Our brand is built on you. Virgin is one of the most successful and well-known brands in the UK because of our people. The way we memorise names, have a working lunch, practise Polish, chat about soaps, help an old lady... anyway, you get it. Our focus is our customers. Whether you're a Customer Service Assistant or a Train Manager you're a Virgin Trains ambassador. You've got to have a smart and professional image - for yourself and for our customers.
We're also team players. Working shifts include evenings, weekends and public holidays. So you've got to be flexible. You wouldn't want to let your colleagues down anyway because they'll be more like your mates (you wouldn't be there with them unless we didn't think you'd get on). Good thing you'll be among friends too because it can get challenging. On some shifts, you may be on your feet for a long time. Even then, we'll be counting on your smile and ability to provide great service to every one of our customers.
As an Onboard Customer Service Assistant (CSA) you're at the sharp end of our business. And you'll be working on our Pendolino and Voyager trains providing an unsurpassed service to our customers.
We aim to make our customers' journeys more enjoyable by providing a personalised service. That's where your natural skills come in. This may involve having a friendly chat and sharing your local knowledge with people travelling for pleasure or providing an efficient service for those on business. However, there are no hard and fast rules regarding what great service looks like to our customers; it's your skills we rely on to make each customer's journey pass that little bit faster.
A typical shift starts by 'booking on' for duties (which can be before 4am) and boarding the train that you are scheduled to work on with the rest of your crew. Remember, they've all gone through the same kind of training and have been selected for the same qualities you've got. So you'll have confidence in your team.
Together, under the guidance of your Service Manager, you'll prepare your train for its journey. This includes laying the tables in first class, stocking the shop, the trolley and being ready to greet our passengers at the door of the train. After departure, you'll serve customers refreshments throughout their journey - ranging from a cup of coffee from the shop to a full English breakfast in First Class.
Stations Customer Service Assistants (CSA) work at our various stations across the network in either the retail or platform functions. It's a busy, lively environment, so you'll be thinking on your feet.
Retail CSAs work in either the Booking Office or Travel Centre, selling tickets and providing our customers with up-to-the-minute travel information. Attention to detail and excellent listening skills help to ensure that we sell our customers the correct ticket and you get satisfaction from doing a great job. The Booking Office can be a high pressure environment so you'll need to keep up your concentration, when things don't go smoothly. It'll be up to you to use your friendly personality to consistently deliver brilliant customer service.
Platform CSAs ensure the safe passage of our customers from platform to train, providing travel information and assisting customers wherever possible. At some stations, you'll also dispatch trains. This means giving the Train Manager the signal that everyone has boarded the train, that safety checks have been made and that the train is safe to depart.
Working at a station can be as satisfying as it is demanding. Some of our stations have very little shelter and can be cold and windy places (however, we'll issue you with all the kit you need to stay nice and warm). Still, that may mean you'll just really appreciate that discounted Virgin Holiday. Peak times can be challenging and during disruption, people will be anxious to know how they are going to get to their destination... and will expect you to know.
Revenue Protection Officers (RPOs) perform a vital role in providing our passengers with travel information as well as protecting the company's income by ensuring all of our customers have a valid ticket for travel. If this sounds tough then this job isn't for you.
Phil Hughes, Platform Customer Service Assistant
My name is Phil and I work as a customer service assistant on the platforms at Birmingham International train station. My main role covers the safety of all passengers and colleagues alike on the platforms and the safe and regular dispatch of the various train services that run through the station. I also deal with all customer enquiries regarding journey times, passenger assistance and lost property. Days can get increasingly busy when there are big events and shows on or when people are off on holiday in the summer, and especially when there are dreaded delays and cancellations, but it just makes it all the more interesting and non stop! As long as you 'Love Every Second' and have a good time with everyone you meet, you'll be fine!
Jo Coleing, Customer Contact Manager
Working within the Customer Relations team is certainly a challenge!
The number of letters, e-mails & telephone calls we receive from customers varies day to day depending on how the trains have been performing.
It is our job as a department to make sure our customers are provided with a suitable response in a timely and professional manner.
With continual support and encouragement from our colleagues and managers, we continue to work hard towards achieving the highest standard in order to make our customers experience a positive one that they will remember every time they travel.