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2003-10-09 ATO-001


New awards show a rail industry changing for the better says ATOC in national customer service week

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Association of Train Operating Companies

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New awards show a rail industry changing for the better says ATOC in national customer service week

9 October 2003
source ATOC
type Press release

Customer service on the railways is changing for the better, says the Association of Train Operating Companies, which today unveiled a list of awards for customer service recently collected by train operators.

Employees from three train companies have won the Institute of Customer Service-sponsored National Customer Service Awards. They are:

Shona Ruffin of Midland Mainline, who won Customer Service Professional of the Year
Matt Foster from Central Trains, who won Young Customer Service Professional of the Year
Polly Robertson of First Great Western, who won the ICS Award for Frontline Customer Service Professional of the Year

In the face of intense competition from other highly commended organisations such as HBOS, Tesco, Zurich and The Scout Association, the awards were scooped by three train operators.

David Parsons, CEO, Institute of Customer Service, said "Congratulations to the three winners! I am sure their success will encourage others to become recognised as Customer Service Professionals and will be a major boost to customer service standards in the rail industry".

"The fact that we are now beating companies in other major customer-facing categories shows just how far the rail industry is really improving customer standards and care," said George Muir, Director General of ATOC.

The latest awards come on top of other recent awards for the rail industry including:

Virgin Trains, winner of the Best Employee Recognition Programme by Incentive Today magazine
Anglia Trains, holder of four Charter Marks for customer service excellence and winner of the customer service category of the 2003 Essex Business Awards

National Rail Enquiries, recently given a Hitwise Award and a five star rating by Web User magazine

"There is no doubt that parts of the rail industry have had a difficult few years and we’ve got more improving to do. But the train operators are gradually changing the way we care for our passengers – and for the better," said Mr Muir.

Call the ATOC Press Office on 020 7904 3010

1. ATOC is the voice of the passenger railway – in the media, to government and regulatory bodies and at industry forums
2. ATOC is overhauling the delivery of joint services to train operators. Activities managed by ATOC include revenue allocation and settlement, impartial retailing, National Rail Enquiries, Railcard marketing, staff travel arrangements, international products and travel agent licensing.
3. National Customer Service Week takes place between 6 and 12 October and is organised by the Institute of Customer Service. For more information go to
4. Formed in 1997 Institute of Customer Service (ICS) is a not-for-profit, independent professional body dedicated to helping organisations and individuals to raise their customer service standards. ICS's mission is to lead customer service performance and professionalism. For more information go to

The National Customer Service Awards are also sponsored by SOCAP (Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals) and CSM (Customer Service Management Magazine).

Railhub Archive ::: 2003-10-09 ATO-001


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