New Jersey Transit, America's third-largest public transit agency has introduced a new initiative called the "Scorecard." Its purpose is to rate customer service response times and on-time performance of bus and rail lines, crime statistics, ridership, and revenue per hour. The survey is in response to a backlash of frustrated and angry customers.
New Jersey Transit director Jim Weinstein stated;
"We need a way for people to see what we're doing, to measure how we're doing it, and, frankly, for us to motivate ourselves and for us to measure how we're doing."
Public opinion says the agency needs to do a better job of communicating. The customers' biggest criticisms center around transparency and seeing results. In the past, customers claim the agency has collected data, and now question what was done with the information? Lastly the suggestions of the past have never been acted upon.
Karl Zielaznicki, a commuter customer thinks that spending extra money on initiatives like Scorecard are a waste of money.
"If doesn't matter if they hear you if they are not listening!"
Bottom line here! Use what you learn when you go through the trouble of taking the time and money to conduct surveys. Take the time to tally up the results, and it doesn't matter if 75 people love your business and only 25 people find fault. Listen to the people who have complaints because you want to please 100 people. Look for trends which indicate ongoing problems, and determine if the complaints are valid. Companies need to be realistic enough to deal with those customers who are dissatisfied. Organizations need to be objective, and use the data to gauge what others really think.
In the particular case of the New Jersey Transit Authority, what is going to be different this time that will promote confidence in passengers? Will the agency do a follow-up? Any organization needs to let customers know what changes have been instituted after a survey has been done? Customers want to know if what they have suggested has been followed through and the appropriate changes made. After all, customers are the ones who can just as easily click onto another website or walk into the next store while visiting the mall.
Now as to the New Jersey Transit, it just proves how dissatisfied customer opinions can promote change. Passengers like Karl Zielaznicki might not have many options as to his transportation, however he is being heard, and hopefully this time someone is really listening.