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National Express

Customer service standards

Our areas of responsibility

The Customer Experience team is based out of our Head Office in Birmingham alongside a number of home working staff.

The Customer Experience team has responsibility for the following areas:

The Customer Contact Centre

  • The four main contact channels are Phone, Social Media, Emails and Complaint Webforms. Our contact centre has 2 advertised telephone lines for customers, 08717 818181 which is for sales, calls are charged at 13p per minute plus the caller's network charge. 03717 818181 is a local call rate for all customers holding a ticket.

  • Ticket & Coachcard fulfilment for the website and Contact Centre is processed by our Administration team as well as Staff coach passes.

  • In 2019, 63% of customer contact was received via the Calls channel receiving 619k calls, 235k contacts on Social Media (24%), 75k emails (8%) and 46k complaints (5%) via complaint webform.

  • Resource in the CC is split into separately skilled teams to handle these contacts with the off phone teams multi-skilled to take calls when required.

  • Normal CC opening hours for Coach are 8am - 10pm, 7 days a week, on all contacts with an emergency line staffed 10pm - 8am by shared resource from CC & NCC. Our National Express West Midlands Bus are managed by our Coach Management team and provide customer contact between the hours of 9am - 5pm Mon - Fri for calls & emails, social media 8am - 10pm, 7 days a week.

  • Due to Covid -19 our opening hours have changed to 9am - 5pm, 7 days a week for Coach & Bus calls and complaints with social media & email kept at 8am - 10pm opening hours.

The Customer Experience Team

The team meets regularly with business departments sharing customer and staff feedback to take forward actions, projects, work streams and initiatives to drive improved customer satisfaction and a reduction in complaints.

The Customer Service Quality Team

This team audits our operators, vehicles and staff to ensure compliance to the National Express standards. The team is country-wide to ensure widespread auditing takes place.

The data collected also supports the Customer Experience governance as well as support the service delivery team evaluation tables.

The Voice of the Customer Team

The team collates and presents the data from our customer touchpoints such as complaints, calls, text feedback etc to support the Customer Experience with the governance process as well as reporting to our Executive Team and Group Board.

The NX Way

The NX Way is the way we do things around here, we’re all superheroes out there on the front line and at National Express we go above and beyond to take great care of our customers. If you're working in Plymouth, Heathrow, Leeds or Newcastle, our customers should get the same world class service and we best describe this using the NX Way.

Locally you may have different ways of doing things but no matter where you're based our message is clear, Be considerate, involved, knowledgeable, proactive, sincere and welcoming. You can't go too wrong.

Our customer service standards are what set us apart from the competition, often you forget an experience but you don't forget how that experience made you feel. We want our customers to have a positive experience, one where they tell their family and friends about it and when they have a need to travel again, we're at the front of the decision-making process.

So join our Workplace by Facebook group and share your customer experiences with the business. #NXWay

Be Considerate

  • Don’t use company jargon. Speak clearly and use simple language.
  • Recognise and thank your colleagues and team when they do a good job and provide positive feedback to help them do better
  • Always be punctual, respect other people’s time.
  • Contribute to a safe, secure and accident-free environment
  • Communicate to colleagues/team with openness, honesty and sincerity

Be Involved

  • Be a team player. Support your colleagues; we are all in this together.
  • Don’t be a spectator, this is your business; get involved – change happens from within, not from the sidelines.
  • Embrace change, be a positive role model and help others to be their best.

Be Knowledgeable

  • Know what makes a great experience.
  • Understand the big picture and know how your role fits into the customer journey.
  • Make it your mission to familiarise yourself with different parts of the business.
  • Your customers expect you to be an expert, so be an expert!
  • Share your knowledge, passion and excitement with colleagues to promote collaborative learning and continuous improvement.

Be Proactive

  • Don’t wait for people to come to you. Be on the front foot, look for signs that people need help.
  • Take the initiative when you see something that needs to be done - just do it.
  • Don’t focus on what you can’t do, talk about what you can do and find a way to say “yes”.

Be Sincere

  • Mean what you say. For example, if you say ‘sorry’ it should feel like you really mean it.
  • Listen well. Make customers feel like you understand them and that they are your number one priority.
  • Remember to our customers you ARE National Express. You are how they will remember our company.
  • When you say you’re going to do something, make sure you do it – don’t make false promises.

Be Welcoming

  • Welcome customers in to your environment as you would a guest in your home.
  • Smile, make eye contact and use the customer’s name where you can.
  • Treat all customers as individuals. They are all unique, just as you are.
  • Be upbeat, have a positive attitude and show customers you are ready to help them.

Complaints, customer relations & more

iCase

iCase is a complaint system that we use to log and resolve complaints and process compliments. Calls advisers and our Digital Contacts team log a complaint on iCase if it cannot be resolved or needs further investigation.

An online form is available for customers to complete from our Contact us page which directly goes into iCase. iCase allows us to capture data that is used for reporting purposes such as driver, operator, or station complaints. Complaints are classified based on the root cause of the complaint which is then used for service improvement and customer experience governance.

Whilst ideally complaints are resolved in Stations as you can assess the impact the incident has had on the customer and resolving there and then provides a better level of service, we know that sometimes this is not always possible. You can help our customer relations team by ensuring that incidents are recorded on OCS or an ICase file is created letting the team know you have resolved an issue (just in case they contact customer relations directly after the date of travel) or if you have taken the details but need our team to support with follow up such as sending a voucher or processing a refund.

Visit Icasework to Log a new Case for Site who have a icasework Login - nationalexpress.icasework.com/

Customer Relations

Customer Relations deal with our standard service complaints which would generally be about punctuality, delays, on board environment, staff and behaviors.

These complaints are from all channels ranging from online, over the phone or social media. Customer Relations would review and investigate the complaint and then offer appropriate compensation/explanation to the customer. Customer Relations would do their best to ensure that the customer is resolved and satisfied.

The below list shows what the escalation process is if the customer remains unhappy.

  1. Customer Relations
  2. Executive Complaints team
  3. Team Manager
  4. Duty Manager
  5. Head of Customer Experience/Bus Users UK

Customer Relations can use their discretion and evidence from systems to determine the correct solution for customers. This can vary from a refund to comp journeys to a bunch of flowers depending on the situation and complaint.

The Executive Complaints Team

This team within the Contact Centre deal with our higher level more serious complaints such as discrimination, racism injury or customers post an accident or incident as well as handling the assisted travel process’

We respond to customers via letter and email through iCase and all notes and correspondence are stored on the system. If a customer makes more than one complaint we can link them under their details to show if there are any recurring patterns. We can also offer compensation through iCase which would be either vouchers, refund or cheque. The team's aim is to recover the customer and we aim to respond to customers within 5 working days.

Customer Satisfaction/(NPS) Net Promoter Score

We encourage our customers to give feedback to us because it helps improve our service and support customers while they are travelling with us.

Customers are asked to rate us 0-10 on the following question:

“How likely are you to recommend National Express to friends, family or colleagues.” and this is the Net Promoter Score, a globally known measure used to track referral and future purchase intentions. It is a level 1 key performance indicator (KPI) for the business.

Customer satisfaction measures are used to diagnose why a customer has given their NPS score. We ask them for their perception of factors including punctuality, availability of the team etc...

Going forward we will report to coach stations the following satisfaction scores:

  • The cleanliness of the departure location
  • The friendliness of the team
  • The availability of the team
  • The boarding of the coach

Responses are collected through the Post Journey Survey which is sent to any customer who has booked with National Express and we have a valid email address for. In 2019, the response rate was circa 2-3% with around 15,000 responses per month.

With a greater focus on digital solutions and changing customer behaviours, we anticipate a response rate moving forward to 3-5%.

Working Together

As employees of National Express, we all have a part to play in making the customer experience a good one. Whilst each of us has a specific role, we will only meet our customers’ expectations if we work together as a team.

On a day-to-day basis, there will be many different factors that may become obstacles stopping us from delivering great service but working together is likely to achieve higher performance than coping on your own.

In order to help us work more efficiently together you can directly contact the team managers on 07887825868. This telephone is manned every day from 9am-5pm. We work until 10pm and can be contacted via email at customerservicecentremanagers@nationalexpress.com.

We always endeavour to work as one team and ensure the best possible outcome for the customer.

Lost Property

Lost Property Team are part of the Contact Centre Team based at Birmingham Coach Station who look after customers who have lost or left their belongings whilst travelling with National Express.

Customers are able to log their enquiries with the contact centre by getting in touch via our web form, social media, email or phone. The enquiry is then picked up by the Lost Prop team who will start searching for the items and respond back to the customer via email and phone calls.

Investigations into the missing items, which includes luggage missing from the hold and mix ups with other passengers, will be logged onto iCasework and emails and calls will begin to Operators, Stations and Third parties such as Airlines to establish what went wrong and to recover items. The team takes a small handling fee for recovering lost property in line with our terms and conditions.

The team often relies on our colleagues across the country and our coach network to move items around the country to a more convenient location for the customer to collect items from the driver or a manned station, or to bring items to our Lost Prop team in Birmingham,so we can further our investigations into finding the rightful owners. Items are kept for a maximum of 28 days due to limited storage facilities.

"Find My Lost" digital property solution

Lost Property Form

Found Property Form

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