A Greater Anglia train conductor has started tweeting rail passengers to keep them up to speed while they travel on his trains.
Blake Cracknell, who has been a conductor for four years, came up with the idea after the company asked him how he thought he could improve customer service.
Blake – who tweets as @ConductorBlake – said, “I always try to look after my passengers as best I can, and let them know what’s going on during the journey.
“I make regular announcements, but sometimes during disruption I can’t always be near the PA, so I took to Twitter to keep people up to date.
“Passengers can then also tweet me questions and I can answer, even if I’m at the other end of the train to them.
“It just gives that human face to the company, and helps me look after my passengers better.
“I’m really pleased the company agreed to let me do it and maybe other conductors might want to give it a go.”
@ConductorBlake has almost 200 followers, around half of which are regular customers.
Greater Anglia recently singled Blake out as a ‘Service Diamond’, which means he is tasked with finding ways to raise customer service standards across the rail network in East Anglia.
Over the past year the train operator has identified 30 members of its staff as excellent role models who will coach their colleagues, generate ideas for improvement and communicate customer experience results and feedback.
Martin Moran, Greater Anglia’s Customer Service and Commercial Director, said: “Customer Service standards are already high, but we know we can always do better. We have a lot of staff across the business who regularly go above and beyond for our customers and the Service Diamonds initiative is a great way to harness that dedication and enthusiasm and spread it across the network, giving all our staff the skills and confidence to go the extra mile for our passengers.
“Since the Greater Anglia franchise began, we have been concentrating our efforts on improving customer experience with staff training, regular staff coaching and providing better facilities for customers such as ticket machines that connect to a real person when you need help, making our contact centre available 24/7 and speeding up our compensation processes.”
The Service Diamond team is selected from a range of roles such Revenue Protection, Welcome Hosts, Ticket Office clerks, Train Dispatchers, Conductors, On Board Caterers, Cleaners and are based at London Liverpool Street, Cambridge North, Cambridge, Ipswich, Stratford, Norwich, Ely, Bishop’s Stortford, Romford Control Room, Hockley, Diss, Great Yarmouth and Orient Way Depot, Ilford.