In our Customer Service training we ask people to identify recurring customer frustrations they observe. Here’s what a phone operator from a bus company told us.
‘Twice a day I receive a complaint phone call from a passenger wondering why the driver has stopped the bus, left the bus and appears to be taking a break, or making a phone call, leaving us passengers sitting there wondering what on earth is going on!’
The reason is simple. When a bus is ahead of schedule the driver is required to stop the bus for a ‘timing point’. This prevents the bus from travelling ahead of schedule, impacting passengers down the line who might miss it because it arrived early.
Further discussion revealed that this phone operator took at least 2 phone calls a day from passengers about this. If you calculate, that’s around 500 complaints a year!
It was suggested that perhaps like announcements in trains, the driver could trigger a recording announcing a timing point and the reason for it. ‘Attention please. This bus is ahead of schedule. So that passengers ahead don’t miss the bus because it’s early, we are stopping for a short time.’