Recognised for Excellence (R4E), a part of the EFQM Levels of Excellence certification programme, has renewed Virgin Train’s certification at 5 stars, the highest level.
The certification is a renewal of the 5-star rating that Virgin Trains originally obtained two years ago, and follows the British Quality Foundation’s (BQF) bi-annual assessment of the company. Virgin was assessed on nine criteria and improved its overall score by approximately 20 percent.
R4E claims to recognise successful efforts to implement excellence and good practice, and offers the benefits of a structured approach to identifying organisational strengths and areas for improvement. The 5-star rating applied to Virgin Trains is said to be indicative that the company performs to a very high standard.
Virgin Train’s business support director, Andy Cross, said, ‘This award is a fantastic result for us and shows that, despite everything that happened with the franchise bid last year, thanks to our people, Virgin Trains has been formally recognised once again as a 5-star business. It will further build our credentials for the next franchise bid, and clearly shows that we are not standing still in the pursuit of excellence in customer service throughout every part of our business.’
In their report, the BQF assessors said, ‘Virgin Trains culture is based around the customer with the aim of providing excellent service and continuously improving the customer experience of travel on its routes. From senior leadership to front line staff it was clear that everyone we spoke with during the site visit has a focus on the customer and seeks to add value wherever possible. Virgin Trains has an in-depth knowledge and understanding of its customer base, both existing and potential, and their needs and expectations. It uses this knowledge to develop and deliver added value for customers e.g. through discounted ticket prices, targeted offers for frequent travellers and organisational groups, improvements to on board services and reduced journey times.’