Fixing the Trains: New approach to customer service

Rail station staff will be expected to spend more time helping customers, manage minor incidents and have a more professional approach to their job under cultural changes now underway in NSW.

More than 1800 rail staff are undergoing customer service training and modern, new uniforms will be introduced for customer-facing staff so they are easily recognised by people needing assistance.

Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian today unveiled the new uniforms for Sydney Trains staff and a new brand as the NSW Government prepares for the start on July 1 of Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink, the two new rail operators tasked with bringing in a new era of customer service for commuters. NSW TrainLink uniforms will be unveiled in coming weeks.

“This is the beginning of a new era where sitting in an office on the station all day is out, and helping the customer and being proud of working on the railways is in,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Changing culture in a large organisation is a huge task and will take time to achieve, but I’m pleased that staff undertaking the training are embracing the opportunity to learn how to make travel better for customers.

“Staff are coming away from the new training feeling inspired to work for new organisations where customer service comes first.”

For the first time staff performance will be judged on customer service responsibilities to reflect the renewed focus on the customer.

“We want to see our front line staff assisting customers on platforms, providing information, dealing with minor incidents and ensuring the amount of time trains wait at stations is properly managed,” Ms Berejiklian said.

To reflect the renewed focus on the customer staff will be given new uniforms and some staff at stations will be provided with hand held devices to be able to access real time train information about services and incidents to help customers.

There will also be a new transport brand introduced to make all public transport information simpler and stations, bus stops, wharves and light rail stops more easily recognisable for commuters and tourists.

TransportNSW, Sydney Trains, NSW Trainlink, Buses, Ferries and Light Rail logos

“When customers use public transport today they’re bombarded with hundreds of competing logos, thousands of posters, multiple websites and around 800 different brochures – we need to simplify this to improve the customer experience,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Unlike other global cities like London and Paris, we have never had one integrated and recognisable brand for transport.

“When you go to London and see the round symbol you know there is public transport nearby, whether it is the underground or a bus or other mode – it’s an integrated system that works well.”

The new brand, known as ‘The Hop’, provides an overarching integrated brand for public transport services and includes all modes - buses, trains, ferries and light rail – which will each be a separate colour.

The brand will be rolled out progressively across the network, starting with the new uniforms for Sydney Trains customer-facing staff.

Rail staff will have their current uniforms replaced progressively during the transition to the new organisations and the cost for supplying the new uniforms will be less than current uniforms.

“The new uniform will be easily seen by customers, looks modern and is also a better deal for taxpayers than the current one,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Staff wearing Sydney Trains uniforms

18 April 2013
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