@ArrivaTW- twitter love is a Long Train Runnin’ (without love) at the minute

How to read this post: click on this link, let the soundtrack start, come back here and start reading…….

I’m sending some Twitter love to Arriva Trains Wales (@ArrivaTW). They are trying hard to engage with customers through Twitter but aren’t fully feeling the love yet. It’s also an opportunity to link to some music from The Doobie Brothers in the shape of Long Train Runnin (Without Love). I reckon the Arriva Trains Wales Twitter operators should adopt this as their theme tune. Nothing like a bit of 1970’s funk to lift the spirits.

Over the last year I’ve been enthusing about London Midland Trains and how they engage with customers through twitter. If you don’t believe me follow them @LondonMidland, you could even try tweeting them, there is a better than 75% chance of them responding to you very quickly. How do I know this? Well I follow @engagementindex who send me regular tweets on customer service performance of a range of organisations who use twitter. I have posted about the fantastic performance of @LondonMidland previously, and had commented that @ArrivaTW had some way to go…..

Well something has changed. In the July update from @engagement index I spotted that @ArrivaTW had leapt up the rankings. From a position where they weren’t responding to any tweets from customers they were doing much better.

My spirits soared, look how things can change in a year.  Twitter enabled customer service for trains in Wales (and the Marches).  Even better was the new @ArrivaTW Twitter bio. An honest statement, “we try our best to reply”.

I had to take a closer look for myself. Unfortunately this has coincided with an incident at the main Cardiff Train Station. A collapsed wall resulted in major disruption for several days. Hardly the fault of @ArrivaTW, they just run the trains, but they got plenty of criticism on Twitter. If want to see the collapsed wall, check out the @ArrivaTW Twitter pictures, brilliant use of social media.

What I saw on twitter were valiant attempts by the @ArrivaTW tweeters to help out, but unfortunately on occasions they got some pretty offensive comments.  It’s a real shame. Nobody deserves that kind of abuse, particularly when they haven’t caused the problem and are just trying to help. Perhaps @ArrivaTW should add to their twitter bio, “please try to be polite (we are real people with feelings)” just like the one on @LondonMidland.

So, what the PONT?

  1. Here is some Twitter love from me to @ArrivaTW. What a difference in a year.
  2. Nobody deserves abuse for trying to deliver a service in difficult circumstances (particularly if you didn’t cause the problem), at the end of Twitter account there are real people with feelings.
  3. Keep plugging away @ArrivaTW. Hopefully the love will come, even if it feels like a Long Train Runnin’ (without love).

There is some love out there for @ArrivaTW!

About WhatsthePONT

I'm from Old South Wales and I'm interested almost everything. Narrowing it down a bit: cooperatives, social enterprises, decent public services, complexity science, The Cynefin Framework, behavioural science and a sustainable future. In 2018/19 I completed a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship, looking at big cooperative enterprises and social businesses in NE Spain and the USA. You can find out more here: https://whatsthepont.com/churchill-fellowship/

4 Responses

  1. simon gray

    ‘real people with feelings’ particularly resonates with me; I set up and had lead responsibility for the main corporate Twitter account of my employer (a large local authority), and it was difficult to disassociate myself from the plain rude nastiness that disgruntled customers directed towards the account – especially in the occasions where some of those customers might have known exactly who was monitoring the account. So when responsibility for the account was transferred to a different team, there was a certain sense of relief for me, even though i now feel for the person who now has to put up with it – especially since front line customer services figures in neither of our core job roles.

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