PRN: Virgin Trains Wins top UK Customer Satisfaction Award
Virgin Trains Wins top UK Customer Satisfaction Award
LONDON, October 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
?Virgin Trains has won the British Quality Foundation's 2011 BQF Achievement Award for Customer Satisfaction, sponsored by Oracle. The company was chosen by an independent awards jury for its outstanding levels of customer satisfaction and evidence that the levels achieved resulted in loyal customers.
Overall customer satisfaction has risen consistently over the last 10 years, with customer complaints decreasing by 90% over a period when passenger journeys have doubled. Complaints are currently running at 2.5 per 1,000 passenger journeys, compared with 23 a decade ago.
The company has transformed the organisational culture by making the customer the main priority and focusing employees on providing excellent customer service. We have empowered staff to act on their own initiative when dealing with customer issues, and this has encouraged them to be innovative in developing their own ideas for improvement.
Joe GoasdouÃ©, Chief Executive of the BQF, said: "Winning a BQF Achievement Award is a fantastic result for any organisation and Virgin Trains has shown just why a single-minded focus on the customer is the fast route to success."
Tony Collins, Chief Executive of Virgin Trains, said: "In the latest National Passenger Survey, in Spring 2011, Virgin Trains was rated best long-distance franchise operator for overall satisfaction, scoring 90% for the third survey in a row. I am proud of the way our people embrace the Virgin philosophy of putting the customer first and this Award is down to their efforts. There are always areas where we can do more, and we will continue to strive to improve."
Other BQF Achievement Award Winners included Co-operative Banking Group, Siemens Industry Automation & Drive Technologies (IA&DT) and Skanska UK.Â
Notes to Editors
Visit our Media Room website - http://www.virgintrains.co.uk/about/media-room/ - for an Image Library of pictures of Virgin Trains and the company's operations, or to subscribe to receive alerts to new press releases.
Virgin Trains is the brand name of Virgin Rail Group (VRG), which is owned 51 percent by Virgin Group and 49 percent by Stagecoach. We have operated the West Coast passenger train franchise since 1997.
The current franchise runs to March 2012 and the Secretary of State for Transport announced on 19 May 2011 that the Department for Transport will seek to agree acceptable terms with VRG for an extension to the current contract to December 2012. We have been short-listed for the new franchise that will start in December 2012.
Virgin Trains has been recognised in numerous industry awards. In 2011 the company was named Best Rail Operator in the Group Leisure Awards (which we also won in 2009 and 2010). In 2010 we were named Best Rail Operator of the Year at the Travel Globe Awards (voted for by readers of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Evening Standard. In 2009 we were voted Best UK Domestic Train Service by Business Traveller magazine for the second year running.
Virgin Trains first achieved Investors In People accreditation in 2007 and this was renewed in 2010; the IIP Gold award was achieved in 2011. In May 2011 Virgin Trains was awarded accreditation against the criteria of the European Foundation for Quality Management's (EFQM) Excellence Model. The company's Learning and Development team won a National Training Awards 2011 West Midlands award for its Coaching Culture programme.
The British Quality Foundation and the UK Excellence Awards
Founded in 1993 by Government and leading UK businesses, the British Quality Foundation (BQF) is an independent, not-for-profit, corporate membership organisation.
The UK Excellence Awards are run annually by the BQF and feature the presentation of the UK Excellence Award, the BQF Achievement Awards, the Lean Six Sigma Award and the BQF Gold Medal Award for Excellence. The 2011 ceremony took place on Thursday 13 October.
The BQF Achievement Awards recognise outstanding performance in key areas of business activity such as Leadership, Customer Satisfaction and Process Management.
The National Passenger Survey
The National Passenger Survey is carried out twice a year - in Spring and Autumn - by rail watchdog Passenger Focus and is a key marker of train operating companies' performance. Full results are available online on their website: http://www.passengerfocus.org.uk.
In the latest Spring 2011 National Passenger Survey, for the third survey in a row, passengers gave Virgin Trains the highest rating of any long-distance franchise operator when asked how satisfied they were with their overall journey. Ninety percent of those questioned rated Virgin Trains as satisfactory or good.
For further media information contact the Virgin Trains Press Office on +44(0)845-000-3333
or visit our Media Room website atÂ http://www.virgintrains.co.uk/about/media-room/