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South West Trains: Passenger Information During DisruptionRail and Transport

  • South West Trains are one of the largest Train Operating Companies (TOCs) in the United Kingdom. They operate around 1,600 trains every day and serve over 200 stations
  • The South West Trains network includes routes from London Waterloo through Hampshire, Surrey, Dorset, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Somerset and Devon, serving a mixture of commuters and longer-distance travellers
  • In common with almost all Train Operating Companies in the UK, South West Trains had a consistent issue in providing good, accurate and consistent information to passengers at times of disruption. This was reflected in poor National Passenger Survey (NPS) scores for how they dealt with delays.


Having tried to improve the PIDD NPS score internally for the past three years (the score remained at approximately 30%) the objective was to increase the score to 40% within one year.


Mapping the end-to-end process to understand where it broke down, including:

  • Fixing the processes and SLAs
  • Engaging, briefing and training the people
  • Fixing the IT (where possible).
  • Define the end-to-end process for providing passenger information
  • Facilitate workshops to resolve cross-functional barriers, and build relationships across different departments
  • Improvements to the IT and Communications infrastructure and
    the way it is managed
  • Design detailed processes for all customer facing staff to follow at times of disruption.

The NPS score for ‘Passenger Information During Disruption’ increased from 29% prior to this project, to 46% a year later. In addition, as the information flow within the company improved, passengers anecdotal feedback also showed significant improvement.

In addition to the improvements in passenger information, South West Trains also won Rail Operator of the Year, one of the CIDD project team won Customer Service Operator of the Year, and Customer Satisfaction and Staff Satisfaction have also shown considerable improvement.

how can we help you?

Contact Customer Consulting or submit a business enquiry online.

Customer Consulting Limited worked with South West Trains on two projects during 2005/06. Firstly a benchmarking review of our Customer Call Centre and development of an improvement plan, and secondly on a complete overhaul of the company’s processes and procedures that underpin the delivery of customer information to passengers at times of disruption.

With both projects CCL have also supported the implementation of these plans including supporting and coaching the project manager.
We have been very pleased with their involvement in both projects.
Our experience is that they work hard to understand the issues in detail, have excellent project planning and management skills, develop practical solutions and are effective at challenging established thinking.

James Burt
Operations Director, South West Trains

……delivering the experience