Who looks after your customers?

 

Some time ago I was collecting my wife from the station one evening.

It was cold and windy, and when I entered the station lobby it was no warmer than being outside as one of the doors was open.

I stood there for a few minutes, trying to see if her train had arrived, and then realized I was early and would have to wait – so I closed the door.

As soon as I did so, one of the security guards leaped up and propped it open again, telling me “We have to leave it open, there are no handles on the outside – if the door is closed no-one can get in”

Many of you will know that Reading station and the surrounding track have just undergone a £400m investment program – the whole station is practically new, as are the doors in question!

You can understand, I suppose, that the detail of a mechanism to allow passengers to enter when the doors are closed was overlooked in the initial plans, or even during the final construction. What is difficult to understand is that the station and these doors have been operational for several months without remedial work.

Passengers have not been seriously inconvenienced as the doors are always open, but on the evening I was there three ticket office staff and two security guards were suffering the cold weather coming through the open doors.

If the front-line staff are inconvenienced in this way, how are they likely to give their best service? Why hasn’t this been fixed? I am sure a handle could be fitted reasonably quickly!

Are the management not listening to their staff, or is there no communication system? Are the staff unwilling or unable to raise this issue?

In your business, if you want to give the best service, you need to get the best from your front-line staff – which means you need to take the best possible care of them. Are you doing that?

 

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