines has ad- dressed include driver behaviors both good and bad, adding Wi-Fi, improv- ing customer communications, making scheduling changes and improving on- time performance. "As a result of the surveys, we are real- ly focusing on our on-time performance right now," Woelfel says. "As we have seen that improve, we have seen our customer satisfaction numbers go up — they are so aligned, it's amazing." Woelfel believes the customer satis- faction surveys, and more importantly, how they have responded to the feed- back received, is paying of big for Jefer- son Lines. "We are continuing to see month- over-month improvements in our pas- s enger counts," he explains. " There are a number of things we are doing to drive that growth, but I have to think our customer satisfaction surveys and how we are responding plays a large role in that success." DIVERSIFYING OPTIONS Taking a lesson from the decline in tour business immediately following 9/11, DATTCO offers an array of ser- vices, including providing college and university transportation, tours, char- ters, corporate work, line-haul runs and is even a Megabus franchise company. "We have experimented with every- thing because we found you never want to concentrate on one thing too much," says Worthington. To provide its large portfolio of ser- vices, DATTCO has diversifed its feet, which includes motocoaches, double- decker motorcoaches, limo buses and Woelfel explains the growth in so- cial media network usage, allowing cus- tomers to communicate their poor ex- perience as it is happening to possibly thousands of potential customers in an instant, raises the stakes for his opera- tion to not only ask customers what they would like to see, but to also respond to their feedback. "If we aren't in communication with our customers to know what they value and want, and then exceeding that ex- pectation, we are going to spend twice the amount of effort on the back-end tr ying to respond to customer com- plaints," he says. "What we're tr ying to do is be proactive; let's open that communication channel to find out what makes the best possible experi- ence for the customer and we will turn around and make those necessary in- vestments." Woelfel says that when implement- ing the customer satisfaction sur vey program, the operation was expect- ing a participation rate of somewhere around 3% to 4%, but has seen a rath- er high response rate of 12% to 15%, with no level of monetary incentive for the customer to fll out the survey. Ad- ditionally, he says the operation has f ou n d i t s c u st o m e r s a re p a ss i o nat e about their transportation experience, based on the open-ended comments it receives from the surveys. "Some months, we will get 20 to 25 pages of open-ended comments from our passengers, and I expect our lead- 36 < m ETRO m AGAZINE JUNE 2014 MOTORCOACH CUSTOMER SERVICE It also features its "Experience" coaches, which are ideal for professional sports teams and corporate accounts (below). By diversifying its feet, DATTCO has ensured it will have the right vehicle to service its customers' needs (above).

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