In a recent blog post called Customer Satisfaction revolt – Facebook Faceoff the Toronto Transit Commission were at war with  transit users. The Union of Transit Workers has announced they will meet with the public in 3 open meetings called “Let’s Talk – TTC Riders and Workers“. The objective  of these meetings is to engage with customers. (the new normal in the social age of the web) to resolve issues.

Transit rider discontent had erupted earlier this year due to a fare hike, poor service, shortage of fare tokens (bought in a group to lower individual fare costs) and perceived lack of professionalism by transit ticket collectors photographed sleeping on the job at their posts. In addition, riders video taped a bus driver taking an extended washroom and coffee break in the middle of a transit run and posted the video for all to see.

The Union is unhappy with being in a fishbowl. The transit workers feel stalked by users with camera phones, taking pictures or videos of them. Sadly, workers will have to get used to be in the public eye and the cellphone camera will record improper behavior. Also see Customer Satisfaction meets the Cell Phone Camera.

The public forums will be held on Sunday afternoons, in various part of the city, and moderated by public figures not affiliated with the transit commission or the union. The meetings will be scheduled to last for 2 hours each and all venues will accommodate more than 300 people each. For those unable to attend the meetings, they will be broadcast on a local TV station and streamed on the union’s website. The meetings will take place near subway stations and a free shuttle bus will provided too and from nearby subway stations. It is clear the Union and the Transit Commission are taking user discontent seriously.

Public Forums are a new emerging technique to mitigate customer satisfaction issues.

Have you seen this kind of technique used elsewhere? Were they effective? Share your experiences in the comments section below.


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Adele Berenstein

Adele Berenstein is an Experienced Customer Satisfaction Executive, recently retired from a Large Global IT Organization after a long productive management career including Sales, Marketing, Services, teaching and education center management and most recently, 19 years in customer satisfaction management. She turned around divisions with customer satisfaction problems, implemented measurable improvements and management systems, and implemented programs to prevent problems from ever affecting customers.

One Response to “How to handle customer satisfaction issues – Public Forums”

  1. Customer Satisfaction - Good Idea, Bad Execution | Customer Satisfaction and Reputation Management Says:

    […] a previous article on my blog called How to Handle Customer Satisfaction Issues – Public Forums, the opportunity for an organization to dialogue with its customers was highlighted. The Toronto […]

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