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Face-to-Face:  An Interview with Cris Sanders, SRTA’s Director of Tolling Operations

Posted Oct 08, 2015 by Cris Sanders, Director of Tolling Operations
Cris Sanders

We recently sat down with State Road and Tollway Authority’s newly appointed Director of Tolling Operations, Cris Sanders, to pick her brain about her main duties, how the tolling industry has changed, and why customer service is important.  Here’s what she had to say:

How long have you worked at State Road and Tollway Authority?
My career at State Road and Tollway Authority began in 1996 as a temporary employee.  Since then, my career has evolved, and I fell in love with tolling.   I’ve seen monumental things happen here in Georgia, from the demolition of the Georgia 400 toll booths, to electronic tolling emerging here with the I-85 Express Lanes and the upcoming toll lanes.    

What does your role of Director of Tolling Operations entail?
As the Director of Tolling Operations, I manage the Operations Unit at SRTA, and I still oversee the Peach Pass Customer Service Center (CSC).  A typical day for me begins with checking the CSC statistics where we measure our daily key performance indicators.  Since a large portion of what we do is customer-facing, I check our staffing levels to ensure the CSC is ready to take on the day.  My schedule is usually project-driven, and I’m currently overseeing three new SRTA projects. Some of my main duties consist of oversight of new and existing toll projects, attending meetings as the subject matter expert on tolling, and managing the customer experience with Peach Pass.  My main priority is ensuring that customers are getting a reliable trip for what they pay for on the Express Lanes.

How do you make sure that your staff is best in class?
My team consists of the Operations and Customer Service Units, totaling 50 employees. On average, we handle about 600 calls from customers per day.  I believe that education and training leads to efficiency, therefore, my entire staff is trained in Tolling 101 (so they’ll know about the tolling industry), the history of SRTA, the art of exceptional customer service, and training for business operations.  My goal for our customer service representatives is to address and resolve customer’s concerns and issues with only one call so that after the customer is satisfied, the call is closed-out without taking up too much time out of their day.

What do you love most about your job?
I am a self-proclaimed “tolling geek”.  I absolutely love my job and the people I work with every day.  However, the advances that we are making in tolling technology make me more excited about what is yet to come in the industry. People expect higher customer service levels, especially from government agencies. As such, we’ve always listened to the voice of the Peach Pass customer, and more importantly, we respond to them.

What do you want Peach Pass customers to know?
We appreciate each and every one of our customers, and we’re here to deliver exceptional customer service.  Whether you’re heading to work, home, school, soccer practice, or a music concert, the Express Lanes are here to provide a more reliable trip. It’s all about education and learning about the Express Lanes to understand the many benefits of tolling.  If you have questions or concerns, or if you just want to understand how the Express Lanes work, we can provide you with that information.  Just give us a call, we’re here to help!

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