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The results come from the autumn 2015 survey by transport user watchdog, Transport Focus, and show overall satisfaction has increased by one per cent when compared to the 2014 results. Services had either improved or remained the same in 22 out of 37 satisfaction categories.
The independent survey, which canvassed the opinions of passengers across the rail operator’s network, showed customers recognised improvements in customer service, station cleanliness and value for money.
Customers were most satisfied with the handling of requests by station staff, which grew by eight per cent when compared to 2014, while the attitudes and helpfulness of staff grew by five per cent from the last autumn figures.
Station cleanliness and the upkeep of station building both grew by three per cent, while value for money increased by four per cent. There were also improvements in dealing with delays and seating availability.
Kathryn O’Brien, Customer Service Director at First TransPennine Express, said:
“We very pleased to see all our hard work over the past year is being noticed by our customers and reflected in our overall satisfaction rating. We have placed a huge focus on improving the customer experience over the last 12 months which includes training more than 600 front-line staff in the ‘WorldHost’ customer service training programme. This training has had a clear impact, with customers noticing the improvements in the attitudes and helpfulness of our staff. We were also the first train operating company to launch ‘Blue Assist’ this year. The initiative allows people with hidden disabilities to discreetly ask for help at our stations or on our trains.
“The customer experience is also changing at our stations with WiFi now available at 27 of our stations and improved customer information centres opened last year at Manchester Airport and Piccadilly.”
“We value the results of this survey and while it’s great to see improvements, there are still areas that we need to work on. A new rail franchise is due to begin in April that will address many of these areas. During the life of the franchise we will see an investment of more than £500 million, which will lead to a boost in capacity, 44 new state of the art trains and major station improvements. These changes, we believe, will help to improve our customers experience in the coming years.”
Passengers were interviewed between September and November 2015 and full results of Transport Focus’ autumn 2015 ‘National Rail Passenger Survey’ can be found here.