In order to provide Go Transit with a solution to improve customer service using Social Media Tools, we decided to dig deeper and see what other cities are doing. As a group we randomly picked New York City, Vancouver, Montreal and London thinking they would have some system in place considering the downtown and surrounding areas are flooded with commuters during rush hour.
My analysis began with Montreal……
STM (Societe de Transport de Montreal)
Website Review: http://www.stm.info/English/a-somm.htm
The STM website provides up to date information on delays for users
Down-loadable apps are accessible from the website however they are for iPhone and Android only. Hmmmm that’s interesting how will the blackberry users stay connected during their travels?
STM is in a test phase with a stand alone travel information terminal that provides updates (currently installed in one terminal – if this works well they will install more) and users can provide feedback on these machines however it’s a computer and they would have to log in and type in their feedback prior to leaving that station.
- 915 tweets and approx 14K followers (two weeks ago)
- 935 tweets, 1 follower and approx 14.3K followers (current)
The Twitter feed has not been updated in 6 days. When I had originally completed my analysis on the STM (which was over two weeks ago) there has been some brief activity on the twitter account @stminfo unfortunately the Twitter activity has stopped once again. No updates have been made to this account for 9 days. I’m not too sure why people even follow STM at this point is there any value?
Their Facebook page is not interactive and similar to a wiki style using basic facts about the history of the STM and in French. And they have 0 friends which could mean they may be relatively new to Facebook. There isn’t much interaction and it’s in French.
I did find some blogs with what appears to be complaints, but my French is horrible and I gave up. I decided to get more information using another city that is known for its amazing transit system, Chicago.
How does Chicago improve customer service using Social Media Tools and how well do they do this?
Chicago Transport Authority – CTA
Their motto is “know before you go” and for their software apps it is “Know on the go!”
The CTA is somewhat comparable to NYC and Toronto’s systems. However, Chicago may have this system down pact.
The CTA has linked its users with almost every social media tool available to Bus, Taxi, Subway, EL (Elevated Line) and train lines informing users of any delays “before you go”. This feed can even be viewed on a local tv channels using the Comcast networks. Approx 315 media tools used, how they are managed would require further analysis.
Without downloading any software apps to my phone the website provides daily alerts or notification of unanticipated delays prior to rush hour (~4:00am Mon-Fri)
Here’s a screen shot of the status alert page from their website:
The alert includes updates for elevator or wheelchair accessibility delays as well which can be viewed in full by following this link.
Social Media numbers:
- number of tweets = 1,258
- Following = 37
- Followers = 7,470
Facebook: 5,405 likes and 163 people talking about it
- Account created April 9, 2008 and last updated on March 8, 2012.
- With 94 videos focusing on Security, Connections, and how to use their social media software tools for updates.
Facebook I hate Chicago Transit Authority page with 34 followers
The CTA Tweets are responded to within two hours of receiving them.
Yes, they do say if you have a complaint please send it to @XXXXXX but it is still responded to in a timely manner. One tweet to CTA was in response to the Cleanliness of an “EL” car. The response was given within the 1hr and the response from CTA to the original Tweet was cleanup crew notified & car is clean.
The CTA has a customer survey completed on a monthly basis by electronic pass holders collecting their feedback on the following metrics:
Our idea of using the ambassador for each line to provide updates to the passengers on Go Transit can help increase “keeping you in the know” which might be the baby steps of working towards CTA’s platforms of “Know before you go” and “know on the go”. CTA most likely has a lot of staff on hand to maintain the tools used and keeping the riders up to date and providing great customer service. Staffing appropriate “communicators” for Go Transit is the key to bridge the gap for the “keeping you in the know”.