By Christine M. Bond, MBTA Assistant Director of Education & Development
This fall, thirty MassDOT front-line ambassador employees from the MBTA, Registry of Motor Vehicles, Mass Highway and Mass Bay Commuter Rail have worked with a team of expert instructors to design the new customer service training program, “How Can I Help You Today?” Our goal is to assure customer service excellence no matter where a customer is served at MassDOT.
Terri Furlong, the Assistant Manager of Tolls & Tunnels, recently passed along an excellent example. Anne Kathryn Kauffman drove through the Sumner and Callahan tunnel toll plaza each day for three months, and on her last day sent a note of thanks to toll collectors that said in part,
"I will truly miss my daily passage by your toll booths. Thank you so much for bringing me a daily dose of joy. Boston is lucky to have such professional and friendly people at the entrance to the city. I sincerely wish you all the best."
This is an example of the outcome we hope to achieve each day as part of the "How Can I Help You Today" customer service training program to help front line ambassador employees better do their jobs.
The program emphasizes strategies for delivering excellent internal and external customer service; information about the evolution of the customer service experience and what customers expect; how customers communicate about the service they receive; effectively serving customers with disabilities; and being aware of individual biases which can negatively impact customer service. Employees are reminded that a positive attitude and approach makes the difference in the delivery of service.
Employees receiving the customer service training reported a positive experience, with comments including: “I learned how to treat people and our customers with respect and dignity”; “I learned to defuse a situation when you have a difficult customer encounter”; “We as individuals can be biased without realizing it”; “Customer service will be standardized across MassDOT”; “My attitude is important”, and finally, “MassDOT is all one”.
Our team will continue to work with the customer service training program in the months ahead, and we invite you to tell us how we are doing.