All Aboard: i-Sight Complaint Handling Software Makes Life Easier for the Triangle Transit Authority

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A popular public transit system that carries more than 60,000 passengers a month can expect to receive some complaints from unhappy customers. What matters most, says Brian Fahey, Customer Service Supervisor at Triangle Transit Authority in Research Triangle Park, NC, is what you do with that feedback.

A popular public transit system that carries more than 60,000 passengers a month can expect to receive some complaints from unhappy customers. What matters most, says Brian Fahey, Customer Service Supervisor at Triangle Transit Authority in Research Triangle Park, NC, is what you do with that feedback.

Fahey knows that a successful complaint handling strategy can significantly increase customer loyalty and retention. One of the keys, he says, is to make sure that customer complaints and suggestions are dealt with professionally and never fall between the cracks. “That’s one of the reasons we chose i-Sight Complaint Handling Software from Customer Expressions,” Fahey explains. “i-Sight equips us to handle complaints as quickly and as efficiently as possible.”

The challenge:

Founded in 1986, the Triangle Transit Authority (TTA) provides a wide range of public transportation services to residents of North Carolina's greater Triangle Region, which encompasses the cities of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. Serving a total area population of about one million, the TTA operates 13 bus routes with a combined monthly ridership of more than 60,000, a paratransit program with 320 registered passengers and a 53-vehicle vanpool program for commuters in outlying areas. A 12-station, 28-mile rail transit system is now under construction and due to go into operation in 2008.

Recently, the TTA began looking for a way to improve its handling of complaints, suggestions and other types of feedback from riders and area residents. Typically, customers who wish to lodge a complaint do so by telephoning the TTA’s customer service hotline or sending an email. Under the old system, a customer service representative would take that information, fill out a complaint form and forward it to the appropriate department. For example, a complaint involving a bus that had missed a scheduled stop would typically be passed along to the bus dispatch supervisor who was on duty at the time of the incident.

One problem with that paper-based approach was that it was difficult to track complaints as they worked their way through the TTA organization. Nor was it an easy matter to determine what had been done in response to each complaint – or whether, in fact, there had been any follow-up at all. “All we had was a paper record,” Fahey says. “If it was a busy day, the dispatch supervisor might forget all about the complaint form that was sitting on his desk. The complaint might not be handled within an acceptable timeframe, or it might not be handled, period. That happened on several occasions.”

Fahey was determined to find a better way. As he puts it, “When a customer is upset, you’re only going to make him more annoyed if you fail to respond to his concern in a timely manner. The natural tendency is for the customer to think, ‘If you can’t answer my complaint efficiently, how can I possibly count on you to provide a quality service?’”

The solution:

The TTA considered about a dozen different complaint handling solutions before selecting i-Sight Complaint Handling Software from Customer Expressions, the leader in web-based case management solutions.

“We are extremely impressed with i-Sight,” Fahey says. “The people at Customer Expressions have been great to work with, and the product does what it’s supposed to do. i-Sight saves us time and significantly improves our ability to manage and respond to customer input.”

Fahey cites the following i-Sight features as being particularly important for the TTA:

  •      Simple, easy-to-use interface: One of the transit authority’s key requirements was a case management solution that would simplify the process of logging new cases. “With i-Sight, there is no need to scroll down a long form, filling in different fields,” Fahey says. “As soon as you answer one question, the next one pops up on the screen, in a logical step-by-step flow. Everything is straightforward and easy to understand.”
  •      Web-based: i-Sight Complaint Handling Software is web-based, so it can be accessed readily both by TTA riders and by the transit authority’s own staff. Regardless of whether customers visit the TTA’s website or speak by telephone to a customer service representative, all cases are recorded in a common central database and are managed according to a common set of procedures.
  •      Customizable workflow rules: i-Sight can be tailored to suit clients’ unique requirements and business processes. At the TTA, for example, customer input is automatically forwarded to the appropriate department manager. In addition, a time filter ensures that complaints involving bus service are routed directly to the individual dispatch supervisor who was on duty when the problem occurred. Automatic notices are configured to ensure that every complaint receives a response within three business days. Access controls ensure that the right people have access to the right information.
  •      Externally hosted: i-Sight is hosted and maintained by the expert team at Customer Expressions, so there is no software to install, no need for expensive server hardware, and no requirement for an on-site system administrator. “At the TTA we have two IT staff for 180 people and they’re busy enough as it is,” Fahey says. “We like the fact that we can have all the benefits of i-Sight without putting additional burden on our IT people. It makes life a lot easier for us. We don’t have to worry about maintenance and updates and we don’t have to worry about things like outages.”
  •      Advanced reporting: i-Sight makes it easy to generate reports and obtain actionable information about common customer problems and trends. In the case of the TTA, that includes being able to track and chart the number of complaints by individual bus route, by driver, by time or day or any other variable. Says Fahey: “If the public sees a need for improvement anywhere in our transit system, i-Sight will help us to identify the problem quickly and respond appropriately. i-Sight’s reporting tools provide us with valuable information that helps us to plan our marketing, our customer service and our operations.”

About Customer Expressions

Based in Ottawa, Canada, Customer Expressions (http://www.customerexpressions.com) is a leading provider of web-based case management solutions for regulators and enterprises focused on quality assurance and customer service. Customer Expressions has gained an international reputation for best-in-class software that enables managers to improve customer retention and profitability. The privately held firm provides i-Sight, an integrated solution for complaint handling, corrective and preventive action management (CAPA Management), compliance monitoring and other business processes that require case management.

For further information, please contact:

Joe Gerard, Vice-President, Sales & Marketing

800-465-6089 or media@customerexpressions.com

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