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85 APPENDIX A Transit Agency Interview Questionnaire A. Information/Customer D. Operations and Management: Characteristics: 9. What techniques do you use to forecast the demand for 1. What kind of information do you provide to your cus- your telephone customer service? tomers via telephone? 2. What other media do you use for customer service (such E. Automation/Technology: as website or e-mail) and what information do you pro- vide through those other media? 10. Which of the following call center technologies do you uti- 3. Do you see your telephone customer service as serving lize, or will utilize (the project is funded and programmed), a different need or type of customer than your other cus- in your call center operation? tomer service media? a. Automatic call distribution (ACD, a technology that di- 4. How do you ensure that your call center and overall verts incoming calls to available agents automatically); customer information strategies are responsive to the b. Interactive voice response (IVR, allows customers needs, preferences, and capabilities of various types of requesting information to provide either voice or customers? touch-tone responses to system voice prompts) and a. How do you determine needs, preferences, and capa- guided speech IVR (a hybrid model in which a live bilities? agent helps a caller on the IVR system to avoid any b. How do you accommodate varying needs, preferences, machine error such as problems in voice recognition); and capabilities? c. Computer telephony integration (CTI); i. Bilingual options? d. Customer relationship management (CRM) solutions; ii. Seniors? e. Customer interaction management (CIM) solutions; iii. Hearing or vision impaired? f. Text to speech (TTS, a technology that converts nat- ural language text into speech); g. Voicemail; B. Call Center Office Setup: h. Voice recording (which records conversations among call agents and customers for quality monitoring); 5. Is your call center operation centralized or decentralized and/or (i.e., local call centers serving each location)? i. Speech analytics (a process of performing data min- ing on daily conversations among customers and call C. Staffing: agents). 11. What prompted you to invest (or not invest) in these 6. What are the daily hours of operation for your call cen- technologies? ter and how many shifts do you staff? a. Handle more calls with fewer operators? 7. Of your call center operators, how many are full-time b. Filter customer requests for appropriate routing to an and how many are part-time? operator? 8. What are the key requirements or capabilities for your c. Improve customer satisfaction? call center personnel? d. Other?

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86 F. Quality Monitoring and 18. (Only ask if agency does participate in 511 phone sys- Performance Management: tem.) What 511-related statistics do you track (e.g., num- ber of call transfers to your call center from 511, number/ 12. Which of the following call center metrics do you track? percentage of all 511 menu selections that pertain to your a. Information requested; transit agency, etc.)? b. Number of agents ready to take calls; 19. Is your agency's information included in any other trav- c. Average number of agents in wrap-up mode; eler information systems, such as: d. Average call duration; For each, if there is transit information, describe what it is e. Average call duration including wrap-up time; and how it's integrated/linked. f. Average number of calls in the queue; a. Phone systems (other than 511), g. Number and percentage of calls answered; b. 511 websites, h. Number and percentage of calls abandoned; c. Other (non-511) websites, i. Average time taken to pick up a phone call; d. Dynamic message signs, j. Average time until the call is abandoned; e. Highway advisory radio, and/or k. Average delay a caller may experience while waiting in f. Others. a queue; 20. (Only ask if agency does participate in 511) How has 511 l. The number of calls/inquiries per hour an agent participation impacted your agency? handles; a. Changes in number of calls coming through tradi- m. The amount of time spent while an agent processes tional customer service line; customer requests while not speaking to a customer b. Trends in the number, duration, or other parameters (referred to as not ready time (NR), or after call work (e.g., information requested) in 511 call transfers over (ACW), or wrap up); time; n. Percentage of time agents spend not ready to take c. Any changes made in staffing; calls, often referred to as idle time; and/or d. Any technology upgrades or other changes needed to o. Percentage of calls that completely resolve the cus- support 511 participation; tomer's issue at the first call (if the customer does not e. Do you pay the 511 system operator for the cost of call back about the same problem for a certain period transfers to your call center; of time). f. Have you changed how you market your customer in- 13. Are there other metrics that are critical to your organiza- formation since 511 (e.g., do you market the availabil- tion and not in the above list? ity of 511 to your customers); and/or 14. How do you monitor quality (that is, do quality assurance/ g. Does the 511 system operator target any of their 511 quality control [QA/QC])? marketing to transit users. 15. How do you monitor customer satisfaction? Which media 21. Why did you decide to participate, or not participate, in do you use? the 511 system that covers your area? Read each of these a. Online, items to the interviewee, regardless of whether they are cur- b. E-mail, and/or rently participating in 511 or not, and ask them to indicate c. Telephone. which factors played a role in their decision. 16. What is the average cost per customer request? Pro (factors supporting participation in 511) i. Wanted to include transit in a multimodal traveler G. 511-Specific Questions information system--wanted to keep "a place at the (for Transit Agencies Only): table"; ii. Wanted to be a good partner with highway agencies; 17. Does your agency participate in a regional or statewide iii. Hoped to divert some calls from your transit call center; 511 phone system? If yes, what information of yours is iv. Wanted to provide your customers with an alterna- available on the 511 system? tive, easy-to-remember phone number; and/or a. General information like hours of operation and type v. Other. of service (e.g., rail, bus, fixed-route); b. Service disruptions; Con (factors arguing against participation in 511) c. Your agency's customer service telephone number; i. Not invited to participate by the 511 developers/ d. A call transfer option from 511 to your customer ser- operators; vice center; and/or ii. Concern about an increase in overall call volumes e. Real-time information (e.g., bus arrival times). coming into your transit center (the addition of 511

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87 call transfers) and the implications on staffing and you were unable to do so, for either technical or cost number of phone lines; reasons); and/or iii. Cost of any technology investments needed for 511 vii. Other. participation; 22. Are any changes planned in regard to your agency's par- iv. Cost contributions you were asked (by the 511 sys- ticipation in either 511 or other regional traveler infor- tem operators/partners) to make in order to support mation systems? What, and why? the implementation or operation of the overall 511 23. Do you consider participation in 511 an alternative to system; investing in your own interactive voice response system v. Concern about the possible inconvenience your callers (e.g., handle all "automated" information requests via will experience if they call 511 only to find out they will the 511 system and only transfer to your call center for be transferred to your call center; operator assistance)? Why or why not? vi. The 511 system operators only wanted you to par- 24. Is there any advice you would give to other transit agen- ticipate if you would contribute certain transit in- cies that would help them decide whether and how to formation to their system in certain formats (and participate in a 511 system?