SouthEastern Railways – Take a bow!

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Made it to office. Only 67minutes to cover 8 miles. Well done to all who also have beaten @NRE_Southeastrn today. Let’s do it again later
1 hour ago

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Made it to Lewisham. I’d just like to thank my Mum and Dad for always being there, @CurrentMrsF for the marmite toast and my woolly hat
2 hours ago

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Here’s my latest theory (train not moved btw). Countries where alcohol is very expensive (Nordics) dont suffer train problems in winter.
2 hours ago

theballisround Stuart Fuller
On Monday I will be in Sweden. Forecast is minus 15. I will miss this 2 way banter with the train company as a snow flake disrupts UK trains
2 hours ago

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Starting a campaign to get @NRE_Southeastrn nomination for “best use of social media as a communication strategy” join me by #ff ing them
2 hours ago

theballisround Stuart Fuller
#ff @NRE_Southeastrn for the most useless use of Twitter by a public service organisation.They think its for 1 way communication only. Bless
2 hours ago

theballisround Stuart Fuller
On a train! But we are stuck mid station due to a “problem ahead”. Why not employ fortune tellers? .
2 hours ago

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Good to see staff at station have used free time when services have been reduced to clear platforms and make them safe.NOT @NRE_Southeastrn
2 hours ago

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Indicator boards at station “there is a limited service due to adverse weather” No shit! What about actually saying when next train is due?
2 hours ago

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Ok – I am now going to attempt to get a @NRE_Southeastrn train. I expect a world of pain,confusion,coldness but few trains
3 hours ago

theballisround Stuart Fuller
@NRE_Southeastrn being ridiculed again on Sky News at the moment for lack of information for waiting passengers at stations.
3 hours ago

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Dear @NRE_Southeastrn I have a meeting in London Bridge at 11.30am. Please tell me what time I need to be at New Eltham. Truthfully
14 hours ago

theballisround Stuart Fuller
So @NRE_Southeastrn now your communication is a matter of Government debate are you actually going to start manning stations? Giving info?

theballisround Stuart Fuller
@NRE_Southeastrn “We’re always happy to discuss our service with stakeholders & explain in detail what weve been doing & why” I’m all ears
19 hours ago

theballisround Stuart Fuller
@NRE_Southeastrn spokesman today on lack of info “in rapidly changing environment there have been times that this hasnt been possible.”..
19 hours ago

theballisround Stuart Fuller
@NRE_Southeastrn lack of customer information has been slammed today in House of Commons by Eltham MP Clive Efford
19 hours ago

theballisround Stuart Fuller
I have done a @NRE_Southeastrn today and stayed at home. Admitted defeat but at least I do not have to pay them for waiting for a train
23 hours ago

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Good to see @NRE_Southeastrn being absolutely pasted on @skynews at the moment for their failure to keep passengers informed at stations
2 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
BTW don’t bother calling the rail update line unless you have a spare few hours. And you are charged at least 1p per minute for privilage
2 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Just heard a train go past! first one of the morning. Looks like @NRE_Southeastrn “we make it up as we go along” timetable is working
2 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Brilliant news story on Sky now about lack of help for passengers @NRE_Southeastrn station trying to use the platform info system
2 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Glad I chose not to head up to Oslo today. Gatwick and Oslo closed. Airlines providing sms updates to passengers – now there is a revelation
2 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
A note that says “major disruption” on train services is fine but it would be nice to say when a train may be due
2 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
good morning @NRE_Southeastrn. Before I go and waste a few hours of my life can you tell me if you are bothering to try to run trains today?
2 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
@NRE_Southeastrn announce an “amended contingency timetable” for tomorrow. Why bother? We all know that within 5mins all trains will stop
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
@NRE_Southeastrn What about the London Charing X to Dartford services – they are not on your list? Are you simply admitting defeat again?

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Staff been busy at work clearing the platforms at Elmstead Woods station…top work @NRE_Southeastrn http://yfrog.com/nb8bs0j
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart FullerCharing Cross rush hour this evening. Lots of information there then from
@NRE_Southeastrn. Thanks! http://yfrog.com/1nsrf0j
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
I got home! Walk only took 90minutes…looks like tomorrow is going to be even worse. Another day off for @NRE_Southeastrn staff then
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart FullerArrived at Elmstead Woods. Snow still piled up on platform so good to see the @NRE_Southeastrn staff have worked hard today!
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
More good news from @NRE_Southeastrn! Todays “contingency timetable” didn’t work so tomorrow its a “to be advised” one. Can’t wait for that
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Just got a seat on the train. So a 60p saving and a seat for a 3 mile walk home. Will tell everyone else on my line..oh I can’t its f@cked
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Norwegian Air just emailed to say flight tomorrow is cancelled, offered refund plus bonus points. Proper customer service
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
I am sure that Alanis Morrisette would find it ironic that no matter how bad @NRE_Southeastrn treat its customers 2moro we will back 4 more
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Have to get a train on different line then walk 3 miles.Good news the fare is 60p cheaper! Thanks @NRE_Southeastrn for thinking of my pocket
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
“Severely limited” in @NRE_Southeastrn speak means “no trains”. Abandoning passengers for 2nd night in a row – bravo. You are a credit to UK
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
No trains running to Dartford. Tonight they haven’t even bothered to anything on the indicator boards at Charing X @NRE_Southeastrn
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
I am about to enter Charing Cross to try and get home. In the words of a true English hero and martyr “I may be some time”
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Hello Charing Cross. Remember me from last night? some people are on the platforms, they think its a train home..it is now!
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Train passed through Lewisham. Its never looked so beautiful. Bet no one ever thought Lewisham and Beautiful could be put in same sentence
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
I’m on a train, I’m on a train. You’re not, you’re not! No idea where its going but it was pointing in right direction
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Apparently train due in 3mins!!!
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Someone just sneezed in the “closed” station office. Cowardly @NRE_Southeastrn staff will not face public..that is a new low. Shameful
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Getting a train into London today via @NRE_Southeastrn is as likely as Spector scoring for West Ham or us beating anyone 4-0 again
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
When this is all over we can sit back and laugh about it & have a friendly chat with @NRE_Southeastrn who will shower us with gifts.Probably
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Thought while I was waiting I would top up Oyster. But ticket machine has been removed. Assume this is due to adverse weather conditions too
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Apparently @NRE_Southeastrn “contingency” timetable is 4 trains an hour. In last hour there has been 1.Suggest “lucky dip” timetable instead
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Good news! Public safety announcement at station that the platforms “may be slippery due to adverse weather conditions”..train news anyone?
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
A train has just left Dartford on its way to us. Found out by ringing Dartford station. Modern day comms brought to you by @NRE_Southeastrn
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Passengers having a sing song in station waiting room but we have to be loud – train information from @NRE_Southeastrn is deafening as usual
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
A train! A train! A train has arrived..but its going Dartford bound and no one in their right mind wants to go that way today
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
At the station. No trains for past hour. No staff here. Emergency timetable running but no one knows where or what it is. @NRE_Southeastrn
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Right. Off to the station part 3 to see if SouthEastern’s trains are running on Contingency, Emergency or Emergency Contingency timetable
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
I wouldn’t mind if SouthEastern came out and said “trains are screwed, our drivers/staff cannot get in to run services”…but they don’t…
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Waited 37 minutes for “contingency train” to turn up…nothing arrived. Going to the pub…sorry cafe for breakfast.
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
“Putting in place a Contingency Timetable means Southeastern can focus resources on running fewer trains offering a reliable service.” tosh
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
SouthEastern trains are running an emergency timetable which basically means if and when a train turns up then it is on time..none so far
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Its nearly that time…time to throw myself on the mercy of SouthEastern to try and get me to work. After last night’s exploits I doubt it
1 Dec

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Just read a note from ATOC saying 73% of trains ran on time in rush hour today..Where from? certainly not in London…more like 3%
30 Nov

theballisround Stuart Fuller
@Richmond_Red I kept expecting one of those T-Mobile ads to start at any moment at Charing X
30 Nov

theballisround Stuart Fuller
@CurrentMrsF said she never doubted the fact I was delayed & not at football. 10p to Littlest Fuller suggests comments earlier to contrary
30 Nov

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Thanks to my fellow commuters for keeping the Dunkirk spirit going…Loved the man reading out stories from “Chat” and “OK” to amuse us
30 Nov

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Got home at last! Nobody at station had bothered clearing or gritting the steps, of course because they went home at 1pm.
30 Nov

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Only 1 stop from home now. Only been 2hrs 41mins since my original train was due to leave London on a 21minute journey
30 Nov

theballisround Stuart Fuller
My sanity has been saved to a point by finishing off @realpaulbrown‘s excellent Unofficial Football World Champions book – top notch read!
30 Nov

theballisround Stuart Fuller
..Would struggle to screw the trains up any further. But with them in charge we would all expect the bullshit excuses of performance failure
30 Nov

theballisround Stuart Fuller
@CurrentMrsF I may be late for tea. I am not at the football. 20,000 commuters at Charing X can vouch for me altho Sullivan and Gold..
30 Nov

theballisround Stuart Fuller
I’ve written to Panorama and suggest they do a ground breaking expose on train companies not running services in the snow. Original idea!
30 Nov

theballisround Stuart Fuller
A “Revenue Protection Officer” tried to check tickets in our carriage. “You don’t have a valid ticket”..oh how we laughed
30 Nov

janineself Janine Self
by theballisround
May I suggest following @theballisround NOW simply for his fabulous running commentary from Charing Cross station?#comicgenius
30 Nov

lugepravda Luge Pravda
by theballisround
@theballisround how long have you been in Charing Cross? As long as it has taken me to fly over Colorado into Arizona, that’s how long!
30 Nov

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Welcome to the 41 new followers I have gained in past hour. I don’t normally rant about SouthEastern so much, but today THEY ARE USELESS TWA
30 Nov

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Don’t forget to touch in/out SouthEastern tell us. You mean you expect us to pay for this? Sadomasochists aren’t this cruel to their clients
30 Nov

theballisround Stuart Fuller
On a train that’s moving! Well it moved onto bridge so we could get a nice view of the London Eye. Was boring looking at Carphone Warehouse
30 Nov

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Its all a big joke after all. Delays are now due to a. A failed train b. A tree on line and c. A fatality..snow is just coincidence!
30 Nov

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Hahaha – plan foiled. Commuters from Lon Bridge get trains to Charing x thinking they will get a seat going back! But destination changed!
30 Nov

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Splinter group of commuters just headed from my platform to another. Where did they get the inside line from? Good to know CCTV still on
30 Nov

theballisround Stuart Fuller
SouthEastern f’ck up No. 17 tonite. A train that was due to leave 25mins ago, and cancelled 15mins ago is now due to arrive shortly
30 Nov

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Adverse weather conditions have caused or 12 coach train to arrive as a 6 coach one according to the announcer at Charing X. If anyone sees
30 Nov

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Good news! After cancelling the last 6 trains (or them simply disappearing off the board) SouthEastern have said the next one is 4 carriages
30 Nov

theballisround Stuart Fuller
I may Tweet about something else apart from crap British train/plane companies who cannot cope with snow IF I eventually get home.
30 Nov

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Anyone trying to get to anywhere from Charing X on SouthEastern…forget it. Station closed due to overcrowding, due to no trains running
30 Nov

theballisround Stuart Fuller
Would like to thank SouthEastern for announcements about no smoking and CCTV in operation at Charing X. That’s what we all want to here
30 Nov

 

Customer Experience the T-Mobile way

I am a high net worth customer with T-Mobile – not me bragging but them telling me themselves.  I have been with them for 10 years, have two phones and mobile broadband with them and spend in excess of £2,000 per annum.

One issue I always have with my phones is Am I on the right package?  My circumstances changed last year and I found myself travelling in Europe significantly and consequently my bills rose.  In the good old days T-Mobile used to call me regularly if I was on the wrong tariff and advise me to change.  Obviously they have grown and nice touches like this cannot continue, but I have to ring them once a quarter due to handset related issues and there would be a perfect opportunity to have a chat about my tariff and see if they could do something to keep me a happy customer.  I was wrong.

Furthermore, my last few handsets (all Blackberry’s) had a habit of suffering dying battery syndrome around 14 months into my contract (one was as short as 1 month in).  In these situations I could send the phone away to be repaired, and thus be without my handset for up to 10 days, or try and buy a new battery.  Now I do not see why I should suffer – if the contract is for 18 months then the phone should be fit for purpose for that period and I should receive a replacement if during the contract the old one develops a malfunction.

Thirdly, I was aware that for customers who spent alot, T-Mobile could source iPhones at upgrade time.  So I went online and sent them an email.  I was told “wait until 25th January 2010”.  Fine but my battery was dying rather rapidly in November time so when I logged in to download my bill I saw I could claim my upgrade.  So I rang T-Mobile and was told “sorry we do not do iPhones anymore”.  Great, so I simply upgraded online and got a new Blackberry, and very nice it is.

Last week I saw my bills were at an all time high and that when I tried to use the internet abroad I was now being asked to buy “Euro Boosters” – this was not part of my contract I was sure so rang T-Mobile.  And so began the torture.

Apparently nothing can be done to bring my bills down apart from:-

  • Send picture messages instead of text messages as these are cheaper
  • Turn off my voicemail when I am abroad

Great advice as I use my phone for work and prospective clients would find a picture message of me giving them a thumbs up really professional.

I then asked about the iPhone and was told that they do do them and if I would have waited until 25th January as per their email I could have had one.  This apparently is became they have an “early upgrade date” and a “full upgrade date”.  Obviously the website makes this clear – oh no it doesn’t as apparently “it is a busy website with other 17 million users and they can’t put everything up there”.  So when I rang and was told “no iPhones” what I was supposed to understand was “dont upgrade today but wait until an expiry date that we have never told you about”.

T-Mobile are adamant that this is a clear way of doing business.  They also say that there is nothing they can do.  In fact when I said that I could go onto a comparison site and put my bill details in and see what deals were out there for say O2 for example they aid “so why did you renew your contract with us in November”.  Now that is what I call a great customer experience and something that Twitter was invented for!

Be our Guest – The art of Customer Service the Disney way

“Always remember the magic begins with you”

Service Disney Style
11 Theme parks
32 Hotels
3,951 Hotel Rooms
3 Cruise Ships
1,331 Retail Shops
10 TV Stations
2 Internet Portals
Corporate Revenu growth averages 16% over past 15 years
Largest single site employer in USA – 55,000 “cast members”
70% of visitors are returning ones

WHY? – Success breeds compeition and customer satisfaction is an ever movable target, and so there has to be a complete focus on the Guest Experience

The Quality Service Cycle dominates all thinking.  Exceeding expectations = paying attention to detail.  Disney have a phrase called “Bumping the lamp” which comes from the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit when it was essential that when a cartoon drawing bumped into a real object that the object reacted in a way as if he was a real character.  This is the mission statement the whole management team live by – for instance there are never more than 27 feet between litter bins in any of the parks as this is the maximum distance someone will walk to put litter in one.

Arsene Wenger’s Motivational Concepts

“A team is as strong as the relationships within it.  The driving force within the team is its members ability to create and maintain excellent relationships with the team that can add an extra dimension and robustness to the team dynamic.”

This attitude can be used by the team to focus on the gratitude and vitally important benefits that the teams bring to their own lives.  It can be used to strengthen and deepen the relationships within it and maximise the opportunities that await a strong and united team.

Teamship Rules:-

 – Displaying a Positive Attitude on and off the pitch
 – Everyone making the right decisions for the team
 – Having an unshakeable belief that we can achieve our targets
 – Believe is the strength of the team
 – Always want more and always give more
 – Focus on communication at all time
 – Be demanding of yourself
 – Be fresh and prepared to win
 – Focus on being mentally stronger and always keep going until the end
 – Stay grounded and humble as a person
 – Show the desire to win in all that you do
 – Enjoy and contribute to all that is special about being in a team, and never take it for granted.

Five Barriers in measuring Customer Experience

1. Only relying on Magic Numbers
Too much reliance on magic numbers such as KPI’s, metrics and reports that measure useless information will give a false impression of your business and waste everyone’s time.  The need to model the processes from the customer perspective is key and this SHOULD lead to understanding through research and feedback as to what happens throughout the whole Customer Experience process

2. We do not listen
We need to break down our propositions and services so that we can listen to what our customers are saying and use the comments as part of our brand building.

3. Measuring word of mouth is hard
Youtube, tripadvisor, hostingreview are becoming the 1st port of call in the buying process for many new customers now.

4. Too much functional data with too little insight
We should look at unifying all research and analysis with a voice of the customer programme.  Standardising Customer Experience feedback is the major starting point.

5. We don’t look beyond the obvious and superficial
Measuring benefits and not service levels is absolutely key

Building Great Customer Experiences

Taken from the book by Colin Shaw – Building Great Customer Experiences – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Building-Great-Customer-Experiences-Colin/dp/1403939497/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1226442520&sr=8-2

Every action should be put together with DICE in mind:-

Developing
Improvements
in
Customer
Experience

There is no substitute for having the best product”
A company with a price advantage can be undercut, a company with a performance advantage can be outflanked but a company with an emotional difference can potentially demand a price premium for ever.

Seven clear philosophies to building this premium offering.

One – Great Customer Experience is a source of long term competitive advantage
Revenue follows loyalty and not the other way around

Two – Great Customer Experiences are created by consistently exceeding customers’ physical and emotional expectations
You need to understand how expectations are built and what is the best way to influence the change in perception

Three – Great Customer Experiences are differentiated by focusing on stimulating planned emotions
Emotions are a major differentiator and are the most underestimated asset available to businesses today.  They can be used to put colour back in our grey world.  People buy with emotion and justify with logic.

Four – Great Customer Experiences are enabled through inspirational leadership, an empowering culture and empathetic people who are happy and fulfilled in their roles
The wrong company culture can cause a poor bland experience for customers.  People mimic what leaders say and do.  They need to spend time at the frontline and talk to customers.  The cultures has to be Defined, Designed, Aligned, Signed and Mine.

Five – Great Customer Experiences are designed “outside in” rather than the other way round
The simpler the business model, the simpler the customer experience is to control.  Lack of ownership of issues and keeping “deep staff” away from customers is a poor design.  Bumping the lamp or attention to detail is key

Six – Great Customer Experiences are revenue generating and can significantly reduce costs
Customer Churn is reduced as overlaps and the cost of failures are reduced as resources are in the right place.

Seven – Great Customer Experiences are the embodiment of the brand
Customer Experience is your brand coming to life

You do not need a title

Leadership = Positive Influence

Leaders have certain key characteristics

  • They believe that they can positively shape their lives and careers
  • They lead through their relationships and networks
  • They collaborate not control
  • They persuade not order
  • The get others to follow through respect and commitment
  • Believes that titles mean nothing – influence and inspiration come from the person not the position

“An army of deer led by a lion is more fearful that an army of lions led by a deer” Philip of Macedonia

Customer service is about doing what you are supposed to help the customer.  Customer Leadership is about going above and beyond that.