A rail company has been awarded for its customer service with an accreditation marking quality.

Northern’s so-called ‘customer experience centre’ has been awarded ServiceMark accreditation by the institute of customer service, an independent body.

The team, which is based in Sheffield and handles more than 250,000 contacts a year, has now become the only train company in the UK to hold the coveted grading.

The team is responsible for all customer enquiries including complaints, passenger assistance and the ‘delay repay’ scheme, which provides compensation to customers who arrive at their destination station 15 minutes or more later than they should have done.


Commenting, Mark Powles, commercial and customer director at Northern, said: “This assessment has been a ringing endorsement of our vision to make a positive impact for the North in all we do and for all we serve - putting the customer at the heart of our business.

“I was particularly pleased that through the ServiceMark accreditation, the institute has recognised our support for diversity across our teams and the positive impact that diversity has had in terms of our engagement with customers."

Jo Causon, chief executive officer at the institute of customer service, said: “Achieving ServiceMark accreditation shows the work that Northern’s customer experience centre has done in becoming more customer-centric, with our assessor highlighting that its customer-first approach is driven from the top, championed by senior leadership and evident in the day-to-day customer interactions by the team.”

The report noted the shift from a historic position of ‘defending revenue’ to one of being focussed on finding solutions for customers, with ‘a passionate and service focused team who clearly care about their customers and each other.’

The institute assessor also noted the move towards automation in the way Northern processes its enquiries, ensuring faster response times for customers.

Northern is the second largest train operator in the UK, with nearly 2,000 services a day to more than 500 stations across the North of England.