Public transportation companies have much greater exposure to the general public, so maintaining a customer service department is more than just providing customer services. With the increasing expectations of consumers, transport operators in Singapore are emphasising the importance of maintaining a high standard of service. They are recognising customer service as a priority. Transport operators like SMRT are empowering their front-line staff to better service customer concerns.
Recently, bus transport operator SMRT Buses partnered with the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) and SPD charity to enhance the way its front-line staff are trained and improve their customer services for commuters with special needs.
How Staff Training by SMRT Would Help Commuters
Many people who live with disabilities don’t drive their own vehicles to work. The majority of people in Singapore rely on public transportation services like mass rapid transit (MRT) and public buses. If customer services in the transportation sector are designed to streamline both communication and transportation, commuters with disabilities will be happier and satisfied with transport operators.
With the help of MINDS, SMRT front-line staff will learn basic communication strategies to help a person with an intellectual disability or physical disabilities. SPD staff will educate SMRT Buses’ staff on how to interact with commuters who have Autism Spectrum Disorder.
SMRT Buses launched an inclusive service delivery training centre in 2019. It has trained more than 700 staff since 2019. SMRT also works with different organisations such as the Agency for Integrated Care, Alzheimer’s Disease Association (ADA), Guide Dogs Singapore (GDS), Handicaps Welfare Association (HWA), and Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped (SAVH) to improve their communication and expertise for serving commuters with disabilities.
Commenting on the efforts taken by SMRT on serving commuters in a better way, Seah Moon Ming, SMRT Chairman said: “Every member of the SMRT family knows what it means to serve with sincerity, empathy, and humility for the good of the community and commuters. We want to do better today than yesterday.”
Mr Vincent Gay, Deputy Head, SMRT Buses, said: “The enhancement of our inclusive service delivery training partnerships demonstrates SMRT’s We Care ethos and commitment to help commuters feel safer and more assured when they travel in our network, whatever their needs may be. We look forward to working with all of our inclusive service delivery training partners at WITH to better serve commuters of diverse needs.”
Apart from providing training to the front-line staff, SMRT is also launching an app on a trial version. SMRT Buses is launching the NaviLens app in the Woodlands Integrated Transport Hub (WITH) that will provide audio assistance to a visually handicapped commuter. The app works in a unique way. SMRT Buses has placed coloured tags strategically at various locations of WITH. Commuters using the NaviLens apps will be provided with audio assistance if he or she points a mobile phone camera in the direction of a coloured tag.
SMRT is one of the transport operators in Singapore that continuously work towards improving its reliability and services. SMRT’s partnership with MINDS, SDP, and other organisations will pave the way towards building a more inclusive transportation network where everyone can enjoy better travel experiences.
About the Author
Neon is a Singaporean blogger who believes in creating equal opportunities for people from all walks of life. He also works as a social worker and often volunteers in training centres to teach people how to communicate with people with disabilities. In his free time, Neon enjoys exploring the world and writing poems to appreciate the greatness of the world.