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Unread 11-08-2006, 13:44   #1
MrX
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Default Customer service - As it should be - CDE staff deserve a pat on the back

I was on the 11am CDE/MK4 to Cork from Dublin this morning and have to say that I was well-impressed by how the staff handled things.

1) PIS worked well
2) The train manager was available and very visible walking up and down the train quite regularly.
3) On board cleaning was very effective.
4) The train manager made some very useful suplementary announcements all of which were reasonably clear e.g. he added in extra connection services.
5) He helped people stow bags and made a huge effort for a few disabled passengers on board. Far better than I've seen on IE before.
6) On arrival at cork he announced "to mind the large gap" and invited anyone with mobility difficulties to remain on board so that he could help them off safely.

Simple things like that can make all the difference. I felt the train was actually managed and that someone was interested in passenger welfare on board.

It would almost make you over look the questionable "hard" ride.

I strongly feel that when IE get things right they should be praised for it.

Service this morning was a model of how things should be on ALL intercity services.
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Unread 11-08-2006, 14:00   #2
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Thats why there are train managers to provide customer service not to hide in the guards van

When citygold kicked off the hosts where trained by Aer Lingus appearently

Note it is the staff themselves who are resisting this change which has been the catalyst for improved customer service across Europe. The train manager/guard issue is still not sorted out thats the primary reason there are only 4 train manager services a day, there could be 8 easily enough even without leaving a train overnight in cork
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Unread 11-08-2006, 14:07   #3
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Well it made an absolutely huge difference, more so than the new train itself!

*IF* IE can keep this up and do their hourly service to this level they won't have much to worry about regarding Ryanair. However, if it slips back to the old days of poor service, they might as well sell the trains and close the line once the new cork-dublin motorway finally completes.
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Unread 11-08-2006, 22:28   #4
Thomas J Stamp
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As you say MrX we have to give credit wher it is due and I say fair play to IE. They obviously have a vision for what the train manager does, they hvae a training plan and they obviusly have found in the gentleman you encountered, someone from within the ranks who is willing to do the job.

Remember him the next time you see some slouch wandering through the carriages with his shist hanging out on a non-CDE service. Slouch and his mates are denying you a proper service.
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Unread 13-08-2006, 22:04   #5
James Shields
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We've had similar levels of service on the Enterprise (at least those sets staffed by NIR) for some time, though this report sounds a cut above even that, which is very good.

If IE can get to the bottom of the issue and sort this out for all Intercity trains, it should be better for everyone - even the train managers should get more satisfaction and pride out of their work. It sounds like the union is dragging its feet, but I have to wonder how much of the blame falls to IE. IE's industrial relations strategy would seem to date from the Victorian era.

It's hard to know what goes on between IE and the unions, but as an outsider there always seems to be an "us and them" approach, with everything having to go the the LRC. Instead they should be sitting down together, and taking a partnership approach, with genuine benefits for staff in exchange for real improvements in the way the company operates.

I agree credit should be given where it's due, but we still have a lot to acomplish.
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Unread 13-08-2006, 23:41   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostcarpark
We've had similar levels of service on the Enterprise (at least those sets staffed by NIR) for some time, though this report sounds a cut above even that, which is very good.

If IE can get to the bottom of the issue and sort this out for all Intercity trains, it should be better for everyone - even the train managers should get more satisfaction and pride out of their work. It sounds like the union is dragging its feet, but I have to wonder how much of the blame falls to IE. IE's industrial relations strategy would seem to date from the Victorian era.

It's hard to know what goes on between IE and the unions, but as an outsider there always seems to be an "us and them" approach, with everything having to go the the LRC. Instead they should be sitting down together, and taking a partnership approach, with genuine benefits for staff in exchange for real improvements in the way the company operates.

I agree credit should be given where it's due, but we still have a lot to acomplish.
Thats the best damn post on the indutrial relations issue within IE that Ive read recently. Spot on James. It is indeed about management doing a job that involves actual management of resources. They should realise that staff are resources. Unfortunetly they don't and continue to foster a "them and us" approach. This attitude plays into the hands of the hardened union culture, a culture that is, as outdated as the management style.

The first people to get the boot in IE, should be the Human resources Dept. Its a failure. A throwback to the 19th century. Fresh thinking is required, to match the modernisation of the network.

Management Vs unions/staff in IE can be compared with the Northern Ireland issue. Too many leaders, with too many agendas, that are NOT representative of the public and are to the detriment of the public. All agendas are rooted deep in history. History is only good if we can learn from it.
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Unread 14-08-2006, 12:24   #7
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Well IE is basically a nationalised amalgamation of several victorian companies so it's not really supprising that Victorian management and industrial relations practices are still in existance.

IE needs to start thinking of itself as a single unit not as managers and workers.

There is quite clearly a fundemental flaw with the entire organisation and things need to be changed quite radically.

It seems to be a tightly structured, 19th century hierarchy with little opportunity for movement of ideas / people horizontally across the company.

IE senior management need to get their hands dirty and actually board a few trains too. I get the impression sometimes that they dream things up and then assume that they're working perfectly, never setting foot on a real rail service and when they do board a train it's an "exec train" or at the very least a Cork-Dublin city gold train with the staff putting on a "royal performance' giving them a totally wrong impression of the reality of their services.

IE need to modernise their internal structures and get focused on quality and customer service for once and stop all this endless internal bickering.

If they don't get their act together soon, they risk disappearing.

The reality of it is that on their main profit making route (Cork-Dublin) they face a new motorway and an the world's most sucessful airline...

In a few years you'll be looking at a decongested dublin airport, probabally a dedicated domestic/uk area to speed things up, cork airport's already re-done and looking stunning, new road infrastructure, new local public transport in dublin to link people into the city centre...

Dublin-Belfast and Dublin-Galway are almost drivable in train-like times at current speeds. When motorways complete the intercity trains won't be a whole lot faster than driving it.

IE would really want to be getting the finger out and start providing a service worth taking!

Last edited by MrX : 14-08-2006 at 12:29.
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Unread 14-08-2006, 14:04   #8
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If IE will pay for our tickets we can roll out an army of mystery shoppers

I've really had enough of some IE staff the next one to show the classic I don't care will push me over the edge. Some of the staff are decent people fighting against the system the majority seem to sit around without a care. I know Derek had a funny experience when on train staff thought he was management owing to some IE letterhead on the table, even then the service wasn't great

Name, place and location folks, good service will always be recognised bad service will be logged here and action will be taken
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Unread 14-08-2006, 14:46   #9
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Mystery shopping sounds like fun. I have one of those all services tickets....
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Unread 14-08-2006, 15:06   #10
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I sometimes think they need a team of motivation psychologists for IE staff. They actually look like they're a bit depressed or something. It must be an incrediably demoralising place to work.
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Unread 14-08-2006, 15:12   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandraoh
Mystery shopping sounds like fun. I have one of those all services tickets....
My face is well known in Heuston particularly on a MK4 so I'm no good, we do want to get stuck with the someone is in my seat scenario but lets face it can a P11 committee member throw a bender on a fellow passenger sitting in our seat? Wouldn't look good

I'm now a seat booking fanatic, I'm waiting for the inevitable

I'm sure there is a checklist for this kind of thing
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Unread 15-08-2006, 08:47   #12
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Can you book a seat if you are an annual ticket holder?
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Unread 15-08-2006, 08:54   #13
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That makes you the 5th person this month to ask, we have submitted a query to the seat res people and await an outcome
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Unread 15-08-2006, 08:59   #14
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I might ring them for the laugh. I mean we have already paid for the ticket....

I did ring and got a VERY rude person telling me that I would have to buy a first class ticket because I had only paid for a standard ticket and that they couldn't be reserved. I said they could be reserved as far as I was aware and she said that she didn't have access to any system where you could book that. I asked if there was a different telephone number I could ring to find out and she put me on hold and then I was passed to someone else who just interrupted when I started to talk and told me because I bought my ticket at the start of the year that I couldn't. She then told me to write to customer services in heuston if I had a problem.

Last edited by sandraoh : 15-08-2006 at 09:18.
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Unread 16-08-2006, 22:40   #15
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Quote:
but lets face it can a P11 committee member throw a bender on a fellow passenger sitting in our seat? Wouldn't look good
Now look...
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