Metro’s big push: Improving customer service

Commuters and government workers who get to Capitol Hill using Washington\'s Metro system, arrive at the Capitol South Station, Tuesday, June 24, 2014. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON — Metro has a new program in the works to change their own culture regarding customer service.

The program, Customer Care Initiative, aims to turn Metro riders into Metro customers or clients.

Currently, Metro has an 84 percent customer satisfaction index. To sustain or improve that, Metro is changing to a client-service model with the hope of becoming a customer service leader in the industry.

Lynn Bowersox, Metro’s assistant general manger for customer service, communications and marketing, says, “Our customer care initiative puts the customer in the center of all of our decision making. We have made transformational change around safety. Now, we’re going to do it around customer service.”

Ongoing customer service training will be a major part of the process, especially for Metro employees who deal directly with customers. Bowersox says job roles and job descriptions will be redefined and that expectations will be clearly defined.

“Customers will see some visible changes pretty soon, in the next year. They’ll see our station manager wearing different uniforms so that they can more easily identify them and feel more free to ask them for information and assistance,” she says.

A working group has been assessing the transit system’s strengths and weaknesses to build on what works and what needs to be changed. From that, a plan was developed. The first step focuses on employee engagement and making sure employees appreciate and understand their role in serving the customer.

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