London Midland’s dedication to providing the best customer experience has been recognised with a double win at a national awards ceremony.
London Midland, along with partners VCCP, Whoosh Media and Icomera, have picked up two awards at the national Customer Experience Awards 2017. After a bumper year for innovation, the train operating company’s industry-leading Wi-Fi service and entertainment project, Motion, was awarded first place in the Digital Customer Experience Innovation category. It also achieved a silver award in the Hospitality, Leisure and Travel category.
Competing against major UK brands such as BT and Virgin Media, the awards team underwent a rigorous application process, including a written submission and pitches to two separate judging panels.
London Midland’s submission centred on Motion, a free on-board entertainment system which allows customers to access Hollywood movies, TV shows, books and games directly via their mobile devices, without the need to download an external app.
Motion was developed from customer insight gained from London Midland Labs, a principle pillar of the company’s ‘Simply Better Journeys’ vision. Labs is a start-up incubator based at Aston University in the heart of Birmingham, and a first in the rail industry. Improving customer experience is the sole focus of the initiative.
Wi-Fi provision was identified as an unmet need and in the rail industry is often expensive and inconsistent. London Midland decided to really lead the market offering free on board entertainment and free Wifi for all passengers.
Working in tandem with the Motion platform is London Midland’s free on-board Wi-Fi service, which enables passengers to surf the internet over fast and reliable connections at speeds unrivalled across the industry. Customer response to both Motion and Wi-Fi has been significant and in the first month since rollout, the service was accessed by more than 400,000 users. The free Motion, Wi-Fi and entertainment is now available on 55 million passenger journeys.
Ian McLaren, finance and contracts director at London Midland, said:
“We’ve worked incredibly hard over the past 12 months to bring forward a free Wi-Fi and entertainment system unique not only to the rail industry, but the travel and leisure sector as a whole. We weren’t satisfied with only providing Wi-Fi on our fleet and when the opportunity arose to go above and beyond customer expectations and implement the Motion entertainment package, we embraced the challenge. An overwhelmingly positive customer response confirms we made the right choice.
“Winning these two national awards for our work is really the icing on the cake after a fantastic year at London Midland and our customers have been at the heart of all that we’ve achieved. The Wi-Fi and Motion project was ambitious but we met and exceeded our goals throughout, aided by VCCP, Whoosh Media and Icomera, who all proved invaluable.
“Everyone who has had a part in this project should feel incredibly proud of our success. London Midland has set a high benchmark for the industry that will be very hard to beat.”
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Since 2007, London Midland has been providing train services to and from London in the south, to Birmingham in the Midlands and Liverpool in the north-west. Over 70 million passenger journeys a year are made using on the network and London Midland manages 150 stations and operates 1,300 services a day.
London Midland is owned by Govia, the partnership between the Go-Ahead Group and Keolis. Govia is the UK’s busiest rail operator, responsible for nearly 30 per cent of UK passenger rail journeys through its three rail companies, GTR (which includes Gatwick Express services), Southeastern and London Midland. Further information on Govia is available at www.govia.info
London Midland has won a range of awards, including Best Local Transport Integration, five Rail Business Awards for marketing, public relations and customer information, five Golden Spanner Awards for Engineering, three IOIC awards for internal communication and three Railstaff Awards for Outstanding Customer Service, Lifesaving and Charity Work. In 2017 London Midland was named as Britain's most improved train company by the Institute of Rail Operators and the UK's most improved organisation for customer service in the UKCSI survey.
In 2017 London Midland was awarded the Investors in People (IiP) Gold Award and been awarded the 5 Star award by the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) in 2014.