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Perspectives
Sally Howarth | 25 Oct 2018
The implications of putting the customer first with one-click compensation for rail delays

Rail passengers are legally entitled to compensation if their train is delayed for 30 minutes or more. But how many customers actually make this claim? The government has outlined new measures to simplify the process, making it easier for customers to complete. As experts in the railway sector, it’s a topic of huge interest to AmazeRealise. Sally Howarth, Business Director on our London North Eastern Railway account, considers the impact.

Everyone wins with one-click

As a daily London commuter, I have experienced my ‘Fare’ share (sorry) of delays and cancellations over the years. In my view, one click-compensation would be a win-win for the customer and companies alike.

One-click buying has certainly removed the hassle from online shopping. I certainly found that was the case when I was up in the middle of the night with my new-born. With a single click of a button I was able to order pretty much anything. I have since learned that it’s best not to shop when tired!

But, what if we could apply this friction-free approach to travel-related compensation? To allow a customer to get a refund – or partial refund – for delayed or cancelled services at the click of a button?

On 1st October the government has suggested just that, with their announcement of new measures to make it easier for rail customers to claim compensation for delays and disruptions. According to the Department for Transport’s ‘Rail Delays and Compensation Report 2018’ just 39% of passengers claimed compensation for their last eligible journey that was delayed for 30 minutes or more.

The top three reasons cited for not claiming were:

This could be a win, win situation.

Over half of those people that did make a claim, did so online – predominantly through the train company's website.

Indeed, delay repay is typically within the top 10 most visited areas of a train company’s website, and yet it’s often hard to find, and cumbersome to complete. Based on 10 train company websites, the average delay repay form was found to consist of 18 mandatory fields. This reinforces the reasons cited for non-completion, such as ‘not worth the effort’, it would take too much time’ and ‘too complicated’.

So, if we made it easier for customers to claim, would that be a victory to passengers and a loss to train companies? I don’t think so! This could be a win, win situation.

In our crazy, fast paced world 64% of people are willing to pay more for a simple experience, and 61% of people are more likely to recommend a brand because it provides simpler experiences and communication. So, if train companies embrace this announcement, and make it easier for passengers to claim compensation, they may be able to reap the benefits of customer loyalty and advocacy. 

As a daily train user would I be interested in one-click compensation? Definitely. And, unlike online shopping, I'd be happy to use it, even when tired! Plus, I would value my train company for providing the service, building greater trust and loyalty.

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