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Author Topic: Qn.1 for Mark Hopwood: Future "Meet the Manager" sessions at major stations?  (Read 804 times)
Red Squirrel
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« on: August 05, 2019, 05:00:01 pm »

When will the regular "Meet the Manager" sessions be starting up again at Paddington and other major stations? GWR do not generally communicate well with their customers and this was an excellent and convenient opportunity for customers to speak with GWR managers which, disappointingly, has been allowed to lapse.
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MarkHopwood
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« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2019, 05:01:32 pm »

What an absolute pleasure it is to be joining the users of the Great Western Coffee Shop Forum for this Meet the Manager event.  I look forward to answering your questions and discussing key topics of interest with you. In the event we canít answer all your questions we will provide some responses in the next few days.

Meet the Manager events were not especially well attended with many customers keen just to catch their train and get home. In simple terms, I am happy to work with any approach to engaging with customers that is successful. The development of technology and the fact we are having this conversation online shows many people have moved on. Sometimes we find such events are attended by some of the GWR community of professional meeting attendees but what we really want is to engage with real customers and many of these people have busy lives. We need to keep thinking of the way to engage most effectively.

Having said this, we are planning a programme of Meet the Manager events specifically in preparation for the timetable change and details of these sessions will be available on our website shortly.
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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2019, 05:11:57 pm »

Many thanks for coming here Mark.   Having been involved in a none-rail scheme in my home town, I appreciate just how difficult it can be to reach the actual users ... and when we did Community Rail in the City on the Reading transfer deck, we came to understand RUSH hour as everyone rushed past.  Good to read of follow up plans and multiple routes ...
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broadgage
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« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2019, 05:12:11 pm »

IMHO, meet the manager sessions could be at least partially replaced by on-line meetings such as this.
Questions may be carefully considered in advance without rushing to catch a train.
The Manager responding has time to look up any facts or figures rather than relying on memory.

As an example, passenger complains that the xx-xx train is "always late" And what precisely can the managing director do about that when standing on the station concourse ?
Given notice however the manager can reply in more detail as to how often the train is late, by how long, and for what reasons the delays occur. And hopefully suggest means by which improvement may be secured.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2019, 05:18:13 pm by broadgage » Logged

A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
MarkHopwood
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« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2019, 05:16:23 pm »

Yes I agree. Whether people like it or not we donít see particularly overwhelmingly large numbers of people joining MtM sessions. Quite frankly Iíll try anything to engage with customers. Glad to see some support for these sessions.

The M.D. can always resort to Real Time Trains website if necessary at such events.

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didcotdean
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« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2019, 05:23:18 pm »

I joined the GWR customer panel in early 2018, attended one meeting shortly afterwards, yet I have received nothing after this. I don't consider myself anyone special (!) but had expected something more of an ongoing dialogue through this mechanism. I had thought this was going to become active online, rather than being a series of separate meetings.
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MarkHopwood
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« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2019, 05:28:44 pm »

We're sorry that things didn't move in the way we wanted, we now have a dedicated Customer Engagement Manager who is looking at a variety of ways to engage with the Customer Panel.  This will include an online forum as well as continuing face to face meetings.

Please get in touch with our office through the usual channels if you have not had any more recent updates on this.
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Adrian
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« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2019, 08:08:46 pm »

I was at what I think was maybe the last Meet the Manager session, in Cardiff in April last year.  My recollection of that one was that it was very well attended, and a worthwhile evening for customers and GWR alike.  Main problem on that occasion was that there was not enough time for discussions to be properly concluded.  Certainly people weren't rushing away to get home - but maybe you get a different sort of audience in Cardiff than, say, Paddington where there will be more hard-pressed commuters who have just finished a day's work and still have a long journey home.
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eightonedee
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« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2019, 10:36:31 pm »

Just a thought - as someone who often hurries through Reading with no time to stop (see timetable and connection grumbles passim) perhaps the occasional manager on trains passing through and speaking to passengers? I do appreciate not practical on packed peak time trains between Reading and London!
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CarolineCummins
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« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2019, 06:24:23 pm »

I was at what I think was maybe the last Meet the Manager session, in Cardiff in April last year.  My recollection of that one was that it was very well attended, and a worthwhile evening for customers and GWR alike.  Main problem on that occasion was that there was not enough time for discussions to be properly concluded.  Certainly people weren't rushing away to get home - but maybe you get a different sort of audience in Cardiff than, say, Paddington where there will be more hard-pressed commuters who have just finished a day's work and still have a long journey home.

Thanks for your additional comments, I am pleased to hear the session at Cardiff went well.  We have more planned for later this year.
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MarkHopwood
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« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2019, 06:27:09 pm »

Just a thought - as someone who often hurries through Reading with no time to stop (see timetable and connection grumbles passim) perhaps the occasional manager on trains passing through and speaking to passengers? I do appreciate not practical on packed peak time trains between Reading and London!

Great suggestion Ė we are planning Meet the Manager sessions on board some services as well as at stations and details of these will be on our website shortly.
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grahame
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« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2019, 06:47:21 pm »

I was at what I think was maybe the last Meet the Manager session, in Cardiff in April last year.  My recollection of that one was that it was very well attended, and a worthwhile evening for customers and GWR alike.  Main problem on that occasion was that there was not enough time for discussions to be properly concluded.  Certainly people weren't rushing away to get home - but maybe you get a different sort of audience in Cardiff than, say, Paddington where there will be more hard-pressed commuters who have just finished a day's work and still have a long journey home.

Thanks for your additional comments, I am pleased to hear the session at Cardiff went well.  We have more planned for later this year.

Welcome to the forum, Caroline.   We (on the Coffee Shop) would be delighted to help you (at Great Western) publicise them via our diary - indeed (as a member) you can add them to our calendar yourself.   It's always hard to know which events to diarise and which not - but at-station or on-train events come high on the "should include" list.
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CarolineCummins
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« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2019, 07:18:40 pm »

I was at what I think was maybe the last Meet the Manager session, in Cardiff in April last year.  My recollection of that one was that it was very well attended, and a worthwhile evening for customers and GWR alike.  Main problem on that occasion was that there was not enough time for discussions to be properly concluded.  Certainly people weren't rushing away to get home - but maybe you get a different sort of audience in Cardiff than, say, Paddington where there will be more hard-pressed commuters who have just finished a day's work and still have a long journey home.

Thanks for your additional comments, I am pleased to hear the session at Cardiff went well.  We have more planned for later this year.

Welcome to the forum, Caroline.   We (on the Coffee Shop) would be delighted to help you (at Great Western) publicise them via our diary - indeed (as a member) you can add them to our calendar yourself.   It's always hard to know which events to diarise and which not - but at-station or on-train events come high on the "should include" list.

Thank you for the warm welcome Graham, will certainly keep you informed of the dates when they are confirmed. Will even have a go at adding them to the calendar myself!  Grin
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