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June 2013

AParadigm New for

Customer Service D

ART is known for embracing audacious goals. After all, that’s how we became the longest electric light rail system in North America. But now Carol Wise, our executive vice president and chief operating officer, has issued a challenge.

monitors, call center staff, supervisors, police and fare enforcement officers, who are DART’s primary points of contact with riders. The measure she has put forward is to “deliver spectacular, first-class service with a ‘WOW!’ attitude.”

“I believe DART can be a standard bearer for customer service throughout the industry,” she declared. “We have great people who put the customer first in almost everything they do. 5 Star Service will ensure that we put our best foot forward every time, in every interaction with our riders, our communities and each other.”

To provide flawless service at every opportunity, these groups are undergoing special training, starting new initiatives and reviewing their processes and procedures to apply continual improvement principles.

The 5 Star attitude and culture include individuals, departments and teams throughout our organization. While some employees already perform at a 5 Star level, the goal is to get all individuals and departments on board with the new standard for excellence. To that end, Wise has enlisted the efforts of operators, maintenance crews, station

“We took advantage of Roadeo/Raildeo to kick off our broad awareness campaign,” said Teana Bush, special project manager. “It was a perfect setting because the competition celebrates the ‘best of the best’ of our operators, maintenance staff, customer service people and officers.” While many people are just learning about the 5 Star effort, the steering committee began its work last July. According to

“5 Star is our pathway to excellence every day, every time, in every interaction with our riders, community and with each other.” Carol Wise EVP/Chief Operating Officer Dean Hetrick, AVP Operations Administration, this group began with internal and external field research, followed by defining each level of service, which is known as a “Star,” and the competencies related to each. Pilot programs were identified for early process improvement, including development of the Customer Experience Officer (CEO) program. By the beginning of 2015, the goal is for 5 Star to permeate all parts of the agency, including hiring and orientation, performance reviews and standards for all work units.

Executives Mike Hubbell and Carol Wise speak with a customer on the train platform to learn both positive and negative perceptions of our service. Two others on Wise’s team, Doug Douglas and Dean Hetrick, can be seen in the background also wearing the Customer Service Team vests.

Large logo: Use at print size above 2” wide PMS 116C Yellow & PMS281C Blue

Black and 25% halftone

Understanding the 5 Star Standards of Performance 5 STARS – SPECTACULAR

Process: Yellow: 16 M/100Y Every customer is a VIP. We anticipate Blue: 100C/72M/32K needs and look for ways to say “yes.” Innovation and creativity make us distinctive and memorable so that our brand is top of mind and held in high 4 STARS – TOP Small logo: Use at print sizeQUALITY under 2” wide regard. Our people hold themselves Employees deliver excellence on a daily PMS 116C Yellow & PMS281C Blue Black only and 25% halftone accountable for the customer experience, basisBlack at each touchpoint of the organization. regardless of their role, and know that They show great attention to detail, they are empowered to act for the benefit and they establish personal, empathetic of our riders. Their knowledge makes connections to customers. Employees them trusted advisers of our products treat each customer encounter as an and services, both to our customers and opportunity to give riders an enjoyable, Reverse from black co-workers. DART’s vehicles, facilities, convenient experience. Vehicles, security, technology, communication facilities, communication, technology and services are world-class. Amenities and security are consistently cutting-edge. Drop bottom text line on very small items. Every customer concern is seen as an are designed with the customer’s Process: comfort Yellow: 16 M/100Y Blue: 100C/72M/32K immediate opportunity to impress and and safety in mind. We know each rider improve. The business and services is different and look at all perspectives are distinctive. when delivering our service. “WOW!” is • Innovative, engaged and the trademark. skilled employees • Personalized service • Effective, universal and • Proactive attitude in all ongoing communication customer interactions • Proactive attitude in most • First-rate amenities • National recognition customer interactions • Welcoming customer service experience • Customer service-oriented culture

Delivering on the Vision


Employees are knowledgeable and skilled, and they care about the customer experience. Vehicles, facilities, security, communication, technology and products/services are top-notch throughout the organization. Services frequently exceed performance goals. • Expanded amenities • Diverse customer base • Universal accessibility • Consistent delivery of service that is reliable, clean, courteous and safe 2 STARS – ROUTINE

Service is satisfactory. It is reliable, clean and convenient. Equipment, facilities, technology, communication and security are generally in good state of repair. Employees are trained, but do not always prioritize the customer experience. Performance goals are sometimes met, but not consistently. • Task-oriented culture • Inconsistent customer information • Little innovation or creativity • Unmotivated and disengaged employees • Low sense of urgency • Low levels of accountability

5 STAR CUSTOMER SERVICE VISION STATEMENT: Each member of DART’s team strives every day to create an extraordinary customer experience when interacting with colleagues, riders, partners and the community. The 5 Star program has five parts. The first is Culture Change as DART evolves from a long period of construction to a time of focusing on customer service. The orientation and rollout, which began in Operations and will later happen in Administration, includes training, identifying role models and helping people understand the behaviors involved in delivering a 5 Star experience. Center of Excellence, the next piece of the program, focuses on talent acquisition and development. Recruiters in Human Capital are emphasizing customer service competencies in hiring. Existing employees will find that their PMP behaviors also will include 5 Star characteristics. Other initiatives will focus on skills assessments, development plans, competency definitions and training of existing and new employees. Within the Improved Services part of 5 Star are cross-functional Customer Service Teams (CST) consisting of Customer Experience Officers (CEOs) and representatives from Transportation, Maintenance, Mobility Management, Police, Customer Service and Marketing.


Image and Brand

High Performance and Recognition

5 Star Program

Center of Excellence

Improved Services

The 5 Star program is comprised of five parts, each with its own initiatives and time lines. Keep an eye on DARTnet for news and information on each of these elements.


Services and customer experience are erratic and undependable. Employees’ knowledge and drive to serve the customer are minimal. Equipment, facilities, technology, communication and security may exist, but they are poorly maintained and unreliable. Services and amenities are uninspired and do not take the riders’ needs into consideration. • Frequent service failures • Lack of customer service focus • No sense of urgency • “Not my responsibility” attitude

James Spiller, Police; Mike Hubbell, Maintenance; Dean Hetrick and Carol Wise, Customer Care/Service Delivery; Tim Newby, Transportation; Willie Campbell and James Malone (not shown), Materials Management; and Doug Douglas, Mobility Management, have been focused on developing and rolling out 5 Star since last July.

Culture Change

Transportation has scheduled 20 events at DART bus and rail facilities, where they will meet and greet customers, answer questions and listen to concerns. The first took place from 6 to 8:30 a.m. March 20 at the Lawnview Station rail platform. Similar events took place in mid-April at both the Tyler/Vernon and North Carrollton/Frankford stations. At each event, a designated “chairperson” collects customer feedback and then assigns issues and questions to the event’s participants for follow-up via their management. They have five business days to gather the requested information and forward it to the chairperson and the sponsoring division’s senior manager.

Sheila Turner, bus operator/instructor at East Dallas, is one of 21 Customer Experience Officers (CEOs) who will help us better understand and address customer needs and concerns.

CEOs are a part of Improved Services. “Each Operations entity, including Customer Service, was given some flexibility on how it selected its CEOs and what their responsibilities are,” said Tim Newby, VP Transportation. “But across the continued


Delivering on the Vision

The 2013 Roadeo/Raildeo Champions

Annie Jones Driver Excellence Award Winner

continued from p. 3

board, the goal is the same: to improve the rider experience so customers will continue to use our services and hopefully, recommend them to others.” Newby offered Transportation as an example: “The application process was open to bus and rail operators with no violations, complaints or preventable accidents and other such criteria. We then interviewed the candidates who met all the requirements.”

more often. And our ability to do that rests solidly on delivering first-rate customer service.” Gary Thomas President/Executive Director

The Improved Services module also includes Customer Improvement Teams (CIT) that are tasked with resolving key customer service issues internally and externally. In January, teams were assigned to these five issues: 1. Dispatch and Operator Communication 2. TVM Customer Service 3. Elevator/Escalator Failures and Notification 4. Bus Bypasses 5. Customer Service Response Time

It is an opportunity to meet and greet customers in their neighborhoods. High Performance and Recognition is the fourth element of 5 Star and it involves empowering Customer Improvement Teams, establishing new standards for performance and defining clear metrics for those standards. In addition, individual and team recognition programs are being set up to provide incentives and nonmonetary rewards.


Each team began by defining the problem or issue and identifying root causes. Then they conducted research and developed strategies for improvements, including considerations of the pros and cons. From there, they established an action plan for correction and made recommendations, including determining a 5 Star standard to serve as an ongoing goal for performance and service. The teams presented their final reports to Wise at the end of April.

Image and Brand is the final component of 5 Star. Its focus is DART’s image, attitude, facilities, equipment, technology, communications and actions being aligned with the primetime criteria for extraordinary performance. It includes new uniforms for front-line employees.

• James Carroll – WSA Maintenance

“DART’s 5 Star Program will be changing customer service attitudes, competencies, performance, image and customer expectations over the next days, weeks and months. It will not happen overnight. However, 5 Star is in our future,” Wise said during her presentation to the senior leadership team.

• Virginia Paluscio – NW Bus Maintenance

This summer, DART will roll out a new mobile customer service van. Converted from a former paratransit vehicle, the van will allow our people to take information and services to our customers.


“DART’s biggest opportunity is to get more people to ride

• Kanzetta Barnes – Mobility Management • Jose Enrique Barron – ED Maintenance • Daniel Burnette – NWROF Maintenance

The 2013 Roadeo/Raildeo champions, representing the best of the best in various competitions, are honored at the annual awards banquet: from left, Roy Womack, paratransit van; Lewis Wheeler, bus maintenance; Tim Newby, celebrity; Tyrone Smith, bus; Stanley Carpenter, bus and customer service; Brian Funk, John Bailey and Carl Gillmen, rail maintenance. Not shown: Jose Hernandez, rail; Jim Furino and Tim Simmons, bus maintenance; and Cpl. John Franklin, police motorcycle.

Bus operator Louis Gonzalez received the first Annie Jones Driver Excellence Award from the Community Council of Greater Dallas, Dallas Area Agency on Aging, and MY RIDE Dallas for going “above and beyond to make riders – particularly those with disabilities – feel safe, comfortable and valued.”

Winners of the 2013 Outstanding Women Awards Winners of the 2013 Outstanding Women Awards are ladies who excel at their jobs and who serve their communities, thus representing DART excellence on their off-hours. From left: Lisa Taylor, Benita Collins, Patsy James, Esther Martinez, Brenda Smith, Jennifer Frost and Julie Nelson.

Q1 2013 Division Level Measurement Winners Our Central Support team – which includes Body Support, Bus Central Support and Rail Central Support – scored an impressive 94.41 percent on its Q1 2013 Division Level Measurement criteria, including a perfect score on complaints per 100,000 passengers.

• Michael Gary – NW Transportation • Elizabeth Gonzalez – Materials Management • Dana Hartfield - Police • Katherine Little – Transit Center Operations • Annette T. Metoyer – CROF Rail Transportation • Sylvester Fumey-Nassah – Police • Julie Nelson – WSA Facilities • Ralph Parker – Mobility Management • Chris Ponzio – Customer Care Center • Juan Ramirez – Transit Center Operations • Reginald Reed – ED Bus Transportation • Rolando Rodriguez – NRV Maintenance • Jason Splane – NWROF Transportation • Dorra Stephens – Transit Center Operations • Sheila Turner – SOCBOF Transportation • Charvis Vaughan – SOCBOF Maintenance


New Survey Provides Deeper Understanding of Customer Satisfaction

Milestones EMPLOYMENT RECOGNITION Anniversaries: March 1-April 30, 2013 (Based on Adjusted Date of Hire)

Customer satisfaction with DART continues to be relatively high, with nine out of 10 passengers reporting that they are likely to continue to use our services, according to a recent survey. Chief Marketing Officer Nevin Grinnell explained that the data generated this year is more meaningful because the new survey format allowed participants to respond on a five-point scale so they could be more specific, instead of just “yes” or “no.”





35 Years

74% 57%


30 Years


Noble Bradley Bus Operator

20 0

Jose Ruano Bus Operator

Overall satifaction

Likely to continue using

Good value for the money

Better experience vs. year ago

Arthur Ford Bus Operator Santiago Velazquez Servicer

25 Years


Beverly Burleson Buyer

4% 9%

Eneida Sanchez Operations Program Analyst


Gary Stick ERP Application Manager Rapidly getting better


Gradually getting better

41% Nevin Grinnell

“This format elicits more detailed information about how customers feel about using DART,” Grinnell said. Among the results: • Eight in 10 passengers are satisfied with DART • More than 60 percent believe DART is getting better • Safety and security are key drivers of customer satisfaction • Overall communication is good, but customers want more information sooner about disruptions


Staying the same Gradually getting worse Rapidly getting worse Don’t know

20 Years David Burnley Bus Operator John Foster Jr. Station Office Transportation Supervisor I Anthony Vickers Safety Training Specialist Ricky Walker Transportation Field Supervisor I

Source: DART 2012 Customer Satisfaction Survey

15 Years The survey also provided rider perceptions on timeliness, cleanliness and convenience. Fortunately, DART already has many initiatives in place that address these opportunity areas and that likely will drive higher satisfaction scores in the future.

Grinnell points out that our new buses will improve cleanliness scores and new shuttle routes naturally will affect service convenience scores. Various technology projects, including the much-anticipated GoPass mobile application, public address and variable message boards, are some of the communications efforts designed to result in higher customer satisfaction.

Jaime Bautista Bus Operator Eben Cobb Central Rail Operations Senior Manager Hector Contreras Data Center Operations Supervisor

Calvin Crawford Bus Mechanic

John Fitzgerald HOV Operator

Gregory Davis Bus Operator

Richard Moore Police Officer

Donnie Davis Bus Operator

Jose Muñoz Central Support Mechanic

Joseph Davis Bus Operator

Mark Oberlachner Bus Operator

Roy Horner Police Lieutenant

Brenda Smith Revenue Technician I

Svaya Grundstrom LRV Structural Mechanic

Hosea Pelham Fare Enforcement Officer

Bill Kahan Bus Operator

Sharon Wilson Contract Administration Coordinator

Ravi Gundimeda HOV Operations Project Management Manager

Denise Pina Lead Fare Inspector

Fasil Yemane Lead Revenue Collector/Controller

Santiago Hernandez Rail Operator

Lynette Pitchlyn Senior Assistant General Counsel

Corey Hightower Bus Operator

Jason Rascon Body Mechanic

Michael Holbrook Track & ROW Senior Manager

Nathan Sarg Rail Operations Field Supervisor I

Cleda Holiday Bus Operator

Linda Scroggins Rail Operations Training Supervisor I

Steve Kimble Bus Operator Charles Linnex Bus Operator Esther Martinez Contract Compliance Field Supervisor

5 Years Abenet Argaw Bus Mechanic

Warren Mays Police Sergeant

Jonathan Armstead Police Specialist

Ema Moreno Revenue Operations Associate

Fassil Asghedom Bus Operator

Michael Sims Jr. Bus Operator

George Barfield Bus Operator

Ernest Spratling Police Officer

Tammy Barrow Senior Assistant General Counsel

Daniel Stevenson Police Officer

Christopher Bluitt Project Management Secretary

Patricia Vega Bus Operator

Robert Boguski Rail Operations Field Supervisor I

Yonas Wuhib Bus Operator

10 Years Joseph Anguiano Jr. Intelligent Transportation Technician David Bauchert Senior Control Systems Programmer Noel Cayme Police Officer

Leon Horner Jr. Bus Operator Joshua Hutchins Police Officer Tanese Johnson Customer Information Representative

Bradley Sloan Rail Operator Shelita Sneed Senior Paralegal

Franklin Jones II Bus Operator

Antonio Spencer Bus Operator

Ignacio Lara Machinist

Zere Tesfamariam Maintenance Engineering Specialist II

Steven Bourn Chief Architect

Frank Livia Police Officer

Steven Boyd Rail Operator

Thomas Maldonado Bus Operator

Kristopher Carter Police Officer

John Martinez NRV Mechanic

Ronaldo Castillo Material Management Technician

Kimberley Mitchell Rail Operator

Rodolfo Chavez Track Laborer

Frank Serafin Bus Operator

Patricio Valdez Rail Operator Jonathan Woolsey Rail Operations Controller

Kendall Moore Material Management Technician



My middle school-aged daughter was riding the bus for the first time, and both of us were a little apprehensive. I want to thank (East Dallas’) George Walker for being the operator that day and providing the reassurance she needed that indeed she would reach her destination safely. – Shelby Williams, Garland As a paratransit client, I can speak from experience when I tell management that the service level has come a long way since the changeover back in October. The improvement has been constant and noticeable. – Allen Shaver, Dallas Kudos to (Northwest Bus Operator) Debra Evans from her UTSW employee customers. Every morning when she was working Route 27, she would wait an extra few minutes for those arriving by Routes 205 and 210, enabling all of my colleagues to arrive at work on time. This caring and thoughtful employee deserves something special. – La Tanya Bailey, Dallas It’s hardly ever a “one and done” situation when someone asks (Station Monitor) Maria Jimenez a question. She’s always eager to find out what else she can do to fulfill her customers’ needs. I’ve never seen anyone as thorough and committed to excellence. – Jacqueline Drake, Dallas Considering all the different types of people you encounter every day on the bus, (SOCBOF Bus Operator) Ernest James has that intangible knack of being able to handle each and every one of them. Even the rowdiest teenagers on the 538 show him respect. – Mildred Jordan, Dallas I was new to the area and very nervous, but could not have gotten a better introduction to the system than through (Customer Information Representative) Roderick Bivins.

Thanks to his patience and great attitude, I felt like a seasoned rider almost immediately. – Sherron Lyons, Dallas Bonica Egana (East Dallas Bus Operator) is excellent in all facets of her work, but seems to have an extra special empathy for her passengers with disabilities. She makes it a point not to put her bus in motion until everyone is comfortably seated, and never appears to mind when asked to use the lift, no matter how trivial the request. – Marsha Hampton, Dallas Without the kind help of (Station Monitor) Cheng-Li Wu, who went to great lengths to make sure I reached my destination, I would never have shown up at my job interview. I am grateful for both Mr. Wu and my new job. – James Ford, Dallas The other afternoon, the alertness and driving skill of our operator, (Northwest Bus Operator) Romonique Osborne, prevented a major collision when a car cut in front of him and stopped suddenly on the tollway. Please accept my commendation and personal thanks for getting me home safely. – Chris Walker, Dallas I had not been on a bus since 1997 and frankly did not know what to expect when calling in for information. The friendly, professional reception I got from (Customer Information Representative) Amel Davila put all my fears to rest and made my reintroduction to DART a totally pleasant one. – Reba Ramsey, Dallas Three cheers for (SOCBOF Bus Operator) Sherlyn Samuel! When there was a passenger playing excessively loud music, she wasn’t a bit timid about pointing out the rules regarding such behavior. And the passenger complied without so much as an argument. – Raetheal Nemons, Dallas

The DART Police deserve a lot of credit for their efforts to control the disobedient kids who had seemed to be taking over the trains. Their show of force and zero tolerance have helped make riding DART Rail a pleasurable experience once again. We, the customers, do appreciate it. – James Johnson, Fort Worth I use a rolling walker, and as I was approaching the bus stop, one of the wheels came off. I was so grateful to (East Dallas Bus Operator) Cynthia Rambo, who not only was kind enough to wait for me, but also attempted to re-attach the wheel. – Trula Miles, Dallas

the official employee newsletter of

DALLAS AREA RAPID TRANSIT Nevin Grinnell Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer Morgan Lyons Media Relations Director Elena Rohweder Manager, Communications Don Gililland Publications Specialist Thomas Santana Designer Denise Johnson Manager, Customer Information/ Production Taty Benavidez Production/Distribution Supervisor Joe Swift Photography Reginald Lofton Elena Rohweder Photographers Visit DARTnet or for the latest news and events.

132-011-313 TS


132 011 313 connections 5 star service 2013  

June 2013 issue of Connections, the employee publication of Dallas Area Rapid Transit

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