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Mid Hants Spring gala

Discussion in 'Galas and Events' started by pete12000, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. Widge

    Widge New Member

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    What this sadly does prove is that there is a huge gulf of expectation of what is possible and what is not between the volunteers and paid staff who keep the Mid Hants and other heritage railways running and some enthusiasts who expect everything to be "just so". The Mid Hants is a real railway and sometimes equipment does fail which can disrupt the timetable; it's no different to Network Rail in that respect, though most of our equipment is considerably older.

    I am sure that most people who attended the gala understand that if signalling equipment fails or something like a mudhole door blows, we cannot just carry on as if nothing has happened; there are safety issues which are paramount. Simon, would you rather we just sailed past all the signals at danger, spraying you liberally with boiling water on the way?

    If you're enjoyment of a gala consists of looking at your watch and getting irritable if trains are running late then I suggest that it's you that doesn't really "get" all of this. There was plenty to do and see, and a regular service was maintained, albeit one that did not exactly match the timetable.

    And finally can I please ask you to justify:

    Remember a satisfied customer will tell 5 other people and tends to come back.

    A dissatisfied customer will tell 10 people and will tend not to come back.


    Is this a well known fact with evidence to support it, or just something you made up?
     
  2. simon

    simon Part of the furniture

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    No I expect them to obey the signals, and in the past I have come to the railways defence when the timetable has collapsed as a simple search on here will show.

    But there are multiple aspects to running a railway and esp a tourist one - and the Midhants and its supports on here seem to overlook that the customer pays the bills

    I come on here and say that IMHO as a paying customer the railway could and should do better on Friday.

    E.g. the shuttle service was cancelled but no reason was given and no announcement that they hoped to have it up and running again; my train stopped at Ropley for three quarters of an hour min, no announcements. The 9F arrives from Alresford followed by Bittern from Alton on its own, which then disappears and then reappears with a train. No one seems to know what's going on. Finally we leave

    We get to Alton and none of the staff will say what happened or if its been put right.

    I get to Four Marks and there are no staff on the platform so I bale out as I had left my car there and need to make sure I don't get stranded.

    I come on here and say the day wasn't that good and all I get is the usual personal abuse that is given to any one who dares tell it how they see it.

    If the people on here represent the front of house staff on the railway why after 30 years of visiting should I come back?

    As to my quote about satisfied customers, yes there is plenty of research to back this up, go ask your marketing manager - its first year marketing stuff..

    In fact I toned it down. most dissatisfied customers never give you the chance to put things right, they just go elsewhere and slag you off.
     
  3. ralphchadkirk1

    ralphchadkirk1 New Member Account Suspended

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    So, in other words, since you haven't provided proof, you made it up?

    I don't think they did hope to have it running again.

    Because it failed, got fixed, then hauled a train.

    Well, unless you wanted to run into the front/back of another train, it was probably a good idea to wait.
     
  4. Jark91

    Jark91 New Member

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    The people on here who represent the railway don't seem to care that people had a less than great experience at the railway or want to take on board constructive criticism. The attitude seems to be 'like it or lump it' and that's very bizarre. So many heritage railways are run by friendly volunteers and those who post on the message boards are just as friendly. I don't really understand why the MHR seems to produce people who do their best to be nasty on the message boards.
     
  5. simon

    simon Part of the furniture

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    You see just stupid attacks on me. Learn to google,

    So they could have said that, not just its cancelled no mention of why it was cancelled. hence why I left as I had no guarantee they would get me where i needed to go
    Because it failed, got fixed, then hauled a train.

    and how hard is it to tell people why they are stopped.

    As the next poster said.

    You guys just don't seem to care and you have shown no understanding of customer care.

    A simple post by me has turned into page after page of slagging off anyone who doesn't think the midhants is perfect..

    I hope the senior managers of the midhants browse this forum and see how you and your like cost the organisation money.
     
  6. simon

    simon Part of the furniture

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    A typical business hears from only about 4% of its dissatisfied customers — 96% just go away … and 91% will never come back.
    Most customers just go away because they believe their complaints will not do any good, not worth the trouble or personal stress, or don't know where or to whom to complain.
    56%-70% of the customers who complain to you will do business with you again if you resolve their problem. If they feel you acted quickly and to their satisfaction, up to 96% will do business with you again, and they will probably refer other people to you
    A dissatisfied customer will tell 9-15 people about it. And approximately 13% of your dissatisfied customers will tell more than 20 people about their problem.
    It costs five to six times as much to get a new (first time) customer as it does to keep a current one.
    It takes 12 positive service incidents to make up for one negative incident
     
  7. DUKE71000

    DUKE71000 New Member

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    This completely sums up my views on some of the comments made by those from the MHR.
     
  8. cct man

    cct man New Member

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    May I ask where you got these figures from please?

    Regards
    Chris
     
  9. Robert Heath No.6

    Robert Heath No.6 New Member

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    Sorry, I don't see that one... Surely they'd be more likely to chip in £5 for a platform ticket than pay full price for a rover that they won't use?
     
  10. cct man

    cct man New Member

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    I have to agree with you there on some of the posts.

    This sort of thing can do untold damage to the reputation of the Railway despite the work put in by paid staff and volunteers alike.

    I too am guilty of doing this in the past., and it has taken me a few years to realise that there are no winners here whoever they are.

    I refer to the old saying that they who never make mistakes never make anything of themselves.

    Have I got that one right?

    Regards
    Chris:
     
  11. simon

    simon Part of the furniture

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    Chris,

    They are typical stats I happened to Google these ones but if you ask anyone who works in consumer marketing or has done any course on consumer marketing they will tell you the same.
    Ask Tim your marketing manager if you don't believe me.

    If I can be bother to find them I will dig out my MBA books and scan them.

    Cheers

    Simon

    PS more :


    • Customers leave your business dissatisfied and will voice their displeasure to people they know…actually they will tell everyone in sight just what they think.
      [*]The business begins to develop a reputation for customer indifference. It does no good to complain because nothing ever happens.
      [*]Customers stop complaining and the company loses valuable opportunities to learn how it can improve services or meet customer needs.
      [*]Product and service quality are, therefore, not improved, leading to more customer dissatisfaction.
      [*]Customers develop a mind-set that product and service quality will be minimal. They will only patronize the business for lower prices.
      [*]The staff becomes negative and less motivated. The best employees will leave, thereby depriving the business of their experience and skills.
      [*]This in turn leads to more customers leaving the business dissatisfied and telling everyone they know…and the downward cycle starts anew.
      [*]Service is an emotional, subjective experience. Two different customers may judge the very same service as either excellent or totally unacceptable.
      [*]The way we treat our external customers is directly controlled by the attitude we have for each other within the company...and the two principals of good service involve effectively handling complaints and effective service recovery.
      [*]A complaint is a gift.... a way for all organizations to learn something about our products or services we did not know already... a marketing asset, rather than a nuisance of cost.
      [*]Most dissatisfied customers never complain (an overwhelming majority never do).
      [*]Customers that complain are giving us an opportunity to fix their dissatisfaction. Complaining customers are still talking to us. Customers take the time to complain still have confidence in the organization.
    Why is customer feedback important? Remember this widely quoted research fact conducted by the Technical Assistance Research Programs (TARP): When a company receives one complaint, in reality there probably are 27 that are not being expressed. That’s right…26 of 27 people who experience poor service DO NOT COMPLAIN!!
     
  12. Robert Heath No.6

    Robert Heath No.6 New Member

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    I wasn't there, but had I been, as a paying passenger (read CUSTOMER), that's pretty much what I'd expect them to be doing - giving some idea of what's going on...
     
  13. cct man

    cct man New Member

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    Simon :

    This is obviously your field of expertise, however I am in the Construction Industry, something different altogether.

    Your figures make interesting reading which I certainly have no reason to dispute, however can I appeal to you and others to take a breather just for a while please?, then if everyone still feels the same can I suggest some private E-Mails other than on a public forum.

    A few years ago I never thought I would hear myself say this, I must be getting old.

    Best regards
    Chris
     
  14. chessie1

    chessie1 New Member

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    Let's get this into perspective - I count 4 or 5 people on here voicing dissatisfaction with aspects of how the gala was run. One in particular has got the loudest voice. Is he speaking for the majority of visitors to the gala, or just for himself. As I said in an earlier post I spoke to a lot of visitors yesterday who were really enjoying themselves, and were able to take the inevitable hiccups in their stride. Forasmuch as you say people like me cost the MHR money people like me who actually get off their backsides and do something make a lot of money for the MHR . I really do doubt that Chambers et al will be too bothered about minority views on a niche forum. Can I ask a question - did any of you seek out and express your dissatisfaction to anybody on the day? I would hazard a guess and say not. That would seem to be the way to go, failing that contact the MHR direct and express your opinions. You never know, one day we might get it right - I guarantee that if we do some 'enthusiasts' will moan about how they miss the old days and all of the problems.
     
  15. ady

    ady New Member

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    Can some plese tell me why everytime I go to something which has a hint of Lord Nelson being involved I alway end up bloody dispointed and anoyed?

    Back in 2007 I still remebember the shear anoyaince that the train on the 9th of July did run because the stupied lump of rubbish had broke down the day before and the carriages where there for in the wrong place for the 9th, so I ended up waiting for hours at Upway for nothing.

    Then when she went down to Weymouth, she was struggling again and didn't put much effort going out of the town (Which I wouldn't have bloody minded if My Dad had moaned and made look like it was my fault).

    And now just as I was getting down to enjoying the Gala today... SHE FAILED AGAIN! FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!

    She put everything later by 40 mins, adding to the around 20mins we where already late by. And I had to be back at Ropely by 3pm and I only just got on a train with Tonando out of Aleseford and had wanted to get behing 5224 up the bank to Medstead as well. I Achived that...just. But due to the lengthing time I couldn't go in the shop at Alesford, I couldn't look around the engine yard at Ropley (including the new shed, the Black Five and 73069's new clyinder, all which I wanted to see) and pretty much no photos of any merit at all casue I could get in to a decent postion or time to fiddle with the manul settings on it.

    Why do thay bother with Lord Nelson? Why did the Eastleigh men didn't overhaul their S15 instead shed wouldn't given so much trouble. I really really hate 850 now after screwing things up fo me again and If she going to another Gala or something, even if some of my favs like City of Truro, Birch Grove, etc where going I think I have to say no thank you. Dump her in a corner at York and forget about the lump.
     
  16. Dan Hamblin

    Dan Hamblin New Member

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    Easy ady, a lot of people will be offended by those remarks. You might have had several bad experieces associated with Lord Nelson, but it might just be bad luck.

    Regards,

    Dan
     
  17. ralphchadkirk1

    ralphchadkirk1 New Member Account Suspended

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    You may be getting these unsatisfactory remarks as we have spent a large amount of our time giving you this gala.

    I apologise if my posts have been rude, I am still knackered after yesterday, and I can assure you; I am much nicer and more "customer-focussed" when I am on duty. If someone comes to complain to me (rather than just swearing which happens often) then I will do my absolute best to help them.

    Simon - if you feel like that, complain to management. We are just the cogs in the much bigger wheel that is the Mid-Hants.
     
  18. Tynwald

    Tynwald New Member

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    If the railway's volunteers can't take the constructive critisism and comments on the negative sides of the gala in their stride and have to resort to personal backbiting and outright denial, then there's something definately lacking.

    Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be the first time. There's been a lot of constructive critisism provided for recent MHR galas (a worrying growing trend?) that is met with an unacceptable attitude from representatives of the railway on here. No other railway is seen to react in such a way to enthusiasts opinions and suggestions - especially on here where 'all can see'. Most other railways acknowlege their failures and at least thank customers (regardless of enthusiast/normal tendencies) for their suggestions - rather than "you're just whinging". The railway can only lose out from it's volunteer's displaying such an attitude.

    I find it ironic that certain volunteers from the line are making note of how much effort they put into helping the MHR - then damage it's reputation in their posts. There's more to representing your line than throwing some coal around and waving a flag.

    Railways are a tourist industry and making any customers feel unwelcome, as MHR volunteers have here, simply because of their opinions is barmy.
     
  19. 46118

    46118 New Member

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    When Tornado worked a full half-term week of services on the SVR last autumn, my view was that the vast majority of their customers were mainly members of the public rather than enthusiasts, such is the draw of Tornado.
    Presumably this issue of "paying £20 to get on the platform to see Tornado" was because during a gala (essentially an "enthusiasts" gala) the Mid-Hants dont issue platform tickets, you need a rover to get access.

    I recall seeing the main platform at Bridgnorth packed from end to end waiting the arrival of Tornado, and again this was pretty well all members of the public and their kids. If they were not travelling, I guess they had free access to the platform. However the goodwill created by allowing them to get up close to Tornado was surely repaid during the week by a proportion of those members of the public coming back and buying a round trip. The trains hauled by Tornado were well-loaded the entire week, and that would be mainly members of the public and their families.

    Perhaps heritage lines need to think carefully how they "manage" a visit from Tornado, and in the future 60103, where there is likely to be considerable interest from the general public. You might even think that Tornado is the "wrong" engine for an enthusiasts gala, and should be hired when you can maximise the public travelling, and doing so in considerable numbers. Nine coach formation all week on the SVR for 60163 if I recall correctly.

    I think the SVR got it right, and in one respect mentioned earlier, the high cost of hiring/running 60163, was offset somewhat by a sell-out week of footplate experience trips. Each single journey, four each day, attracted a three-figure sum from the participant.
     
  20. cct man

    cct man New Member

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    Thank you for your opinion, were you at the gala?

    Regards
    Chris
     

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