This week the latest Passenger Focus Survey results were announced,and it's fair to say that little has changed in the last year, with the results extremely similar to last year. York and Nottingham have come top in Customer Satisfction, with Milton Keynes and the West Country coming bottom. Norfolk and Suffolk came third and fourth, both above the national average (88%) scoring 92 and 91% respectively. This, of course is due in part to so many blogs keeping them on their toes!!
Norfolk is to be congratulated, having improved scores in every single area from 2013 except one, which was how close the driver stopped to the kerb (down to 92 from 93). Suffolk has actually dropped a couple of points overall, down from 93 in 2013, but I'm pretty sure the neverending roadworks in Ipswich are mainly responsible for that, as it's young people and commuters that have caused the figures to drop.
Now for the individual companies and I'm rather chuffed to be the first to announce that the top operator in the country for Customer Satisfaction is our own AnglianBus, scoring 95%. That is quite something, especially with some of the internal turmoil that's gone on in recent months. All credit to the drivers. Any chance of some new buses now? KonectBus were only a point behind in joint second, with Ipswich Buses scoring 93% in joint third. Within First Group only First York scored higher than First Norfolk and First Suffolk, so well done to the First team here too. Norfolk Green were not part of the survey. Nor were BorderBus.
|AnglianBus top of the pile|
No, this post is to ask if the knowledge that for every thousand passengers you carry a hundred of them aren't satisfied, is that a reason to boast. Go-Ahead were tweeting merrily on Thursday about their overall 90% Customer Satisfaction rating, and it made me think of something Lord Clarkson said about the UK car industry in the 1970's and 80's. He said that there was a "that'll do" attitude, which meant the products were ok, but when companies like Datsun, VW and BMW really attacked the UK market with models like the Golf, Sunny and 5 series the extra build quality and attention to detail spelt the end for the "that'll do" UK industry.
I have long thought that same attitude exists within public transport. Please the majority and well you'll always get some whinging git won't you! We see it in the bus building industry - how come buses built outside the UK rattle less than those built here? Even more typical is instead of responding to criticism by trying to match the Germans or Portuguese in build quality the UK companies threaten to sue their customers if they publicly complain about their product. I repeat you cannot sue against fact!
Go-Ahead have a right to be proud of their achievement in coming top in the survey, but I sincerely hope that there is not the "that'll do" attitude up in Newcastle as it still means one in ten of your passengers isn't happy, and if I was running a business that wouldn't do at all. It certainly doesn't do in Japan or Germany. If I was on a 10 mile bus journey and at 9 miles I found I had to walk the last mile I wouldn't call that a completed journey. So let's see what Go-Ahead and the others intend to do to win over the other 10%. To coin a phrase 90% - it's good but it's not Carling!