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As a result of our success with London Underground, the Interact Customer-Service transformation programme was taken to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority where a two-day programme was delivered to New York City Transits Platform Controllers and Wayfinders.


ACADEMY TOPICS DELIVERED

OBJECTIVES:

  1. To transform from an operational industry to an service, customer-led organisation

  2. To equip staff with the skills and expertise in delivering and maintain customer excellence

  3. To achieve a step change in customer survey results


Solution

After observing Interact’s work with Transport for London, London Underground, MTA brought Interact across the pond to design and deliver a customer-service programme for the New York City Transit (NYCT).

Using the framework of the London Underground change programme, Interact spent two months researching the working practices and environments of the NYCT. Observations identified a broad range of interactions that customer service assistants experience with both internal and external stakeholders.

A two-day customer service programme was developed and delivered, first for the Platform Controller population, and later rolled out to the newly named Wayfinders. The programme focussed on developing the skills required to build empathy and in particular, to handle challenging customers.

The programme was highly practical, bringing to life a number customer interactions ranging from handling a father rushing to pick up his daughter but can’t make it through the barriers, a homeless person demonstrating aggressive behaviour and a senior stakeholder who requires influencing.


IMPACT

The course surpassed all targets set by MTA NYCT:

  • Target participant satisfaction scores - 80%. Result - 98%

  • Target application of learning - 78%. Result - 93%

  • Target detractors - 10%. Result - 1%

  • No changes to programme were reported from our participants.

As a result, this approach has been taken to the other agencies within the network, including Long Island Rail Road where Interact has delivered for the Ushers, the Platform Information Officers, and the Conductors.

Read the article written by the New York Times who came to observe the programme here and here.

I want to put into some context the impact of the work that your team is doing for this railroad: This morning, Amtrak found loose ties in one of the tunnels going into Penn Station. Six morning peak rush hours trains were cancelled. I hear one of the participants from Tuesday’s class making an announcement over the PA at Hicksville. You could hear her putting into practice what she learned. It will take time to perfect but I heard a difference. Our customers will hear it too.

It is exciting to know that this is just the beginning
— Ariel Ciner, Assistant Director Corporate Development, LIRR MTA