Virgin Trains’ Danny Gonzalez: ‘It’s vital to join up your organisation to create a customer-centric purpose’

Danny Gonzalez, marketing director of Virgin Trains East Coast, is speaking on the Customer Experience stage at the Festival of Marketing 2015. Ahead of his appearance, he talks about the customer-centric changes that Virgin is making to put its stamp on the East Coast line.

Danny Gonzalez

Q. What are some of the big customer experience changes that you have made at Virgin Trains East Coast this year?

Having only taken over the East Coast franchise in March, the biggest changes we’ve undertaken are to launch an extensive Ideal Customer Experience programme to really understand what needs to be improved in terms of the end-to-end journey for customers. This has been aligned with a huge brand and culture change programme called ‘The Virgin Way’. This is designed to help our people understand Virgin’s values and how they are empowered to do the right thing for customers, being freed of some of the ‘process’ they had to work within from the previous operator.

Virgin Trains

Q. What impact have these changes had so far on customer satisfaction levels and how do you measure this?

As it’s early days feedback has largely been limited to anecdotal and brand tracking feedback which has been positive. We have just introduced Net Promotor Score (NPS) which we use extensively on the West Coast franchise. This will allow the business to establish a sound real-time measurement tool and really see the impact of the changes that are being made more quickly. NPS will get the voice of the customer directly to the areas that can make the required improvements.

Q. What do you think are the big priorities and expectations of today’s consumers when it comes to interacting with a brand?

With Virgin particularly I think they have very high expectations around the product itself being of a high standard and the service they receive being hassle free, reliable, personal and transparent.

Q. What do you hope delegates will take away with them from your presentation at the Festival of Marketing 2015?

That it’s vital to join all areas of your organisation up to a common customer-centric purpose to really drive brand advocacy.

For more information on the Festival of Marketing 2015 please click here

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