Friday, June 3, 2016
2:00 - 2:20 PM
Ted Talks - Marquette

Next Stop: Data-Driven Customer Service!

Any brand’s growth is dependent on its ability to adapt to changing customer needs. As new business challenges emerged for the Toronto Transit Commission, so too did their need to understand the nuances of the customer experience in ways that traditional market research methodologies could not measure efficiently.  To meet this challenge, the TTC and Environics Research have adopted a series of innovative methodologies that solve real business problems. We have leveraged a range of new technologies – from social and mobile to video and geo-fencing – to speak to the right customers and uncover the data needed keep public transit moving and TTC customers satisfied.

This new philosophy has paid dividends for the TTC as they seek to change perceptions of the service they provide. The ability to capture in-the-moment reactions to new service vehicles or hyper target customers who ride routes where new service standards are being piloted, provides the TTC with actionable feedback on audiences that we’re not otherwise able to reach. Thanks to a new-found agility, the TTC now has a better read on the issues that matter most to their customers and input as to whether the changes we’re making are impacting their daily experience.

Interest Statement:
Research practitioners are well aware that their industry is changing. However, there is a lack of real, practical examples of how research innovation can be implemented alongside tried and true research methods. Those interested in a first-hand account of how the TTC (an organization and industry which are also undergoing a radical transformation of their own) is adapting to catch up to the rapidly changing pace of business will be interested in this session. 

In this presentation we will discuss how the TTC’s customer-centric philosophy is driving their needs to collect data in new in exciting ways. We’ll illustrate how a traditional tracking study evolved into a series of agile research activities that gave the TTC actionable insights that they could implement quickly. Our efforts are part of the modernization of the TTC, and reflect the growing amount of data available to businesses trying to tailor services to their customers.

We’ll demonstrate how we’ve merged social data with telephone surveys, captured video feedback from real customers, and used open-data to find robust samples of the smallest subsets of the TTC customer population to answer emerging business questions.  In doing so, we’ll share examples of how the TTC has leveraged the insights from this agile approach to better understand customer pain-points and fine tune the nuances of the customer experience; whether than means reducing the number of times a streetcar short-turns on a given route, or altering the schedule by which announcements are heard on the public address system.  In the end, we’ll illustrate how all of these elements come together to drive a customer development strategy that is actionable and accountable.

This story should inspire research suppliers and buyers to think about their approach to business problems differently.  Armed with an introduction and a case study, they should feel comfortable experimenting with innovative methodologies themselves and be able to more confidently discuss the implications for their own business.

As a result of this session, participants will …

  1. Walk away with a detailed understanding how emerging and traditional research methods can complement one another.
    • Not all methodologies are created equal – we’ll demonstrate how our use of “NewMR” tends to compensate the disadvantages and shortfalls of traditional market research
  2. Better understand where the greatest opportunities for methodological innovation exist.
    • We will discuss the need to balance methodological rigor with practical limitations at is relates to client needs and demonstrate that, in the proper context, a little bit of data can drive big decisions.
  3. Understand how Canada’s largest public transit provider can leverage agile insights to incrementally improve customer service.
    • We’ll demonstrate how the TTC considers customer satisfaction and value for money as two sides of the same coin. Meaning that a granular understanding of what it takes to improve one dimension, can lead to positive net benefits in the other.

John Crockett, CMRP
Vice President – Digital Innovation & Data Management, Environics

As the Vice President – Digital Innovation & Data Management at Environics, Mr. Crockett works with clients who are seeking answers to complex business problems which often require leveraging both primary survey research and broader market intelligence. He leads the development and advancement of digital research services including social media monitoring, mobile research and text analytics.

Since joining Environics in 2007, John has held positions on our Financial Services, Research Operations and Technology & Telecommunications teams. He has a diverse portfolio of consulting experience ranging from customer satisfaction studies, brand equity measurement, and marketing/communications planning in both B2C and B2B scenarios as well as extensive experience working with industry associations attempting to better understand their value proposition to their membership


Viktoriya Artemyeva
Manager – Research, Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)

Viktoriya Artemyeva is Manager of Research at the Toronto Transit Commission where she provides insight and recommendations from research and analytics to guide business planning and decision making. Viktoriya previously worked as a Research Consultant at Aviva Canada. She holds an MBA from Marshall University and a BBA from West Virginia University.