NPS Scores at TriMet: Tales of Legendary Customer Experience

This is the next in an ongoing series of real stories about how businesses create customer experiences that surprise, delight, and grow their brand through customer advocacy.

NPS Scores + Buses + Trains + Streetcars = CX (The Commuter Experience)

“Good morning and welcome,” the bus driver says as I step blearily aboard the 6:50 a.m. bus into Portland. I nod, swipe my card, and take a seat. “Good morning and welcome,” the driver says to the next commuter as we pile in one by one.

This is the first leg of my trip into work, a thirty-minute bus ride where I sometimes catch sight of Mount Hood in the distance or a deer at the side of the road. Often people sleep or start their work days on tablets or phones. We all assume we will be safely delivered to our drop off point with as little muss and fuss as possible.

Today is no different as I reach my station, thank the driver and get off. Others move with me in different directions. I walk a few blocks and wait for the streetcar.

Commuters From All Walks of Life

As a student of the human condition, I pay attention to the wide variety of people who commute along with me. Some are businessmen in suits. (I named one guy Clark Kent because he wears a blue suit, dark-framed glasses and had a curl in the front of his dark hair.) There is a young mother with a one-year-old snuggled to her chest and a boy who appears to be three. There are people in scrubs heading off to the medical office buildings. People with blue hair or pink and fanciful clothing. Others wearing street style with skateboards under their arms. Occasionally there is a senior citizen in a wheelchair or using a walker who needs the ramp put down to get into the bus or streetcar. Still, others carry dogs stuffed in purses and bags or bring in service dogs to help them find their way.

All of these commuters come from different backgrounds, families, races, and lifestyles. We are different ages and in different states of health and wealth. Yet we all want the same thing from TriMet (the company whose buses, trains and streetcars are only part of what they offer in transportation): A safe commute to and from where ever we are going.

306,532 Weekly Riders to Please

In 2018, TriMet has averaged 306,532 riders a week. How does TriMet care for so many people with so many different points of view? According to their website, they train their operators in safety and customer service. They survey their riders – frequent and occasional – and ask for feedback. TriMet puts a lot of brainpower toward customer feedback and proudly publishes its NPS, which is 27 overall.  A pretty high score when you think about the wide variety of people they have to please and the different types of transportation moving through traffic every day.

Using NPS Scores to Learn More

TriMet uses its NPS Scores to learn about what their customers need. Things like more access to different stops. More security and lighting at transit centers.

TriMet’s NPS Scores Broadcasted on Television

The very latest offering by TriMet is the ability to text them with any problems or concerns on your daily commute. I saw this in action the other day.

The streetcar was packed and someone who wasn’t paying attention had their bag in a seat. The driver without stopping and looking was alerted by a text and came on the loudspeaker to gently ask that people be kind and remove their bags from the seats. The perpetrator woke up, removed his bag, and an elderly man was able to take a seat.

Without thinking of, quite literally, their customer journey, TriMet wouldn’t have any idea what their commuters experience on a day in and day out basis. Surveys and texts help them grow their customer base which in turn helps the community by getting more people to take public transportation.

How do you keep track of your customer’s journey no matter where they are?

Want more stories about customer delight? Check out these videos from CX Obsession.

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