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Thursday, June 13, 2024

London Midland wins National Rail award for use of social media

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London Midland’s innovative use of social media channel Twitter to communicate with customers has won the ‘Putting Passengers First’ category at the 2011 National Rail Awards. The award is sponsored by Passenger Focus.

The Putting Passengers First award recognises flexibility, responsibility and quality of delivery of world-class customer service and promoting the achievement of outstanding service, whereby an organisation has set a new standard to deliver customer satisfaction.

Since launching in April 2010, @londonmidland has sent around 23,000 individual messages. It now has more than 8,000 ‘followers’.

London Midland’s use of Twitter has ‘set new customer service standards that could easily be rolled out across the whole of the rail industry’.

Twitter allows customers to identify problems faster than ever before, and without contacting London Midland’s customer relations team. Sometimes these might be minor irritations, which might otherwise not be raised with the company.

The result is that ‘real relationships are being built through two-way communication with customers’ who would seldom otherwise make contact.

Twitter has ‘really shown its worth during times of disruption, when London Midland has been able to make sure that passengers have frequent service updates’.

Passengers can be kept up to date wherever they are. The company now plans to develop this interactive relationship further, and ‘looks forward to a time when customers will no longer expect to have to visit a website for information’.

Alex Hynes, Commercial Director at London Midland, said:

“We are very proud of this award and of the positive comments that people have made about our Twitter feed, particularly in terms of setting the bar for the rest of the industry.

“We are passionate about improving customer service and our success is based on the simple notion that we find out what people want to know before they contact us, and go to them with the information first.

“Customers can rest secure in the knowledge that we can be with them from before they leave home in the morning until they get back at night.”

The award Judges said: “This personalised, friendly service should be well resourced and spread across the whole rail industry. National Passenger Survey scores have gone up – great!”

Passenger Focus Chief Executive Anthony Smith said:

“Congratulations to London Midland for winning last night’s National Rail Awards Passenger Focus sponsored Putting Passengers First category.

“How disruption is dealt with is a key issue for passengers. London Midland’s pioneering and in-depth use of Twitter has paved the way to much better communication. Cutting through industry jargon the simple, clear, personal messages give passengers just what they want. It will be really interesting to see how this service develops – this really does put passengers first.”

The feedback and insight from customers via Twitter is also helping the company to develop its other channels of communication, including the way it communicates with its onboard team and the way it enhances its passenger communications via an iPhone app, for example.

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