Employees on the “Right Track” to Customer Satisfaction

Jen Norris    October 6, 2014

TTC logo

Organization Name: Toronto Transit Commission
Contact: N/A
Industry: Transportation

In 1920, the Toronto Transit Commission was created, and in 1921 the Toronto Transit Commission took over existing infrastructure either owned by municipalities or privately. Since 1921, The TTC has had a long and interesting evolution.

Since 1921, the TTTC PhotoTC has carried nearly 28 billion rides and grown to be the third largest transit system in North America.With an average of 514 million riders per year, how do you keep customers happy? In March 2012, Andy Byford become CEO of TTC and  launched his 5 year corporate plan. This plan is divided into two centers of excellence: Operational and Service. How does one start to understand what’s important to 1.7 million daily passengers? What better way to reach the masses than through Social Media. TTC has it’s  Official TTC YouTube Channel, Toronto Transit Blog, Facebook and Twitter.   These methods are not only informational but interactive as well. There have also been a handful of town hall meetings for customers to voice their concerns. What to do with all the information that has been collected: put forth a plan that will involve employees; which is exactly what the TTC has done.

Within the 5 year corporate plan, is the strategic objective for employees: the Customer-focused workforce and organization that develops employee. The core strategy is to transform employee engagement, performance and culture.

“A program management office has been established under that same Chief of Staff, to drive and monitor delivery of our game-changing mega projects, each of which I will touch on shortly. And we have begun down the long road of staff engagement, initially through a series of employee town halls to brief all 13,000 staff on our plan, why it matters and what we need from them.” Andy Byford, CEO

Internally, employees will have input into how the TTC is run and will be more accountable for their performance. This will be done through staff briefings, refinement of employee communication tools and retraining. Once the employees are engaged with the organization, they can become engaged with the customers.

With the roll out of their corporate plan, the TTC release a short 3 min video on what riders can expect over the next 5 years.

The employees of the TTC make great use of the social media to communicate delays or construction updates to their riders. There has also been an effort brought forth to address customers concerns regarding unexplained delays or troubles that customers have experienced. The twitter posts by the TTC do attempt to address the concerns but it seems that empathy is missing from the tweets. From the past posts, customers seem unsatisfied  with the responses from the TTC such as “delays due to a collision”. However, there have been some great tweets about bus drivers letting kids up to the front to see what it looks like to drive the bus. Those are the wonderful experiences that will make Toronto proud.

Lessons Learned:

It is important to remember that no task is too big. Where does one start to transform an organization of 13,000 employees and 1.7 million daily riders. From the bottom up and one step at a time.

Employees need to “buy into” the vision. If the employees don’t believe than the execution of the plan will be very difficult.

Empowered employees are happy employees; if employees are involved in the direction of the organization then in turn, the employees have a greater stake in the outcome of how the company is running.

Feeling of Pride and Ownership. Employees will start to see how stopping to assist someone or letting a small child to the front of the bus will make their day brighter as well as the customers.

A negative image will be replaced with positive one over time.

Although, the TTC is into its 2nd year of the 5 year corporate plan, it will take time to overcome all the challenges the organization faces. Taking step by step actions, starting with the employees, the TTC is on the right road to achieving its goal to becoming “a transit system that makes Toronto proud”.

Web References:

Official TTC Channel – YouTube
Toronto Transit Blog
TTC Tweets

Submitted By: Jennifer Norris – SMBP Student, University of Waterloo. To contact the author of this entry please email: jennorris52@hotmail.com

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