Customer Experience Internship Mid-Point Reflections

This is the mid-point for my internship, but the end for most of the other Saltire Scholars at ScotRail, making it feel like a fitting point to stop and reflect on the last six weeks. It has been a very short six weeks, packed with learning.

At the same time as getting up to speed at ScotRail, I’ve been settling back into life in Glasgow, meeting up with old friends and moving flats twice! It’s been hectic but I’m starting to feel back at home in Glasgow. I have also been making great use of my ScotRail travel pass, visiting family and friends in Aberdeen and Edinburgh over the weekends.

What have I done so far?

On my first day I was taken to a meeting about the introduction of new carriages on the West Highland Line, which are planned to have capacity to transport 20 bikes, alongside an additional 24 seats. This led me to investigate how the bike reservation system works, and then to analyse the ticket purchase, bike reservation and assisted travel booking process from the customer’s perspective. I have been writing reports on these experiences and have gone to visit ScotRail’s assisted travel phoneline provider in Arbroath to start a dialogue on how we can improve the experience of booking assisted travel. This was a big step for me, as I was going into the meeting alone, on a fact-finding mission to back-up my own observations to make a case for changing the process of reserving assisted travel online. 

I was met at the station in Arbroath by one of the team, who commented that I looked like I was 10 years old! Undeterred by their scepticism, I kept up my professional manger, and followed my agenda, since I knew that I had been sent to hold this meeting because my manager and myself believed that I was competent to do so. I managed to acquire some excellent insights in this meeting, and to write a report detailing them, alongside my recommendations of how we can improve the system, with my next step to begin implementing them. I am looking forward to following this project through to fruition. 

From looking at the booking process of these extras services on the ScotRail website I found myself making other observations of how the customer experience of the ScotRail website could been improved, which could have a knock-on effect of reducing calls to our customer experience team and result in cost savings. I wrote a report on all of my suggestions and created visual mock-ups to communicate these suggestions. I reached out to the person in charge of maintaining and developing the ScotRail website, and we are not working together to put some of my improvements in place. 

A great part of working in a small team has been linking up with one of the other Saltire Scholars, Rhiannon, who has been researching the challenges our customers and customer service team face in relation to Refunds and Delay Repay claims. Gathering Rhiannon’s insights with my own, I have been designing new refunds and delay repay pages for our website. 

I have also been spending some time making observations of the customer experience of taking the eXpress service and exploring the family and tourist rail experience. I’m not sure yet what this is going to turn into, but I’m hoping to bring some exciting recommendations to the table.  

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