Millions of pounds were invested by London North Eastern Railway during the pandemic in a bid to upgrade every area which impacts on providing an excellent customer experience.
LNER have made huge steps forward in its own digital revolution which will impact areas from booking to onboard services using real-time apps and AI or Artificial Intelligence to bring about real improvements in service.
In addition, over the past 12 months over £14 million has been invested in improvements and transforming stations.
The brand new LNER app has been very popular and is now one of the highest-rated within the rail industry. The app provides customers with an easy way to book and keep their tickets in one place whilst on the move.
The LNER Assistant provides passengers with real-time, personalised journey information for customers who book using the app or buy tickets using LNER's website, this option can be achieved by simply choosing the push notifications option, with messages being sent via the LNER app, SMS, or Facebook Messenger.
LNER Assistant provides useful information such as platform notifications so you know where to head to catch a connecting service, delay alerts which also provide alternative routes if available and real-time updates in case anything changes.
The LNER website not only gives the option of a ‘One-click Delay Repay' facility, which gives a fast and simple way to claim compensation for when delays of over 30 minutes affect a journey.
LNER has also created a parking app that gives customers the ability to pre-book and pay for parking at LNER managed stations and benefiting from special rates of £5 per day after 9.30 am Monday to Friday or £12 per day from 10 am on Fridays to 2 pm on a Monday.
To keep journeys comfortable on LNER services, and also to give customers the peace of mind that overcrowding will not be an issue, the majority of seats on LNER services need to be reserved. This process is called Seat Sure and will provide flexibility for railway customers without a reservation with a number of un-reserved seats available in Coach C for standard seats and Coaches M for first-class or Coach E for first-class when it is a five coach train.
LNER is also taking on innovative approaches to the onboard experience. They have pioneered the ‘Let's Eat at Your Seat' service, which gives passengers in Standard the ability to order and pay for food and drinks via their phone and from the comfort of their own seat.
Using the latest artificial intelligence software to better manage disruption is also underway, with LNER being the first UK train company to use a new system created by JNCTION which aims to keep delays as minimal as possible which in turn will impact on passenger experience positively.
A customer loyalty scheme has also been implemented and is called LNER Perks which gives loyal customers benefits to spend on future journeys, or as LNER eVouchers which can be gifted to friends and family or donated to a charity partner.
Customers will also see that more than the digital side has been improved with LNER's investment of more than £14 million in upgrades to stations and facilities. Doncaster station has undergone a total transformation and York has new travel centres and toilets, Berwick has a new customer lounge, and Durham and Grantham have benefitted from new car parks. LNER has also created first-class facilities throughout the East Coast route with additional improvement yet to come.
LNERs new state of the art Azuma fleet of trains fit right in with the changes bringing a higher standard of comfort, reliability and passenger experience.
David Horne, Managing Director at LNER, said: “Over the past 16 months of the pandemic, we have grasped hold of every opportunity to innovate, invest and improve for the benefit of our customers.
“Our ambition is to truly transform rail travel in the UK and we believe that this pioneering approach is key as we look to welcome customers back to rail.
“We're incredibly excited to see how our customers react and take advantage of the changes we've introduced, which run right through the customer experience – from booking to onboard to the station facilities.”
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