How to get things right, when things go wrong

21 April 2011

Last week there was an incident outside Leighton Buzzard station where a lady tragically died.

As a result there was significant disruption at London Euston and along the West Coast main line. The next morning I spoke with my head of communications who was not only there, but was trying to get to Leighton Buzzard!

She reported some good practice, lots of announcements, London Midland staff giving good, confident advice to frustrated and tired passengers.

While this was of course only anecdotal and the report is a small snapshot of a much bigger incident, it does show that it can be done. Goodwill does not need to be lost when things go wrong. Passengers understand that sometimes things happen, but what they want is calm, informed staff on hand to help.

The final twist in the tale came when she finally arrived at Leighton Buzzard station at approximately 21.00 (three hours after her intended arrival time). A sea of passengers flooded off and were met by a London Midland member of staff handing out delay repay forms – it was a nice touch and made a very long journey home slightly better.

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