Virgin Trains leads in the new Rail Reputation Index
Virgin Trains has been named as the UK rail brand with the highest level of customer advocacy according to the Rail Reputation Index.
These findings from the Rail Reputation Index (which is launched by BDRC) uses the Net Promoter Score (NPS) as the key performance indicator for benchmarking 23 of the UK’s leading train operating companies (TOCs).
The Index is based on 3700 online interviews with recent users of UK train companies. Each train company’s user sample is designed to be representative of its actual mix of journeys, while also facilitating benchmarking for commuter, business and leisure journeys, and analysis of the different sectors.
In the Index, Chiltern Railways recorded the strongest reputational performance among commuters, and Grand Central rated the highest among passengers who travel for leisure. Furthermore, Virgin, Chiltern and Grand Central are three out of only five TOCs to record a positive NPS: for the remainder, brand ‘detractors’ equal or out-number their ‘promoters’.
There is a strong link between operational performance and brand reputation – but this is far from the whole story…”
Commenting on the first wave of the Rail Reputation Index, BDRC Director Tim Sander said that it was important for train companies to consider the softer and more emotional dimensions of brand positioning, as well as the harder, functional aspects: “Of course there is a strong link between operational performance and brand reputation – but this is far from the whole story. Some rail brands have managed to build a stronger emotional connection with their customers on the attributes which matter and, as a result, benefit from higher levels of customer advocacy and, in some cases, tolerance of service problems when they occur.”
Designed to complement existing performance measures in the industry, the Rail Reputation Index has a commercial emphasis and seeks to support train operating companies in delivering an enhanced customer experience, a stronger brand reputation and well-differentiated positioning.