April 6, 2018
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Palm Tran Reaches Out to Connect with Customers

Public transit CEOs ­wishing to gauge the effectiveness of their system’s customer service operations can look to Florida’s Palm Tran as an example. Executive Director Clinton B. Forbes recently spent a number of hours on the phone at Palm Tran’s West Palm Beach customer service center, assisting riders with questions, directions and other transit needs.

Instigated by Forbes, ­“Clinton’s Customer Service Experience” afforded the executive director a more comprehensive understanding of the challenges faced by call center agents. “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 who work at the center. They ensure our customers get the information they need.”

Between taking calls, Forbes also discussed with employees ideas for improving service center operations. “Immersing myself in the role allowed me to identify areas for improvement,” he said. “For example, I discovered firsthand how the bustling office environment makes communicating with customers challenging, and we are now looking at solutions such as purchasing noise-canceling headphones to address the issue. Such changes will improve the efficiency of the department and ultimately provide a better customer service experience.”

Agents, too, appreciated the experience: “It was nice for the agents to see that the director cares enough to take calls just like they do,” said Customer Service Administrator Lina Aragon. “He did relatively well, but he will have to go through more training to be an effective customer service agent!”

Palm Tran Executive Director Clinton B. Forbes takes calls in the agency’s customer center.

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