Rail passengers may have noticed extra staff in hi vis pink vests at stations during disruption – they are part of a scheme from Greater Anglia to provide extra help to customers caught up in delays.
During peak-time disruption, crowded platforms and the high demand for advice and information can mean it’s much harder to talk to a member of staff, making a difficult situation worse for passengers who can feel there is no-one available to help them or tell them what’s happening.
Greater Anglia has formed a new Customer Action Team of over 170 ‘on call’ staff (knowns as CATs) who will make a beeline for their nearest stations during disruption.
Staff from across the business – including Managing Director, Jamie Burles – are ready and waiting between 0700 and 1900 Mondays to Fridays to respond to calls for help and will assist customers and support station staff when platforms become very busy due to disruption.
They provide additional support by helping with customer communication; handing out Delay Repay forms or bottled water; helping to co-ordinate the bus replacement service; organising taxis and manning information desks, freeing up platform and station staff to answer passenger queries and offer assistance.
The teams cover the busiest stations on the network – Cambridge, Chelmsford, Colchester, Ipswich, Liverpool Street, Norwich Stratford and Tottenham Hale.
As a result, the train operator has already seen its score for ‘availability of staff at stations’ rise to 4% above the target set by the Department for Transport. The most recent National Rail Passenger Survey score for customer satisfaction was also up by 13% to its highest ever level.
Greater Anglia’s Managing Director, Jamie Burles, said, “When things go wrong, we want to do more for passengers to minimise the problems they face and having extra people available to help can make all the difference. We know that one of the biggest complaints during disruption is a lack of information so we have formed the CATs team to address this issue as part of our commitment to continually improving customer service.”