< Back

A Centre of Excellence

A Centre of Excellence

FirstInfo establishes a specialist team to serve disabled rail users

FirstInfo, the Customer Contact centre in Plymouth, has launched a specialist dedicated customer care team to book assistance and give travel advice to disabled customers that use First Great Western, First Capital Connect and First TransPennine Express rail services.

The Assisted Travel Team Centre of Excellence has been built to capitalise on the knowledge and expertise FirstInfo has accumulated during over a decade of providing services to the public transport sector.

Becky Simpson, Contact Centre Director for FirstInfoBecky Simpson, First Info Contact Centre Director said: "Our team members have combined total of 36 years specialist experience between them. This means we can give FirstGroup customers a dedicated point of contact and a first-rate service for all their assisted travel issues."

The new team will make assisted travel bookings, sell rail tickets and arrange alternative transport where necessary. It will also resolve enquiries about bookings, access to stations, trains and other facilities.

"We want this to be a one-stop shop for customers," says Simpson. "Every customer that books with us is offered a callback after they've travelled so we can tell the train companies how they are performing.
When the customers are happy we make sure we pass the praise back to the staff and their managers. If there have been any problems then we take the lead in investigating and resolving them."

First Capital Connect (FCC) platform staff talking to a wheelchair user on the platform during a train journeyFirstInfo has invested in getting to know its customers and now has a database that enables it to give a personalized service to regulars. To date, feedback has been extremely encouraging. One customer said: "I actually rebooked the journey five times before finally making the trip on 8th January! Every time I phoned to change the arrangements I was treated with patience, kindness and understanding. I spoke to several of your staff - every one of them was brilliant. "Another wrote to emphasize the impact the team had on their family: "Without the support of your team, it would not have been possible for my mother to spend Christmas with her family here in Cornwall."

Cassie Dunton, FirstInfo Operations Manager, said, "The team constantly looks for better ways of working so that we continue to improve the experience of our assisted travel service". FirstInfo is now working closely with the FirstGroup Rail companies to develop in-house training material and sharing best practice. The team are also working to ATOC and Passenger Focus best practice guidelines to enhance the experience for all disabled customers using rail.

The Assisted Travel Team Centre of Excellence for dealing with FirstGroup bookings can be contacted on the following numbers:

First TransPennine Express 0800 107 2149
First Great Western 0800 197 1329
First Capital Connect 0800 058 2844

FirstInfo also has a contact centre based in Fort William in Scotland which is responsible for the Assisted Travel service delivery for ScotRail and the team there can be contacted on 0800 912 2901.