Standard Operating Procedure - Customer Service

Standard Operating Procedure - Customer Services Section

1.0 Introduction

The Customer Services Section is responsible for receiving, documenting and responding to complaints from the public about TTC Operations. They are received via phone, letter, email or personal visit.  Staff must communicate with a person with a disability in a manner that takes into account his or her disability.

2.0 Types of Communications

The most frequent communications include Employee Complaints (Discourtesy, Vehicle Operation), Surface/Subway Service Complaints (Service Delay, Ahead of Schedule), Equipment Complaints (Defective Token Vending Machine, Out of Service Escalator), Administrative Complaints (Website, Advertising) and Structural Complaints (Rail Noise, Subway Station Condition).

3.0 Communication Modes

3.1 Telephone/Visit

The Customer Service Representative begins the call by identifying himself/herself with their first name. (Surnames should be provided upon customer request).  When the representative determines the nature of the call, one of two actions is taken.

If the call is a complaint with identifying information, it is recorded via an online Customer Service Communication (CSC) and forwarded to the appropriate operating division or department.

In cases where the complaint can be resolved to the customer's satisfaction on-the-spot (e.g. immediate explanation provided for a delay in service), the communication is recorded as a memo and not circulated.

3.2 Letter/Email

The great majority of letters/emails are recorded as CSC's. The relevant information is taken from the letter and keyed into the CSC's Description, Employee and Customer fields. The letter/email is scanned into the system as an attachment and the communication is then forwarded to the responsible division or department.

The only letters/emails not recorded are requests for schedules, Ride Guides, etc. These communications are disposed of once the order has been filled and a reply sent. No outgoing letter is required in these cases, but the representative attaches his/her business card.

4.0 Processing CSC's

4.1 Phone/Visit

The customer is asked if he/she wishes a follow-up reply to the investigation. In order to have a matter investigated the customer is required to provide identifying information as laid out in the Amalgamated Transit Agreement. If the customer has complied, the CSC is forwarded to the division or department for investigation and response back to Customer Services. Divisions/departments are allowed 10 business days to investigate and respond to CSC's. If a reply was requested, the customer is re-contacted by telephone with the final response. 
If the proper identifying information is not provided as per the agreement, the CSC is forwarded as a Departmental Memorandum, for information purposes only (No response back from division/department)

In cases of complaints relating to potential Human Rights or Legal issues, these CSC's are always forwarded to the department/division involved for investigation and response, including reports where identifying information is not provided.

4.2 CSC Mail-outs

In cases where telephone complaints involve allegations of operator profanity, racism, threats or physical contact, the CSC is recorded, printed and forwarded to the customer for sign-off.  This allows for formal documentation of the complaints as per the Amalgamated Transit Agreement.

4.2 Letter/Email

It is Customer Services' policy to respond to all written communications. Wherever possible, the letter/email is responded to by telephone, and the same process is followed as in 4.1. That is, the customer indicates if he/she desires a reply after the investigation and the CSC is sent to the appropriate division/department.

If the representative is unable to contact the writer by telephone, an acknowledgement letter/email should be sent to the customer as soon as possible. Typically, the letter will contain an apology where appropriate, and assurance that the incident has been directed to the proper authorities for resolution.  Again, if proper identifying information is provided, the CSC is forwarded to the division/department involved for a response. If incomplete, the letter/email is dispatched as a Departmental Memorandum.

Correspondence received via the TTC’s online comment form is forwarded to the affected division/department for handling and when requested, a response is issued to customer. 

4.3 Response Times

Customer Services' objective for acknowledging all communications is five business days. For complaints in which the customer wishes a reply following the investigation, the objective is to provide a final response within 15 business days.

5.0 Other CSC's

While most CSC's are handled via correspondence with Operations, there are times when other TTC contacts are copied in or directly involved in the investigation.

5.1 Executive CSC's

CSC's directed to the Chief General Manager, Chair or a TTC Commissioner are handled in the same fashion as non-Executive CSC's. The response time allowed is shortened to five days, to allow for the extra time required for signing off the final letter. That is, a letter is prepared for the Official's signature, and the response is routed via the appropriate Managers/GM for approval before being signed.

5.2 Legal/Claims CSC's

If a customer report involves a potential claim, Legal/Claims should receive copies of all correspondence.

5.3 Human Rights CSC's

In cases where there are Human Rights allegations, all correspondence with the customer is to be in writing. Further, the Human Rights Unit must be copied on all correspondence.

5.4 Confiscated Pass CSC's

Under normal circumstances, confiscated passes are returned to Customer Services within five business days. A CSC is sent to the appropriate division immediately upon contact from the customer. Representatives deal with Operations in making a determination as to whether the pass should be returned. 

5.5 Other TTC Departments

Other TTC departments involved in the CSC process include Planning (route/bus stop/schedule change requests), Equipment (Cold/hot vehicles), Plant (maintenance concerns), Revenue Operations (Token vending machines) and Marketing (Advertising). The process for initiating CSC's is the same as with Operations.

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