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Customer satisfaction with train services on the East Midlands Trains network stands at 87% according to the latest data issued today (25 June 2014) by independent watchdog Passenger Focus.
Satisfaction was up or remained stable across 32 of the 37 categories, with significant increases in the helpfulness of East Midlands Trains staff and in facilities at stations, representing the major investment made in this area.
Over the past year, East Midlands Trains has invested over £1.5 million in delivering new and improved facilities at 23 different stations as part of its continuing wider £10 million station improvement scheme. This has resulted in a wide range of benefits for passengers including around 800 additional cycle spaces, better waiting facilities, new seating and refurbished toilets. Satisfaction with the provision of station shelters, availability of station seating and personal security whilst using the station all increased by 6% year on year. This reflects the positive impact of this major investment and the work East Midlands Trains has done in responding to customer needs.
East Midlands Trains staff were also rated very highly, with a very significant 91% of passengers interviewed saying they were satisfied with the way their request was handled, marking a 6% year on year increase. Some 82% of people also said they were satisfied with the attitude and helpfulness of staff, marking a 4% year on year increase. Over the past six months, East Midlands Trains has become the first train company in the UK to launch a 24-hour, 7 day a week customer contact centre for passengers. In addition, over 300 employees have received tailored customer service training as part of the company’s drive to improve the service offered to customers.
Neil Micklethwaite, Customer Service & Commercial Director for East Midlands Trains, said: “It’s great to see that our continued investment in customer service training and improved facilities is delivering real results for our customers.
“Major investment has been made to improve every area of our business, and the survey reflects that and the hard work and effort of our employees in delivering significantly improved customer service. We know that our people make a real difference in providing a high quality experience for our passengers and it’s good to see this recognised in the latest results.
“We are continuing to improve the service we offer to customers, and over the coming year we’ll be making further improvements at our stations with the completion of major investment works at Nottingham, the opening of three major new cycle hubs and further station accessibility enhancements our customers can look forward to.
“We’re confident that the completion of these schemes, as well as our continued investment in training and improved processes, will help drive up customer satisfaction even further.”
The Spring 2014 survey was carried out between 2 February and 13 April 2014. During the period, the UK was hit by some of the wettest weather in around 250 years. Whilst many East Midlands Trains services continued to run as normal, a major landslide between Chesterfield and Sheffield had an impact on services during late February/early March.
Mr Micklethwaite added: “February and March was a challenging time for passengers and train operators across the whole of the UK rail network, which at times was affected by severe flooding. We were pleased that despite the extreme weather, we carried on running a reliable train service for our customers.
“It’s great news that passenger satisfaction with our services remains so high, and is rated higher than the average for the long distance train sector and we look forward to making further improvements over the coming months.”
This latest result means that satisfaction amongst East Midlands Trains’ passengers is 1% higher than the average for other long distance train operators.
For further information about the National Passenger Survey, visit passengerfocus.org.uk.