GO Transit vs. the world

After delving in to the world of GO Transit, I’ve come up with a few key “issues” for them to address.

Research at a glance

My primary research (thank goodness GO Transit conducts surveys so that I don’t have to) indicates that there are two specific areas GO Transit should address. One is “comfortable experience” and the other I’ll argue is “keeping you in the know.” The latter, I think it an area for improvement because it’s their lowest target and they haven’t posted the results. I’ll keep watching those scores…

Based on my secondary research of Facebook posts evaluation and GO Transit’s use of Twitter, it seems to me that customers aren’t feeling heard. Strange. Because GO Transit conducts those surveys. I wonder if everyone knows about that survey or how to participate?

I chose these formats because, in combination, they’re a great representation of the issues GO Transit is currently facing.  It just so happens, they’re also a great way for GO Transit to turn the negatives into positives. To me, it just makes sense to use these same platforms to communicate improvements and ask for feedback going forward.

“I’m learnding!”

Now that we know what’s standing in its way, GO Transit can move forward with a few objectives.

My suggestions? GO Transit needs to:

  1. Ask passengers (from my target audience in this case) their preferred method of communication and use those platforms to communicate going forward.
  2. Engage its audiences and actively build supportive online communities through increased, proactive use of social media tools. For example, use social media to ask customers what the company can be doing better instead of using Facebook and Twitter accounts as inboxes.
  3. Address the concerns of passengers (like comfort, services and fare hikes) and then communicate the results to those same publics.
  4. Be vocal about what the company can and cannot address and communicate improvements (and be honest about the shortcomings too) on those same platforms.

End scene

Even though GO Transit has a monopoly on the commuter rails, its goals still focus on customer satisfaction. If the company can engage passengers in a positive way, it’ll be sure to build its supportive online communities. Maybe then, GO Transit will garner more advocates and won’t have to defend itself as much.


Break it down

It’s time to get to the heart of the matter, GO Transit.

Framing the scenario

Here are a few questions I asked myself while conducting some research. Plus my own answers (because who doesn’t love it when people answer their own questions? The answer is no one).

  1. Who’s my “audience”? Lakeshore West GO bus and train commuters (Toronto to Hamilton and every stop in between) aged ~25-50.
  2. Why did I choose this target group? Because they’re the ones I usually see on the train during rush hour commuting for work. They’re also the group who seem to be most vocal about issues they have with GO Transit.
  3. What do members of this demographic have in common? Many use mobile devices while on the train. And most are just trying to get to and from work in a hassle-free way. Opportunity.
  4. What might make this group happy? More trains, straightforward routes, all at a reasonable cost.

How do I know what might make this group happy? See for yourself…here’s a collection of Facebook comments from Get on the GO’s page on the subject:

Recent negative Facebook comments about GO Transit services and fares

You’ll notice that the comments I picked had no replies from Get on the GO. Another social media management gap I will try to bridge for GO Transit.

Like I said in my last post: it’s not all bad. That survey that I mention (that GO Transit conducts regularly) points to a lot of “happy” customers. But there’s certainly room for improvement.