I take the MTA Metro-North train service between Grand Central Station and Wassaic, New York every week, commuting to the Southern Berkshires. There is usually a connecting train one must catch from Southeast, the midpoint station where the electric train ends and the diesel begins.

Several weeks ago, in frigid weather, service from Southeast was suspended with an announcement directing passengers to wait for a bus, arriving in fifteen minutes, for the last half of the ride.

One hour later, standing in twenty degree weather with no shelter … no bus. By then, seventy percent of the passengers opted to call cabs for an eighty dollar ride that Metro-North charged about five dollars for.

Opting for the cab, I was determined to request refunds for the ride, not expecting an acknowledgement or an apology, dutifully filling out a refund form with “commentary”.

About three days later I received a call from Metro-North apologizing for the delays and discomfort and a promise to send a few rides my way. Now, I’ve heard many horror stories about the Metro-North and New Haven Lines, but I have to take my hat off to the individual in charge of customer service!

I am still out the eighty dollar cab fare but all the anger fades away in the face of a pleasant voice on the other side of the phone apologizing for the problem. And while there is no alternative transportation option, I’m glad to see the effort made to respond in a reasonable and timely manner. That, my friends, is CRM at its finest!

Next weekend, as I hand over my commuter ticket to the conductor, I’ll be sure to smile and say thanks in an attempt to make his day a bit brighter.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Three engineers and three accountants are traveling by train to a conference. At the station, the three accountants each buy tickets and watch as the three engineers buy only a single ticket.

"How are three people going to travel on only one ticket?" asks an accountant. "Watch and you'll see," answers an engineer. They all board the train. The accountants take their respective seats but all three engineers cram into a restroom and close the door behind them.

Shortly after the train has departed, the conductor comes around collecting tickets. He knocks on the restroom door and says, "Ticket, please." The door opens just a crack and a single arm emerges with a ticket in hand. The conductor takes it and moves on.

The accountants saw this and agreed it was quite a clever idea. So after the conference, the accountants decide to copy the engineers on the return trip and save some money (being clever with money, and all). When they get to the station they buy a single ticket for the return trip.

To their astonishment, the engineers don't buy a ticket at all. "How are you going to travel without a ticket?" says one perplexed accountant. "Watch and you'll see," answers an engineer. When they board the train the three accountants cram into a restroom and the three engineers cram into another one nearby. The train departs.

Shortly afterward, one of the engineers leaves his restroom and walks over to the restroom where the accountants are hiding. He knocks on the door and says, "Ticket, please."