Companies cheer up strike-hit commuters with free services

9th Jan 2017

A gesture of goodwill can go a long way – and it’s a gesture that two major businesses made to customers in response to this Monday’s Tube strike across the London Underground. 

Fitness First declared it would throw its doors open to all Londoners throughout the day, giving them free access to shower and gym facilities across its 47 gyms across the capital when they showed their Oyster card. The health and fitness group ran a similar offer around a number of Tube strikes in summer 2015. 

Not to be outdone, Halfords offered free bike checks at its shops throughout the capital to any commuters switching to two wheels because of the strike. The bicycle retailer said its staff would check brakes, gears, wheels, tyres and chains and offer expert advice on bike maintenance and cycling.

It’s too early to tell whether these promotions will help the two businesses attract more customers, but it’s unlikely their efforts to provide a silver lining on an otherwise cloudy day for London’s commuters will have done them any harm. Neither will the publicity they’ve received.

The Institute of Customer Service’s latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index suggests that organisations need to excel in creating trusted relationships with an emotional connection, empathy and advice – qualities that, between them, Fitness First and Halfords have tried to showcase to customers this week.

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