Southern Rail intern makes big impression on customers

24th Jul 2017

A 15-year-old Southern Rail work experience intern was a hit with customers recently while trying his hand as a social media manager. Eddie Smith became a viral sensation after inviting users to ask him questions over the social media platform.

Southern Rail has been under fire for over a year, as strikes continue to affect services.

But the #AskEddie question and answer session saw their account bombarded with queries from the public that ranged from career advice requests to the downright bizarre.

“Eddie! Would you rather face 1 horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses?” Adam Winstone enquired.

“100 duck-sized horses. A horse-sized duck would be pretty scary! You?” Eddie replied.

And Ellie, an intern at Compass News, wrote: “Hi Eddie, I am an intern in charge of a Twitter account and I’m trying to get the hang of it, any advice for me?”

“Hi Ellie! My advice is to be yourself and just to be positive! Good luck!” he replied.

While Eddie received plenty of plaudits, Southern Rail will probably need to do more if it is to improve its relationship with customers.

The operator is the lowest ranked organisation in the travel sector in The Institute of Customer Service’s latest Customer Satisfaction Index. It received a score of 54.9, down 12.7 points from the year before and nearly 20 points lower than the sector average.

The engagement Eddie generated does correspond with one recommendation in the report; it says that organisations should encourage and engage with customer feedback.

Elsewhere, it suggests organisations should create easy, “right first time” customer experiences, prevent problems, maintain a relentless focus on complaint handling and develop engaged, competent, emotionally intelligent people.

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