The Customer Service Department works to attract and retain riders by giving customers accurate information, listening to and acting on their concerns, and providing an extra measure of personal attention when service disruptions occur.
Customer Feedback Process
Customer feedback is important to us. We continue to respond to and record customer feedback. We have developed procedures for Customer Service to use to direct information to the appropriate staff. These procedures will help achieve several things:
We will provide customer service representatives with more of the information they need to respond to customer concerns and to better resolve issues at intake.
Quickly address and improve service issues in the field.
Reduce and streamline the amount of codes in the database to expedite intake.
Improve real-time communication between service issues reported by customers and field staff.
Clearly delineate service issues into four categories (associated SOP):
Immediate (Immediate SOP)
Direct Access (Direct Access SOP)
Priority (Priority Incident SOP)
Non-Immediate (Non-Immediate SOP)
Customer Service Call Center - 238-RIDE
TriMet's Call Center is located at our Holladay Street facility at 710 NE Holladay Street. The Call Center handles calls for 238-RIDE, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The staff of nine answers approximately 20,000 calls each month.
Call Center Functions:
Provide trip plans using ATIS, our automated trip information system
Provide information to non-English speaking customers through interpreter services
Plan field trips for groups using TriMet for transportation
Provide re-route and special service information to our customers
Answer general Tri-Met information questions and/or connect to proper departments as necessary.
Other work programs that are handled in this area include:
Fulfillment of requests for TriMet schedules and other printed materials
The On-Street Customer Service program provides personal service to customers as they use our system.
We help new customers understand how to use our services, and help veteran customers adjust to special circumstances.
Since its formation in 1999 the unit has assisted tens of thousands of customers, among them: basketball fans attending Blazer games, visitors arriving at the Airport MAX station, and commuters coping with service changes or unplanned disruptions.
The unit's work provides valuable support to front-line operational staff. By helping customers buy the correct fare, we support our Fare Inspectors. By informing customers about upcoming service changes, we support our Bus and Rail Operators. And by being with our customers in the midst of unplanned MAX service disruptions, we support our Field Operations and Security staff.
The On-Street Program's work has been recognized by customers and TriMet staff as an innovative effort that retains riders, reduces complaints and builds community support.
The program has three sources of staff:
Field Outreach & Community Relations Representatives
'Ask Me' Volunteers
Field Outreach & Community Relations Representatives:
The Field Reps offer valuable front-line support to our customers and Operations staff.
They help customers learn how to safely use our system.
They assist operators and supervisors during special events and service disruptions.
Their efforts have earned many commendations from customers and co-workers--and have helped dramatically reduce the number of customer complaints TriMet receives following service disruptions or special events.
The Ride Guide Program is a group of non-union TriMet employees who make themselves available to assist customers when service disruptions or special circumstances occur. Ride Guide members work as part of a team with TriMet customer service, operations and security staff.
How does the program work?
Customer Service recruits employees.
Employees receive permission from their supervisor to be part of the Ride Guide Program.
Employees contact Customer Service to join the Ride Guide Program.
Ride Guide members receive materials, equipment and instructions.
If an incident requiring Ride Guide help occurs, Customer Service contacts (via phone, e-mail) team members to determine their availability.
-- Customer Service deploys available Ride Guide members where needed most
-- Customer Service maintains communication with Ride Guide members during the event, providing service updates and other instructions until the disruption has ended.
When does planned activity for this program occur?
Ride Guide events are random and generally spur-of-the-moment.
Examples of Ride Guide events include winter storms or MAX service disruptions due to accidents, mechanical problems or special circumstances that may block the tracks.
Are there any special notes for TriMet employees to be aware of?
Ride Guide members are expected to have their equipment and materials in working order and handy at all times. Ride Guide members are expected to respond promptly when contacted about their availability.
Ride Guide members will receive information about the nature and extent of the disruption, and will provide this information to customers. Ride Guides also provide information about alternative service (if available) to customers. Members stay in close contact with Customer Service staff to receive the most accurate information about the disruption.
Experience has shown that an effective Ride Guide team effort helps reduce the number of complaints TriMet receives. Team members need to be calm in the midst of what can be a hectic event.
'Ask Me' Volunteers:
TriMet's oldest on-street customer service program, dating back to the early 1970's.
Volunteers give an extra measure of support for the many new or infrequent customers who use TriMet to travel to large community events.
Volunteers help customers purchase fares at busy transit centers, and customers in downtown Portland safely head home from events.
Rose Festival Parades and The Race for the Cure are examples of 'Ask Me' events.
Their efforts give customers a positive experience, help TriMet collect fare revenue, and provide a source of staffing support for operational and safety needs.