My Advice For NJTRANSIT’s Newest Chief Customer Experience Officer, Stewart Mader!

Oh hey Stew!  How’s it going?? … ALLOW ME TO INTRODUCE MYSELF … my name is Nick and I recently moved to the suburbs because my wife took my life hostage by making me fall in love with her about a decade ago.  I saw your tweet and I wanted to welcome you to the 10th circle of hell – NJTRANSIT commuting!  There’s nothing like it and I’m glad and encouraged by your effort to make things better.  Also, nice suit!  FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL! LET’S FUCKING GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO …

Anyway, I ride NJTRANSIT and in my short tenure I’ve seen just enough to know what the true meaning of “Customer Experience” is and how you can be best effective in your new gig!  Here are a few tips!

#1. WE AIN’T STUPID 

I saw you take the train to “ride with us” … This is an easy trap to fall into, I get it.  It looks great on paper and looks great on a white board when you’re brainstorming on how to solve (improve) this mess.  But let me hit you with some knowledge … commuters HATE THIS SHIT, because we know for a fact that you’re not taking the train when shit is truly hitting the fan.  Nobody cares about the visual of you on an empty train.  Trust me.  If anything, it’s insulting.

If you want to make an impact and endear yourself to us, you need to stage dive right into the mob of Penn Station during rush hour as if you were at a KISS concert.   Now, do I mean that literally?  I’ll leave that for you to decide, but what I’m trying to get at is that you have to become one of us.  You need to get down and dirty in the mud and embrace the misery along side of us as if you were a member of the Wildlings in Game Of Thrones and Jon Snow came knocking at your door asking you to fight the Army of the Dead.  We need to all be in this together.  Any less than that and we’re gonna call you on your bullshit.

Also, Governor Murphy already “took the train” before to “experience” the NJTRANSIT commute … and naturally, no one gave a shit and saw right through it.  He even made the mistake of taking the train on the weekend …. ahhhh … stupid is as stupid does I guess!  Here’s the highlights from his attempt to “learn” …

#2. EMBRACE THE HATE (TWITTER)

A few months ago NJTRANSIT’s Twitter handle posted a video of that random dude trying to take what appeared to be a stolen ATM onto one of your trains.  I covered this extensively/when my newborn was sleeping.  NJTRANSIT responded to this and Tweeted out “caption this” in an attempt to be witty, which was of course met with mass hostility and a plethora of GIFs (a lot from me).  NJTRANSIT then responded to by DELETING the tweet, which was a big, big mistake.  Listen, if you’re gonna survive the Customer Experience game, you need to get with the times.  You need to embrace Twitter and make the NJTRANSIT handle somewhat funny.  That’s how you win this battle. A prime example is the Wendy’s Twitter account.  If you haven’t seen that, I suggest you check it out.  Wendys will straight up roast Burger King without even being provoked.  It’s actually quite glorious and highly entertaining.

As I said … EMBRACE THE HATE!  Turn a negative into a positive.  Even delayed, angry, miserable people can laugh while shedding a tear.

hate.gif

The bottom line is that Twitter is the main place people go to talk about NJTRANSIT.  They vent, they scream, they upload, crack jokes and share information.  My suggestion is that NJTRANSIT’s handle needs to stop appearing to be a robot that has no feelings or doesn’t give a shit that we’ve been stuck for 45 minutes on a 32 minute express train due to “slippery rail conditions” when it’s 75 degrees and sunny outside.  Get someone who’s witty, pay them a decent salary and have them run that shit in a way that the commuter realizes that there’s a human being on the other end that is ON OUR SIDE … because … SPOILER … NJTRANSIT sucks and we just want to get home to our families, or in my case, put my Daughter to bed and then drag my tired, sorry ass to the gym to avoid a Dad Bod as we approach our peak summer months.

#3. YOU’LL NEVER SOLVE THE BIG PROBLEMS, SO CONCENTRATE ON THE LITTLE THINGS

We all would appreciate it if NJTRANSIT would just own their shit.  Straight up, if you guys were like “listen, we know we’re the worst, but we’re all you’ve got, you know it, we know, just give up, so let’s make the best of it“, I’d respect you all a whole lot more.  The fact is this City is old as Rose from Titanic when she threw the Heart Of The Ocean to the bottom of the Atlantic (selfish bitch, cough), so there’s no chance you’ll ever fix the trains completely, solve congestion or upgrade.  Just ain’t possible, playa! It costs too much money and there’s far too much politics involved.  We know you’ve got us by the balls because we gotta make money and that requires going to our cubicles, so let’s not play pretend.

Actually, just saying the below would go a long, long way!

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Just look for the LITTLE wins.  Don’t promise us better communication because in 2019 there’s gonna be someone that is misinformed and someone that misses their train.  There is no consoling this person.  And when I’m talking little wins, let me be more specific – A few weeks ago NJTRANSIT couldn’t open a train station because Dunkin FREAKEN Donuts was actually responsible for that task apparently.  Ummmm okay …. so when this happened the NJTRANSIT’s reaction was yet again, terrible.  You guys basically blamed coffee, which is like the last thing you’d blame for anything when talking to zombie commuters who have trouble keeping their eyes open on the train ride in.

So here’s your tip.  Instead of throwing Dunkin’ under the bus, JUST EMBRACE the circumstance!  GET F’N CREATIVE.  It’s okay to not be corporate stooges.  Work out a promotion for a free coffee with a digital copy of your train ride receipt for that day.  You see what I’m saying?  Be one with the people.  Relate to us.  You do that, and I promise you’ll be alright.

If ya don’t though, you can expect to get shelled on Twitter any time you tweet.  It’s the path you chose.  Sorry bro!

Seriously though, good luck!

Follow me on Twitter @commutesucks

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