Every day, approximately 900,000 customers depend on NJ TRANSIT’s buses, trains, light rail, and paratransit services to get to work, school, healthcare, and recreational activities around the Garden State. When there’s a disruption in service, NJ TRANSIT — which provides more than 250 million passenger trips each year — needs to update customers as quickly as possible. The agency relies on Salesforce to connect with individual customers and give them the specific information they need, when they need it, and help them get where they want to go.
Prior to using Salesforce, NJ TRANSIT didn’t have a single, comprehensive system for communicating with customers. Response time varied depending on whether customers contacted the agency by email, phone, or through the Web, and it was not uncommon for an individual to ask a question on more than one channel — causing multiple agents to work on the same issue.
“We chose Service Cloud because we wanted an easy-to-use, web-based system for managing customer inquiries,” explains Anthony Grieco, Senior Director, Customer Service & Transit Information. With Service Cloud, NJ TRANSIT consolidated all of its cases in one place, so it can handle more in less time. Previously, agents took a week to respond to issues — now they respond to customers in less than 3 days. The agency can also handle twice as many cases, without additional staff. Workflows automatically route cases to specialists so customers get the best answers. And, Salesforce Chatter lets NJ TRANSIT tap the expertise of all of its employees and form cross-functional teams to help customers.
Grieco adds, “With Salesforce, not only do we get real time reporting, but by consolidating all of our feedback — almost 55,000 cases each year — we can get more accurate reporting, spot trends more quickly, identify and fix issues.”
To continue to innovate and provide the best customer service, NJ TRANSIT is using new channels like social media to reach customers. “Consumers are going to the social web for information that’s fast, accurate, and easy to find,” explains Grieco. “Especially during major service disruptions or a natural disaster.”
The agency maintains a separate Twitter feed for each of its rail lines, light rail lines, and bus services so that passengers are automatically notified of timetable changes and issues impacting their service — and during Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath, the number of followers more than doubled. Marketing Cloud helps NJTRANSIT monitor and participate in any conversation about its service, and automatically add issues to its case queue.
Salesforce does more than just help NJ TRANSIT communicate with the public — it also helps the agency uncover potential problems in advance. A team of independent private investigators rides NJ TRANSIT trains, buses and light rail vehicles each day to keep an eye on the customer experience and report back to headquarters.
Using a custom app built on Salesforce App Cloud, the undercover riders rate every aspect of their experience, including whether announcements are made (and audible), whether fares are being collected, the quality of interactions with staff, and level of cleanliness of cars and stations. Feedback — both positive and negative — is linked to specific cars, stations, and employees, helping operations identify areas for improvement or retraining.
“By addressing issues in advance we can create an even better transportation experience for customers,” says Grieco. “Not only do we want to get them where they want to go — we want to exceed their expectations from the time they arrive at their origin location until we deliver them at their destination location.”