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We Are Listening: Northern invites customers to share ideas for customer service

08 December 2016
More than three quarters of Northern customers think customer service is an important part of their rail journey.

Northern, part of the Arriva group, is today launching a new programme to improve customer service by encouraging customers to share their ideas on what makes great customer service.

The programme has been launched following a new survey by Transport Focus, the independent transport user watchdog, which found that 76 per cent of Northern customers think customer service on stations and on trains is an important part of their rail journey.

Alex Hynes, Managing Director, Northern said:

“We want our customers to experience a consistently high quality service from the moment they search for a ticket, to the moment they reach their end destination. Today we are launching a new commitment to our customers; a promise that their views and insight will help us deliver a better rail service for them.

“We have begun our programme to modernise rail travel by 2020 and keeping customers involved is a vital part of this process. That is why we are asking customers to join us at one of our workshops in the New Year to tell us what great customer service means to them.”

Northern’s feedback workshops come 12 months after it was awarded the new rail franchise which serves stations across the North of England, and nine months since the rail operator launched its modernisation programme, a commitment to improving rail travel by 2020.

Customers at Manchester Victoria, Blackpool North, Hartlepool and Harrogate stations are being encouraged to record messages in a customised pop-up video booth describing their best experiences of customer service.

From today, Northern is also inviting customers to register to take part in feedback workshops, which will shape its Customer Service Promises and the customer service training provided to employees. The company is creating an online space for customers to provide ideas and insight as well as a bi-annual face-to-face panel which customers can join to provide feedback on the company’s plans.

The four workshops will be held in early 2017 in Leeds, Manchester, Preston and Newcastle. Customers can register on the Northern website northernrailway.co.uk/wearelistening to take part and will receive further information in the next few weeks.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

By 2020 everyone travelling on the Northern network will benefit from brand new or completely refurbished trains through a multi-million-pound fleet investment. All unpopular Pacer trains will be gone by the end of 2019. Northern is also improving its customer service, stations and facilities as part of this modernisation of rail travel for the region.

Customised video booths will be in Manchester Victoria, Blackpool North, Hartlepool and Harrogate stations on Thursday 8 December at the following times:

  • Blackpool North (From 7am)
  • Hartlepool (From 7am)
  • Harrogate (15.00 – 19.00)
  • Manchester Victoria (15.00 – 19.00)

Customers are being invited to use the video booths to record messages about their best experiences of customer service and what great customer service means to them.

Northern will also be handing out leaflets at the booths which explain how to register to take part in the customer feedback workshops in early 2017 in Leeds, Manchester, Preston and Newcastle.

Customers can register to take part on a dedicated webpage northernrailway.co.uk/wearelistening or by completing, tearing-off and returning the Freepost page on the leaflet.

The dedicated webpage and leaflet contain further information about how the customer feedback workshops will shape Northern’s Customer Service Promises, its customer service training for employees, and a new Digital Customer Forum and Customer Panel in 2017.

Northern has also launched a new video on northernrailway.co.uk/wearelistening about how it is listening to customers and will use customer feedback to shape its customer service offer. Further videos will be posted by Northern in the coming days from customers’ recordings in the video booths in stations on 8 December.

Transport Focus surveyed rail users via their online Transport User Panel and received responses from 936 people who had used Northern in the past 12 months. The fieldwork was conducted between 25 November and 2 December 2016. The results of the survey will be published soon.

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