Southeastern, the train operator that carries more than 400,000 people every day to and from Kent and East Sussex to five major London stations, has a lot of people to keep informed about its services.
Its efforts to keep customers up-to-date have been recognised with timely and accurate information have been recognised with the Customer Service Excellence award at the National Rail Awards.
The train operator joined forces with partners to develop and deploy numerous ground-breaking and industry-leading enhancements, with Worldline’s Customer Information System (CIS) driving visual displays and automated PA announcements – not only beneftting passengers but the whole rail industry.
Three new separate, but linked, information systems developed by Southeastern with its partners have included a dynamic route map showing real-time status on every route and station (developed by FabDigital); an information management system which allows much better identification of priority trains and travellers, especially during disruption, and an improved customer information system
Other improvements include more informative announcements with a personal touch, prior notice about how busy a particular train is and advertising if passenger facilities (lifts or toilets for example) are out of action.
Southeastern’s Service Quality Regime monitors the service that it provides on board its trains and stations, through a mixture of mystery shopping and auditing. These measure key aspects of facilities and customer service. The operator’s weekly audits show that four in five passengers score the operator highly for its customer service.
Steve White, Southeastern’s Managing Director said:
“Along with everyone at Southeastern I’m delighted that our teams’ efforts have been so comprehensively recognised at this year’s National Rail Awards, with no fewer than six winners. Our goal is to build a better, more reliable and sustainable railway and these awards recognise the work our team is putting into that.
“For the second time this year – the first being at the Rail Innovation Awards – our Customer Information team has been singled out for recognition with the ‘Customer Service Excellence’ Award. With our suppliers, we’re leading the field in getting good service information to customers quickly. Congratulations to John and his team.”
John Till, Southeastern’s Head of Information Delivery said:
“I’m hugely proud of the work we’ve carried out with the amazing teams at FabDigital and Worldline UK & Ireland to improve information for our customers, not just at Southeastern but for the wider industry. Between us we’ve created, developed and delivered the tools and enhancements that can now be seen across large parts of the UK rail network.
“Southeastern’s work with Worldline and FabDigital has been and continues to be, an amazing partnership demonstrating the power of effective collaboration but also focusing on the ‘brilliant basics’ - often the smallest things that can actually make the biggest difference to the passenger experience.
“Our amazing Information Delivery Team work so hard day in day out to keep passengers informed but also to find ways of doing things better - I’m honoured to work with them.”
Johnny Astbury, Worldline CEO for the UK and Ireland said:
“I’m so immensely proud of the award Southeastern received at last Thursday’s National Rail Awards, and perhaps more so pleased on the positive impact we can make to the consumer by ensuring rail is front of mind for all transport decisions.
“Working collaboratively with our colleagues at Fabrik and Southeastern we have together made a difference”.
Martine Dodwell-Bennett, FabDigital’s Divisional Director said,
"At FabDigital, we pride ourselves in working closely with industry partners, so we are particularly pleased to have been involved in this award-winning initiative with Southeastern and Worldline.
“Southeastern have rightfully been recognised as industry leaders in customer information and we look forward to continuing to work with them in making a positive difference to the passenger experience".