Sussex train company’s delight at customer satisfaction report

Rail services were delayed this morning due to a man trespassing on the line
Rail services were delayed this morning due to a man trespassing on the line
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A train company in Sussex says it has seen a rise in its overall customer satisfaction figures over the last six months.

Southeastern said three quarters of passengers using its trains said they were satisfied with the company’s service over the same time period.

The firm said the latest independent National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) published on Thursday (June 25) showed Southeastern’s overall customer satisfaction rating was 75 per cent.

This is a three per cent increase on the results for the same period last year and one point up on the results released in January, Southeastern added.

The company said within the survey, 75 per cent of customers said they were satisfied with the attitude and helpfulness of staff at stations, an eight per cent increase on the previous period.

There has been a significant increase in the numbers of passengers who say they are satisfied with their stations, Southeastern said, with a rise from 73 to 77 per cent.

The company said it is currently investing £4.8m in cleaning and improving 166 stations on its network.

Other areas where customer satisfaction has increased in regards to Southeastern’s stations include ticket buying facilities, personal security at stations and the choice of shops, eating and drinking facilities available, the train company said.

In regards to trains, the number of passengers who said they were satisfied with their punctuality and reliability now stood at 73 per cent, a five point increase on the previous period, Southeastern added.

The train company said there were areas that have seen decreases within the NRPS, including customer satisfaction with connections to other train services and the frequency of trains on the Metro line.

However, Southeastern said the survey follows the need to make timetable changes for the London Bridge rebuild.

It added that it recently introduced a 24/7 Twitter service, meaning passengers can talk to Southeastern employees based in a control centre in real time to find out information about the service they are on.

Southeastern added it is also rolling out new technology for front-line staff on platforms and conductors on trains, allowing them to access accurate information about train services quickly and convey this to passengers.

David Statham, managing director for Southeastern, said: “The NRPS figures show we are bucking the trend as we are one of only three train companies in London and the South East to see a rise in its overall customer satisfaction levels.

“It is good to see that passengers are noticing the improvements we have already put in place such as improving the way we provide information to passengers, the cleanliness of stations and trains and timetable changes that have increased our punctuality. These are helping to increase our customer satisfaction survey scores.

“However, we realise there are still a number of areas where we can improve and we will be bringing forward many more initiatives over the coming months to achieve this.

“This includes rolling out tablets to frontline employees at stations and on trains to improve our ability to give instant information to passengers. We are also embarking on a major refit and refresh of one third of our train fleet to provide a significantly brighter, more comfortable environment.”

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