Looking for guidance on riding the bus, callers to Palm Tran’s Customer Service Center had the unexpected opportunity to speak with the agency’s leader. Executive Director Clinton B. Forbes spent hours on the phone assisting fixed-route riders with questions, directions, and other transit needs. It was not an easy feat, but the experience resulted in an exchange of ideas to provide even better customer service.
Branded “Clinton’s Customer Service Experience,” the unusual initiative developed by Forbes immersed the executive director in day-to-day customer service operations. Forbes described the experience as enlightening. Though challenging, he acquired a more comprehensive understanding of the challenges faced in the department.
“It is not easy work,” Forbes admitted. “It is a lot of questions that customers want answers to right away. I am very proud of the folks that work at the center. They ensure our customers get the information they need.”
“It was nice for the agents to see that the director cares enough to take calls just like they do,” Customer Service Administrator Lina Aragon said. “He did relatively well, but he will have to go through more training to be an effective customer service agent.”
Between taking calls, Forbes received feedback from seasoned agents on how the department could flourish. Employees took advantage of the opportunity to speak directly to the executive director and share their ideas on potential enhancements.
“I think he liked it and he certainly enjoyed being able to talk to the people,” said Customer Service Supervisor Jeff McGregor. “I could see from the staff expressions that Forbes was doing a great job. I hope he does it again.”
Ultimately, the experience left Forbes with a wealth of knowledge and a stronger connection to Palm Tran riders.
“All of the customers were pleasant, and they just wanted information quickly to use our service. I appreciated that,” Forbes said.