Customers are the backbone of every organization regardless of industry. They are a source of revenue, feedback regarding products and services, and advertising through loyalty and word-of-mouth. Customers are the reason organizations exist. In our continuing series on Terminology Every Transit Agencies Should Know (C-D) we explore terms that directly impact customer satisfaction, starting with a transit agency’s most frequent customer, the commuter.
Commuter – According to the Glossary of Transit Terminology, published by the American Public Transit Association, a commuter is “a person who travels regularly between home and work or school.” Are you putting their needs first above all others? Repeat business means financial security for an organization, and commuters may make up the majority of repeat business for a transit company. The Microsoft Business for Small and Midsize Companies article, “How to get repeat customers: 7 steps” states that repeat customers cost less than new ones, and are walking billboards, advertising your company, so doesn’t it make sense to put them first?
Deadhead – Moving a transit vehicle without passengers, either to and from a garage, or from one route to another, is deadheading. Are you minimizing these trips for overall efficiency? The blog entitled The Benefits of Using Automated Scheduling Software for Transit Providers lists some of the efficiencies and flexibility eight transit agencies experienced after implementing new software.
Demand Responsive – Also called “Dial-a-Ride,” this is the term for a non-fixed route service that allows passengers to board and alight at pre-arranged times and locations within the service area. Are you implementing new technologies that allow you the flexibility that your riders want? Using the right technology in your transit business is the first step. Check out the How Software Can Improve Your Transit Business blog to discover some of the advantages you may be missing.
Downtime – The period in which a vehicle is inoperative due to repairs or maintenance is called “downtime.” Does your agency have the ability to efficiently and effectively schedule around these times? No one wants to lose business due to service failure, or the resulting dissatisfied customers. Scheduling a well-planned maintenance program is the best way to limit downtime and its related costs.
Dwell Time – The scheduled time allowed to discharge and take on passengers at a stop, which includes opening and closing the doors. Do you track these times? Are you working to keep a certain time in order to be as efficient as possible? Real-time data communication regarding arrivals, departures, no-shows, and loading and unloading times can provide you with the information you need to manage dwell time more efficiently. Special needs requests may also factor into dwell time. If you plan to implement new software to help manage dwell time, take a quick look at our 3 Data Errors to Correct Before Transitioning to New Transit Software blog first.
Remember to check our blog for more transit terminology as we continue this series, or contact us to with questions regarding transportation software solutions.