Friday, 15 April 2011

Safe at Home - Part 2!

I talked on my last post (check out 'Safe at Home') about the value of making an effort to communicate more readily with the customers/client groups you are meant to be serving and thought this was a great example I saw at Canada Water recently.

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This was a ‘Meet the Manager’ day on the platform, with the station manager promoting the extensions that are due to take place in the London Overground when it moves to its full ‘orbital’ capacity.

Being on the platform rather than by the barriers where people are coming and going helped I think encourage people to take time to fire a question at the manager – if you have nothing better to do than read the Evening Standard why not? (or alternatively like me you could take photos of people. This is not some voyeuristic notion I make a habit of I should add!)

Some might also argue it is the only place to grab the staff to ask them questions about service, good or otherwise – no snow to report in the area this day, so the queries were not too pressing I think.

In saying this the lady in the photo was being run through how the new extension of the London Overground will work to take in the ‘Orbital’ format which will then take on areas such as Clapham Junction to the same lines as Honor Oak Park, Highbury and Islington, Whitechapel and beyond.

In the conversation I overheard (in a non-voyeuristic sort of way of course!) the manager ran her through the time lines for the extension, how the route works, possible journey times etc. A lot of is was broached with a lot of language such as ‘expected’ and ‘approximately’ (especially with the train times) but it was all pretty informative stuff for the passenger, who was able to get a vision of what their route would look like in the future.

It showed a willingness to engage, communicate and reassure the customer about the changes that are afoot. It also showed that this manager was taking a bit of pride in the info they were giving - though they might have been asked to do it, they were not giving a performance which made it seem forced.

The point is that it shows a little bit of pride in promoting the message and preparing people for changes ahead – sound familiar to anyone HR/L and D professionals out there?

‘That’s great – but it was only one person’ I hear the cynics at the back cry.

True - but it does show a mindset that is a bit more on the front foot in terms of promoting their message, not just to the passenger concerned in this instance but also to the others on the platform. You never know – one of those passengers might be motivated to write a blog post about it. Suddenly you find a third party is promoting the merits of the scheme for you.

As if that would happen – wait hang on…

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