Staff Report #5
August 29, 2018
To All Commissioners
Re: Key Performance Indicators – Customer Experience
The report be NOTED and FILED.
Key performance indicators are established and monitored for all areas of the operation. Managers meet quarterly to review performance against the targets, focusing on targets that are not being met and discussing options to improve the performance. While Managers meet quarterly to review, the targets are established for the calendar year, and as set out in the Commission’s work program, detailed reports with respect to performance against targets are provided to the Commission annually.
At the June 2018 meeting, the Commission requested staff to provide a report setting out performance against key performance indicators relating to the areas of the operation that directly impact customers.
In each of the Voice of the Customer surveys undertaken to date, on-time reliability of the conventional service has been the number one priority of customers. In an effort to direct increased attention to service performance overall, the restructuring of the Operations department in January 2018 included the creation of a new position, Supervisor of Service Performance, further discussion with respect to the new monitoring being undertaken by this position are set out in Staff Report # 10, dated August 29, 2018.
On-time performance is measured by comparing the actual time a bus departs a scheduled time point, against the time posted in the public schedule. The parameters used for determining on-time performance are when a bus leaves the time point 0 minutes early, or 5 minutes late. The table below sets out the on-time performance results reported for November 2017 when the Voice of the Customer survey was completed as well as the results for the period of January to June of 2018.
On Time Performance – Conventional Transit Service
|Average Jan-June 2018||76%||80%||(4)%|
The upgrade of the Automatic Vehicle Location system which took place in February provided a new feature which notifies the Operator when a time point is passed more than 90 seconds early. These reminders have proven effective in mitigating the number of occurrences of early buses. The schedule writing process has also been improved with the system upgrade, utilizing the travel time analysis reporting to determine where there is too much time being allocated between time points within the schedule. The schedules are then adjusted to move time between these locations and re-allocate it to other areas along the route that require additional time. The decline in on-time performance beginning in May can be attributed in large part to the onset of the summer construction season and associated detours and service implications.
Customer complaints can be provided to London Transit via phone, email, mail, or Twitter. All contacts received are recorded in the customer contact database, and in cases where further detail is required, effort is made to follow-up with the customer to obtain it. Complaints are forwarded to the appropriate department for review and follow-up as appropriate.
Customer complaints regarding conventional service are broken into three categories, each with specific targets for monitoring purposes. The table below sets out the total complaints against target in the areas of service performance, Operator performance, and service development for the first six months of 2018. The targets for this measure are established based on a number of factors including prior years’ experience, service plan priorities, and any programs that have been put in place in an effort to mitigate issues in a specific category (e.g. overcrowding complaints can be addressed by increasing service on affected routes).
Customer Contacts re Service Performance – January to June 2018
The complaints in this category are broken down further for analysis and discussion with respect to improving performance. The following list provides the top 5 categories of complaints relating to service performance for the reporting period.
|Schedule Adherence – Late||162|
|Missed Passenger – Not at Stop||159|
|Missed Passenger – Drove by||134|
|Schedule Adherence – Early||58|
Service related complaints, in combination with service monitoring are utilized to identify routes that are experiencing difficulty with schedule adherence and stop locations that are experiencing overcrowding or confusion with respect to the routes that utilize the stop. Every September, coincidental with the fall service changes, complaints in the service delivery category increase, primarily due to customers being unaware of the changes that have become effective. In the spring of 2018, when buses were removed permanently from Dundas Street, LTC staff was in the downtown area for the first week in an effort to provide customers with direction and guidance to new/revised stop locations as well as to receive feedback from Operators on any issues they were experiencing. In addition, stop level notices were placed on all bus stops that were impacted by the changes. This approach was deemed effective given the positive feedback received directly from customers as well as the lower than anticipated calls/complaints regarding the changes.
LTC staff will be in the downtown area and at major terminal locations during the first week of September to provide information to riders on the 2018 service changes. In addition, LTC staff will be in attendance at Western University and Fanshawe College student orientation centres to provide assistance to students. Given the ongoing construction affecting a number of LTC routes, it is anticipated that the transition to the new service changes in September will be more confusing than past years, communications regarding the changes and construction impacts have been provided on-board buses, the LTC website, corporate social media accounts and at all stops that will be affected.
The following table provides a summary of the complaints received for the first six months of 2018 with respect to Operator performance. The targets for this measure are established based on prior years’ experience and consideration of any programs or training that have been or are planned to be implemented to impact identified areas of concern.
Customer Complaints re Operator Performance – January to June 2018
|Operator Performance total complaints||597||500||(97)|
|Operator Performance/100,000 rides||5.1||4.3||(0.8)|
Of the total 597 complaints, 293 related to driving and 230 related to Operator conduct (attitude and treatment of passenger). Complaints relating to Operator performance are forwarded to the Operations Supervisor responsible for this area for appropriate follow up and action. In addition, contacts are monitored for trends which are then addressed through employee communications and/or enhancements to employee training programs.
Customer Service Response Time
Customer Contacts Requiring Response
In late 2017, a process review of the Customer Service response program was completed. One of the key outcomes of the review was the establishment of a timeframe for customers to expect a response to any contact they have provided to LTC in which they indicate they would like a response. The new process provides an immediate response to contacts via email that indicates to customers they can expect to hear back within 10 business days. In the event a contact is taking longer than 10 days to investigate, the customer is provided a follow-up email indicating a new expected timeline.
For the first six months of 2018, 90% of contacts received met the targets as set out above. The missed target relates to implementation issues in the first few months regarding responsibilities for providing the follow-up communication for contacts that would be exceeding the 10 day target. This issue has been addressed and it is anticipated that all targets will be achieved going forward.
Customer Service Telephone Line
The table below sets out the total calls received by the LTC information line in the first six months of 2018 as well as a breakdown between those calls that were answered versus those that were abandoned.
|Incoming Calls to Customer Service||Actual|
The calls included in the table above are only those directed to customer service representatives during the hours they are there to accept calls (8:00am to 10:00pm weekdays and 8:30am to 12:00pm and 1:00pm to 4:30pm on weekends and holidays). The interactive voice recognition (IVR) system continues to accept calls during all periods of the day, allowing customers to get service information through the automated system. While the IVR system is available 24 hours a day, there have been increased requests from customers to have customer service representatives available during all time periods that service is operating.
The introduction of social media and the related desire for immediate response from users has also added additional duties to the customer service representatives. In addition, feedback with respect to the system generated tweets relating to service disruption has not been positive, with the most common complaint being the lack of details being provided. Administration has followed up with the service provider, and there are no options to expand the character capacity of the auto-generated messages. In effort to address these concerns, the hours for customer service representatives answering phones will be enhanced. Beginning August 29, 2018, customer service representatives will be available on the phones beginning at 6:00am on weekdays, and will also be responsible for providing more informative tweets regarding any service disruptions rather than utilizing the system generated option.
Real-Time Information System Performance
In February 2018, a significant upgrade to the Automatic Vehicle Location system was undertaken, which in part replaced the real-time information interface available to LTC customers. The new interface provides the user with significantly more information (e.g. status of next bus capacity and stop level closure/detour information). The transition to the new interface has not been without its challenges, primarily tied to each time new schedule changes are implemented (approximately five times per year). Administration has continued to work with the vendor on these issues, and significant progress has been made, noting each consecutive schedule change has experienced fewer issues.
Monitoring the performance of the real-time interface is complex given the system rarely goes offline completely, but rather provides invalid information for a limited number of routes or stops. In an effort to more closely monitor this performance, email alerts have been established to advise of any occurrence where the system does not update in a 30 minute period. These alerts provide the opportunity to address any issues in a timelier manner. In addition, Planning staff regularly performs random checks on the system and compare what is being reported to actual data.
Social Media Penetration
On February 20, 2018, LTC launched a new corporate Twitter and Facebook account @LTCLdnOnt alongside a new website and Real-time Information System.
Twitter, in its nature, is being utilized as an interactive communication tool to communicate a number of topics including day to day service interruptions as well as corporate programs/involvement. Users of Twitter anticipate up-to-the-minute information which allows for regular frequent information sharing. The table below sets out the growth in Twitter followers since the launch.
Summary of Twitter Followers
Initial messaging was mostly service-driven and, for the most part, generated from the new InfoWeb system i.e. canned messages re detours, service delays. Customer Service Representatives have been the main respondents to incoming tweets; although, the Planning Department and a few members of the management team also respond to overall corporate or planning-specific tweets.
In early May, a Communication Specialist was hired. A component of this role is to analyze LTC’s social media analytics – preliminary analysis is below noting this is based solely on the Twitter account and for the months of May and June.
- Significant activity, views and engagement on outgoing tweets which would indicate the account is a valued source for information; however not necessarily turning into followers – possible reasons for same:
- Single use riders looking for information – not regular transit users
- Information has been predominantly route specific not general enough to encourage non-transit users to follow
- Increased negativity due to construction season related service interruptions and delays
- Posts that reach well beyond LTC’s direct audience and receive good traction include:
- Major construction updates that affect all commuters
- Posts in regard to community involvement i.e. #100in1Day
- Info posts regarding bus etiquette i.e. AC on the bus – please keep windows closed
- Strategies to increase followers can include:
- Using trending hashtags
- Mentioning/tagging other groups that have shared interests (i.e. @LdnBRT)
- Engaging with content other than our own – retweeting, quote retweeting, liking, etc.
- Create a unique hashtag that is exclusive to LTC i.e. #2019LTCServicePlan
- Post relevant & timely information
A number of the above strategies have already been incorporated into planned social media communications going forward. Additionally, as set out in Staff Report # 4, dated August 29, 2018, the corporate Twitter account will be utilized to provide an enhanced level of service information during early September in an effort to keep riders as informed as possible.
Facebook is an information sharing tool rather than an up-to-the-minute or real-time communication tool. Users on Facebook are looking for information and are willing to search further and are not anticipating a response.
The Corporate Facebook account currently has 215 followers; however, due to the sharing nature of Facebook, LTC posts are reaching beyond their followership consistently with the most recent post regarding the 2018 Service Plan reaching 737 people.
Caroline Roy, Manager of Corporate Communications
Katie Burns, Director of Planning
Shawn Wilson, Director of Operations
Patrick Cormier, Manager of Information Services
Concurred in by:
Kelly S. Paleczny, General Manager