Latest Rail News

14.08.12

East Coast customer service

Source: Letter from Robert Powell

Your article, ‘East Coast complaints rise by 80%’, comes as no surprise. I have had a personal experience of the ticketing problem and have seen the transition from what was an excellent customer service operation to an extremely frustrating ‘customer experience’. Note, customer experience and not customer service. This is a shame as the actual train company is excellent. The Advance ticket service offering savings is great when it works and the trains are usually on time. Coming from a service background in a different industry, I see customer experience as key in the consumer-driven market.

There is a huge disconnect between what consumers are experiencing and what is being done to resolve it to enhance the customer experience. I agree that on the most part it is down to ticketing issues, although a cultural change towards customer focus is also needed.

Experience 1: Online service when booking an Advance ticket was not possible; the system crashed leading to errors in information regarding direction of travel, time and pricing. Solution; telephoned the call centre who immediately checked the system and resolved the problem over the phone and the correct tickets were also purchased during a very friendly and helpful experience on the phone. Job done.

Experience 2: The same problem with the online system causing the same errors. This time, the telephone was answered by someone in India who, without looking into the problem immediately denied there was an issue. However, after persisting, the advisor agreed to check. Several phone calls later the tickets were put through online and hey presto, I received the wrong ones in the post. It then got even worse. I had no choice but to travel on the outbound section of the journey due to timings. I assumed that the ticket office staff would understand the problem and sort it out, oops, no they didn't. I had to pay again at an excessive rate to get back home. I eventually received a refund via a lengthy process and via an independent ombudsman who, after investigation, found and proved an error did occur with the system at the time of booking.

Bring back call centres to the UK please. It is not cost effective to outsource if everything, including customer retention is taken into account!

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Southeastern to implement smart ticketing

29/07/2015Southeastern to implement smart ticketing

Southeastern passengers in Kent and parts of East Sussex will benefit from new smart ticketing as part of a deal with the DfT. The upgrade i... more >
Transformation works begin on Victoria Line crossover

29/07/2015Transformation works begin on Victoria Line crossover

London Underground is set to renew a Victoria Line crossover between 8 and 30 August to allow for greater train frequency. From Saturday, it... more >
c2c launches redesigned trains and updated timetable

28/07/2015c2c launches redesigned trains and updated timetable

National Express operator c2c has today (28 July) debuted newly redesigned and refurbished trains for its morning services as part of a £12... more >

editor's comment

01/07/2015New Priorities

Is Sir Peter Hendy the right man to get Network Rail’s control period back where it needs to be? It was an open secret that the Department for Transport wanted new blood at the top of Network Rail, and it is hardly a surprise to see a pause in Midland Main Line electrification either – there is only so much money, only so many engineers and only so much plant to get this ‘rolling programme’ of electrification don... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News

featured articles

View all News

interviews

World-leading asset management on London Underground

01/07/2015World-leading asset management on London Underground

London Underground is only the second metro in the world to receive the new ISO 55001 accreditation endorsing its asset management systems. RTM h... more >
Caledonian sleeper: Poor performance figures and the role of new loco's

01/07/2015Caledonian sleeper: Poor performance figures and the role of new loco's

Since becoming a separate franchise, the punctuality and performance for Caledonian Sleeper have dipped substantially. But David Simpson, perform... more >
The 'British Bullet Train'

01/07/2015The 'British Bullet Train'

Hitachi used Railtex 2015 to launch the interior concept for its latest generation of ‘very high speed’ vehicles, the AT400 range. RT... more >

last word

Opening doors into the rail industry

Opening doors into the rail industry

RTM catches up with one of its former business development executives, Jonathan Berry, who is nearly a year into his management graduate scheme w... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Bombardier and Siemens ‘in talks to merge’ – WSJ

29/07/2015Bombardier and Siemens ‘in talks to merge’ – WSJ

Bombardier and German engineering group Siemens are allegedly in talks to combine their rail businesses, according to the Wall Street Journal. ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

Web call out 1

rail industry events

Fifth international rail human factors conference

14 Sep 2015

The Fifth International Rail Human Factors Conference will be held in London on the 14th to 17t...

read more >

ASPECT 2015

15 Sep 2015

ASPECT 2015 is an international conference covering all aspects of railway signalling, control ...

read more >

The RBF National Annual Dinner 2015

02 Oct 2015

The RBF are delighted to be hosting once again a night of celebration, entertainment, dancing a...

read more >

Elmia Nordic Rail 2015

06 Oct 2015

Nordic Rail is the only dedicated railway exhibition in Scandinavia. It's a fair for companies,...

read more >

Dinner at the Roundhouse

15 Oct 2015

Having just celebrated its fourth year, Dinner at the Roundhouse is well-established as th...

read more >
view all events

back

July 2015

forward
mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
29 30 1

Next Generation Rail: Knowledge without Borders

01/07/2015 - 03/07/2015

RRUKA, in collaboration with Young Railway Professionals (YRP) and RSSB’s FutureRailway programme, is organising the 3rd edition of the Next Generation Rail Conference.

2

Next Generation Rail: Knowledge without Borders

01/07/2015 - 03/07/2015

RRUKA, in collaboration with Young Railway Professionals (YRP) and RSSB’s FutureRailway programme, is organising the 3rd edition of the Next Generation Rail Conference.

3

Next Generation Rail: Knowledge without Borders

01/07/2015 - 03/07/2015

RRUKA, in collaboration with Young Railway Professionals (YRP) and RSSB’s FutureRailway programme, is organising the 3rd edition of the Next Generation Rail Conference.

4 5
6 7 8

UK Rail Station Regeneration and Development

08/07/2015

Investment in railway stations to improve connectivity can be an economic catalyst for unlocking new jobs, housing, and attracting inward investment. This is all in addition to delivering necessary improvements to meet passengers’ expectations and demand.

9 10 11 12
13 14 15

RailNewcastle Conference 2015

15/07/2015 - 17/07/2015

This rail-focused international conference offers opportunities for Scholars, Bachelor, Master, PhD Students, Early Career Researchers and Professionals involved in rail-related research projects and courses.

16

RailNewcastle Conference 2015

15/07/2015 - 17/07/2015

This rail-focused international conference offers opportunities for Scholars, Bachelor, Master, PhD Students, Early Career Researchers and Professionals involved in rail-related research projects and courses.

17

RailNewcastle Conference 2015

15/07/2015 - 17/07/2015

This rail-focused international conference offers opportunities for Scholars, Bachelor, Master, PhD Students, Early Career Researchers and Professionals involved in rail-related research projects and courses.

18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9

comment

Managing fatigue

01/07/2015Managing fatigue

In his second article on fatigue for RTM, Chris Langer, human factors advisor at CIRAS, the Confidential Incident Reporting & Analysis System... more >
Why rail companies may be ignoring the benefits of SMEs

01/07/2015Why rail companies may be ignoring the benefits of SMEs

Suzanne O’Keane, rail and transport community manager at Achilles, examines why rail companies may be reluctant to increase the number of s... more >
Meeting the land referencing challenge of HS2

01/07/2015Meeting the land referencing challenge of HS2

Before the first construction work starts, let alone the first train runs, a phenomenal amount of work is required to ensure the development of a... more >
Are we looking at a new age of elegant, visually appealing rail buildings and trackside structures?

01/07/2015Are we looking at a new age of elegant, visually appealing rail buildings and trackside structures?

The new roof structure at Manchester Victoria station is a fantastic example of what is possible with modern steel manufacturing techniques; it j... more >