In 2020, London Northwestern Railway (LNR) launched its very first Customer Panel that invited passengers to help make improvements and suggestions.

From numerous online surveys and focus groups, the groups formed within the panel have been invaluable in helping LNR form some major business decisions.

Fast forward to March 2021 and LNR reached out to its Customer Panel members via email to ask if they would be interested in being accompanied by a senior manager for one journey. The idea behind this was to not only give panel members a chance to voice their thoughts, views, and suggestions, but for LNR to be as open and transparent as it could about preparations for a post-pandemic world.

The customer shadowed journeys began in April 2021 – with various follow up sessions taking place with members of particular interest from an accessibility perspective.

Since then, LNR has been able to implement several changes identified, including:

  • A review of the floor markings at Northampton ticket barriers. These were identified as being in the wrong place for those with visual impairments and has since been rectified.
  • The improvement of signage for free blue badge car parking at Northampton station.
  • Hand Sanitiser made available at Kings Norton station.

In addition to this, Customer Panel members have been invited to get involved in focus groups that support the decisions within various exciting projects. The latest consisted of four sessions to test different creative concepts for the new trains – which are set to launch in summer 2022. LNR used a mix of four consumer types, business, commuter, leisure and mixed.

The Customer Panel helped to stress test the different creative routes with LNR’s audience – gaining specific and pointed feedback that wouldn’t have been captured otherwise. The involvement of the Customer Panel was vital in refining the creative work with their opinions in mind, to ensure the campaign really resonates with customers. For those sat on the panel, it gave them a chance to get involved in a really exciting project where their feedback and ideas could make a real difference, including how the new trains are communicated.

Lawrence Bowman, LNR customer experience director, said: “With thousands of people starting to travel by train again for work and for leisure, now is the perfect time to join our popular Customer Panel.

“As we emerge from the pandemic it is more important than ever that we listen to our passengers to help us understand what people want from their service.”

For more information on the Customer Panel and how you can become a member please visit here.

For more information about London Northwestern Railway please visit here