Customer service specialist is in demand

AN Ipswich-based company specialising in helping firms improve their customer services and productivity has been called in to help two new national rail franchises with service quality.

AN Ipswich-based company specialising in helping firms improve their customer services and productivity has been called in to help two new national rail franchises with service quality.

Customer Innovation Ltd (CIL), which was set up last year by ex-One railway bosses Andrew Macpherson, Tim Clarke and Nick Wilson, is mobilising the service quality regime for the London Overground and Cross Country franchises after helping put together winning bids.

The two franchises both came into operation on November 11. Mr Wilson has been supporting the IT roll out at London Overground, while Mr MacPherson is responsible for getting the service quality regime up and running.

Meanwhile, Mr Clarke supported Eurostar with their preparations in advance of the opening of the new St Pancras station in London.

“We have all been pretty busy,” said Mr Clarke. “From a start-up we are doing very well for the first year. It's a good year's activities.”

Mr MacPherson said that the London Overground had already “started to look like a different rail company”.

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“They have got a very draconian performance regime in place,” he said. “It's been pretty challenging, but they have done a good job.”

Mr MacPherson said as Cross Country linked into many of the major rail services, he had been travelling the length and breadth of the country.

“So far as the rail industry is concerned, we have always been passionate to achieve a shift and we have certainly made our mark on the industry,” he said.

“Ongoing, we continue to support the new franchise mobilisation, with the construction of new service quality databases for both London Overground and Cross Country by our IT team Glyn Jones and Maria Ward, a new award scheme for London Overground employees, plus expansion of CIL 'Lingubots' (virtual assistants) for National Rail Enquiries and the Society of Consumer Affairs in Europe,” said Mr MacPherson.

The CIL team is now eight-strong, including two part-timers, he said.

“I think we have done well,” he said. “As always, we would have liked to have done better. It's no good being in the business of continuous improvement if you don't subscribe to continuous improvement yourselves.”