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Behind the Curtain of Customer Experience

Friday, October 2, 2020

Categories: Blog, Employees

You may know our customer experience representatives –⁠ or CRXs, for short –⁠ as voices on the phone or faces in the information booth at CATA facilities.

At a glance, these employees sell passes, administer fare tokens and provide rider information. But their role goes far beyond what meets the eye.

CXR Nick Zickefoose cites around a dozen online programs he has to use quickly and efficiently to give customers the best information.

“I do feel like a lot of the people in the City of Lansing tend to view us as a very reliable source of information, not just for CATA,” Zickefoose said. “Oftentimes we’ll end up answering questions just about the city in general, for people that have just moved here.”

The customer experience department receives hundreds of phone calls a day. Sometimes these come from parents asking for information for their students. Other times, calls come from those looking for a ride to a nearby homeless shelter for their next meal. The team knows many of these customers by name, and remains when to lend a helping hand or listening ear.

“Just being able to help somebody is one of my most enjoyable parts about this job,” said Schuyler Brown, another member of the CXR team.

Customer Experience Representative Schuyler Brown poses in front of the CATA Transportation Center

Zickefoose recounts the times he’s stayed on the phone with new riders until they reach their nearest bus stop and feel comfortable. He’s also provided words of encouragement to customers going through tough times.

 “There are a lot of moments where there’s a deeper interaction with our customers and the people who live in Lansing,” Zickefoose said.

Customer Experience Supervisor Sam Soliz notes there are many unpredictable factors in public transportation –⁠ weather, traffic, red lights, accidents, medical emergencies and detours to name a few.

“If our department can use our tools and our empathy to eliminate any or all of that stress, we’ve made the customers day just a little bit better,” Soliz said. “That’s what it’s all about –⁠ removing just one pain point from their day in the hopes of making it better.”

Thank you to this team for making days at CATA better for our employees, riders and the public. The community is incredibly fortunate to have such empathetic, resourceful and talented representatives getting people where they need to go.

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Leading with Love

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Categories: Blog, Employees

CATA Customer Experience Manager.

That may be Margaret Stephen’s job title, but others call her the heart of the customer experience department.

“Her understanding, her love … she goes beyond what a supervisor is supposed to even care about,” said Schuyler Brown, a member of the customer experience team. “In any situation where we need her, she’s right there. She’s got our backs.”

Margaret describes herself as one of those people who really loves her job. That love shines through to her team, other CATA employees and the public as she works hard to keep the CATA Transportation Center running smoothly.

Customer Experience Manager Margaret Stephens stands in front of the CATA Transportation Center

“I couldn’t have asked for a better boss for my first job out of college,” said Nick Zickefoose, another customer service representative. “Margaret is so attentive. She’s on the ball. She’s so friendly. She knows everything that we need to know about customer service, and she’s so enthusiastic about it.”

But according to Zickefoose, his boss doesn't just focus on doing her job well. She also empowers others to improve.

"She works so hard to make sure that everyone in our department is happy, healthy, doing our best, and also improving,” Zickefoose said. “She has a very vested interest in making sure that as individuals and as professionals, we’re becoming better people. And I appreciate it beyond anything else.”

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Reasons to Join the CATA Clean Commute Options Virtual Duathlon

Friday, August 21, 2020

Categories: Blog, Community

The novel coronavirus has brought a lot of changes this year.

CATA has taken part in the nationwide #SoundTheHorn campaign, learned how to make face masks, and even spread the word on how to virtually access local libraries. On a larger scale, we shut down our facilities for months to slow the spread of COVID-19, temporarily suspended bus fares, adopted free curb-to-curb service and only recently returned to our fixed-route system with safety protocols in place.

While some adaptations were easy, others proved more difficult such as limited accessibility to our friends, family and summer events. We have learned how to connect virtually, substituting our normal interactions with ones from miles apart. 

This year, the annual Come Clean Duathlon, like many other local races, is taking on the virtual approach. 

Here are just a few reasons why this virtual race is going to be a great experience.

Clean Commute Options Graphic

1. It's connecting you with a cause.

Hosted by CATA's Clean Commute Options program, we designed this race to be a way to encourage people to get out, enjoy the fresh air and learn about clean commuting. With the current state of our climate and the challenges it faces, it is more important than ever that we all do our part! We promote alternative ways to travel such as biking, walking (or running!), riding the bus and car/vanpooling to help keep emissions down and our air clean. 

In addition to promoting clean air, this year we are giving back to the members of our local community that have given so much to to us. We will hold a raffle with big ticket items purchased from Playmakers, Pizza House and Creative Wellness. We will also be raffling off gift cards from local restaurants.

You will automatically receive a raffle ticket with registration. For each person you refer to our race, you can also earn a bonus raffle entry and $5 back from your registration fee.

2. The swag couldn't be sweeter, unless it was candy. 

Looking for an awesome takeaway to show off your commitment to the in environment, as well as the completion of this awesome athletic endeavor? We’ve got you covered. Here’s what you will receive when you register for this event:

  • Medals for all finishers
  • Awesome race shirt
  • Custom race bib
  • Come Clean Duathlon face mask
  • Raffle prizes from local businesses
  • Digitally remastered race photos that we ask you to take and submit

Woman riding a bike down a road3. Location, location, location.

One of the most incredible parts of a virtual race is the freedom to complete it at your own pace, in your own time, and in whatever place you choose. Do you prefer to run by the water? Through the country? In the comfort of your own home? Find your racetrack wherever you feel safe and comfortable (and can easily maintain social distancing guidelines!).

4. You can run, bike and run far away from the quarantine blues.

Looking for something to get you out of your tired old routine? Here is your perfect excuse to get outside and be part of an event, while still maintaining all safety and social distancing regulations. Here is your chance to be a part of something bigger! Get your kids, family members and friends involved.  For each person you refer to the 2020 Come Clean Duathlon, you can earn a bonus raffle entry and $5 back from your registration fee.

Ready to register? Visit comecleanduathlon.org now before our 150 spots fill up.

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