Company Culture: three practices Virgin Trains use to ensure they go the extra mile

February 23, 2018

At gunnercooke, our model is based around a company culture of innovation.

We passionately believe that without a culture, any business model can be copied. For this reason we place so much emphasis upon developing and strengthening the ethos and cultural heart of gunnercooke. We strive to enable our lawyers to operate quickly, efficiently and with clients at the forefront of their minds.

In this series, we’ll be taking a closer look at those businesses who have implemented a strong company culture, and what it is that has enabled them to go that extra mile in providing excellent customer service, which in turn, has led them to attract loyal and supportive customers.

When the nature of your service involves any margin of error, you must prepare for things that may go wrong.

In our third blog, we take a close look at Virgin Trains and how their response to a service error. Consequently this may lead  to a negative impacts passenger’s personal experience. This ensures they go the extra mile to ensure their customers always walk away happy…

They recognise their faults

When Virgin notice on their system a train has been delayed, they don’t ignore it. Instead, they acknowledge the negative impact it may have on a passenger’s personal experience. Virgin do this by getting in touch with the passenger to offer them a partial refund. But this is dependent on how late the train actually was. It’s a straightforward gesture that sets their service apart from their competitors.

They automate with personality

When an error has occurred, which is inevitable with public transport, they contact their customers directly to apologise for the disruption to their journey. They confirm the amount that will be refunded directly into the customer’s account and ensure they will contact again to inform the customer of when the payment has been made. They also provide further detail about the efforts they are making to achieve consistent levels of performance and improve the reliability of the railway infrastructure. This a promise they share with the customers directly, and a perfect example of engaging on a personal level.

How company culture inspires you to return

They Delay Repay scheme is only available to customers who booked their travel tickets directly through the Virgin Trains website. Even though they experienced a delayed train, it’s less than likely the customer will feel the need to book the same route via a different method or service in future. Generally because they are not guaranteed a refund should anything go wrong-which is an ever growing situation in the UK.

This is a perfect example of what companies can do when things go wrong. They explain the situation, offer a solution and put personal experience before short term costs. In doing so, they are able to raise the bar of service to such a level that there’s no need for their customers to search for an alternative – they become fans for life.