Bus drivers as the key driver of satisfaction?

02 October 2014

My research colleagues do a lot of work finding out why those passengers who say they are satisfied overall with their journey are happy. In other words which other answers most closely correlate to the overall satisfaction score. We know that the bus driver – their appearance, attitude and helpfulness can play a key role.

Last Thursday I caught the 20A Stagecoach bus in Hastings. The young woman driver was welcoming, friendly, helped people with information and generally cheered everyone up. She was a good driver as well! Big difference to the sometimes gruff approach you can encounter.

A colleague of mine recounts a similar experience. Travelling on Arriva Midlands he was moved to write to the managing director:

‘I wanted to let you know about the excellent customer service  from your driver 96670 in Leicester yesterday morning (Saturday 6 September 2014). He went out of his way to check the best combination of Local Group Day Saver and individual tickets that offered best value for money for two adults and four children.’

Happy passengers.

We are so interested in bus drivers that we are carrying out some research into training and their experiences – should make interesting reading.

Passengers are satisfied when a bus is driven well, no jolting or speeding, but they are really satisfied when a driver has a good attitude. Politeness, a helpful manner and a greeting all matter. It’s easy to train for skills, but attitude? Bus operators have been developing courses over the last five years, and later this year we will be reporting on what has been happening with driver training,  and what works.

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