15th Jun 2017
Reacting to news that the rate of passenger rail complaints increased by 7.5% in 2016-2017, Jo Causon, CEO of The Institute of Customer Service, says that “underlying problems remain and unless they are properly analysed and dealt with at source the landscape will become increasingly critical, with loyalty becoming more conditional."
Causon says: "Recent figures from the ORR demonstrate that the number of rail complaints has risen. Customers are becoming increasingly savvy and willing to voice their frustrations, and with one in five now using social media as a complaints platform, it is clear that online forums cannot be ignored as a key channel for feedback.
"Rail companies have substantial challenges ahead if they are to maintain customer satisfaction as customer expectations intensify over the coming years. Our research shows that complaint handling may have improved in some areas, but the underlying problems remain. Unless they are properly analysed and dealt with at source the landscape will become increasingly critical, with loyalty becoming more conditional.
"The industry must take two key steps: recognise social media as a valuable channel for customer feedback, and invest in its staff. Clearly a major factor of rail customer satisfaction is service reliability, but our research identifies staff attitude and behaviour as essential drivers too. Customers are more concerned today about staff attitudes and behaviour than they were even five years ago and developing these skills is an essential part of improving customer service. Through investing in staff and listening to its customers, the industry will continue to deliver on customer satisfaction."