PUTTING pride and passion

The problem

GWR’s brand is all about pride, passion and personality. But like many rail companies, their writing was formal, impersonal and full of ‘rail speak’ – more schedules and rolling stock than pride and passion.

This was causing problems. When we compared GWR’s internal quality measures to their customer satisfaction scores, we found a big difference in opinion. Whereas they rated their communications ‘good’ to ‘excellent’, customers scored them ‘poor’.

The solution

As part of GWR’s rebrand, we developed a tone of voice all about communicating with pride and passion. But when we spoke to GWR’s teams, it became clear they felt disconnected from the brand.

We knew that before we could help them to improve their communications, we had to reignite their sense of pride. To do this, we ran interactive workshops which encouraged the teams to talk about their passions and express themselves. Many felt a deep loyalty for the ‘old’ GWR and pride in working for such a historic and important railway.

By listening to GWR’s teams and tapping into their pride, we helped them to feel comfortable putting their personality into their writing. This more relaxed approach helped them to stop sounding like rail robots and start sounding like real human beings.

To support the teams, we rewrote communications across the customer journey, including their Passenger Charter and hundreds of standard paragraphs.

The results

• Our new approach was praised the by Office of Rail and Road (ORR) for making their communications more customer-friendly.
• Customer effort went down from 51 points to 41 points. Their target is 35 points.
• The work won a Change Programme award at Transform Europe for tone of voice.

“By relaxing our tone and making it easy for our customers to understand, we’re less like a stuffy railway operation and more like an approachable, caring and honest customer service organisation that happens to run trains”

Abu Siddeeq
Customer Experience Manager, GWR

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