This article is an excerpt from the May 2016 issue of the Inmotion newsletter.
Many DART employees interact with customers and the community. But several teams do so as their full-time jobs. Their collaborative efforts ensure that current and future customers understand how to ride the system and use the available travel tools.
DART invests in people because technology should augment rather than replace customer service. [These] teams are dedicated to ensuring that riders receive the kind of extraordinary service that only humans can provide.
Providing help and information
Customer support representatives (CSRs) perform a variety of tasks, from resolving complaints to helping riders plan trips. CSRs spend about 60 percent of their time in the field, assisting both regular and occasional riders.
Concierges work at rail stations and transit centers and also interact with the public daily. Station concierges are assigned to a particular location, while traveling concierges move among locations to offer additional support where it’s needed.
“Not everyone is tech-savvy, and even those that are appreciate the opportunity to engage in dialogue with a person,” said Linda Brooks, senior manager of transit center services. “Our concierges build rapport with our riders, and it is not uncommon for people to report issues and concerns to them. That’s the level of comfort and trust they have with our employees.”
During the second half of FY 2015, CSRs and concierges personally assisted at least 26,584 customers.
Travel ambassadors go into the community and provide travel orientation and customized trip planning assistance to anyone interested in learning how to use fixed-route services. The ambassadors are part of Mobility Management Services.
“Travel ambassadors can journey anywhere within the DART Service Area to help individuals and groups that may not otherwise feel comfortable using the system independently,” said Kendra Bullard, manager of the travel ambassador program.
The team has trained various organizations, including the American Association of Retired Persons and the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services. Recently, the ambassadors’ services have extended to students of several area school districts.
“Between outreach, group and individual training, we reached over 14,000 people in FY 2015,” Bullard said.