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South Western Railway’s customer service heroes

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With National Customer Service Week taking place on 5-9 October, South Western Railway (SWR) asked its customers and crew to share their favourite examples its staff delivering outstanding customer service.

The heart-warming response served as a timely reminder of how many different ways there are to make a positive impact on the railway.

Of the stories received, one of the more dramatic involved Southampton Central station’s Ewan Smith-Wainwright, whose actions helped save a customer’s life following a heart attack in June.

Working a late shift, Ewan received an urgent call from one of his colleagues, telling him that a man had collapsed on the station’s platform. Ewan and welfare officer, Dan Stephens went to the man’s rescue by dialling 999 and performing life-saving CPR to resuscitate the customer and get his heart beating again.

Thankfully, the customer survived this ordeal and contacted Ewan personally to express his gratitude for saving his life.

Ewan talks about the incident.

Not all passengers have life-saving problems, but they still need help and attention. Judith Baker, who works in the ticket office at Dorchester station, was praised for her ‘absolutely fantastic’ and ‘reassuring’ approach by a worried customer who left a bag containing their passport on an SWR train.

Thinking quickly, Judith contacted the guard on the train, enabling the bag to be returned in time for the customer to catch her flight. 

Another of SWR’s employees wasn’t commended for saving a life, or even a holiday, but for his for his consistently cheerful disposition and willingness to go the extra mile every day. Graeme Sinclair, works at Eastleigh station and constantly has a ‘big smile on his face’, which has made him memorable for those travelling on SWR’s network.

In the nomination, he was described as ‘an amazing employee’ and ‘the friendliest and nicest public transport man I have ever had the pleasure of meeting’.

Graeme explains his customer service philosophy.

Each day during National Customer Service Week SWR will be featuring colleagues on twitter (@SW_Help) for going above and beyond in their dedication to delivering excellent customer service.

 Alan Penlington, SWR’s customer experience director, commented: “We really appreciate our customers taking the time to submit these nominations and commend the recipients on the impact they have clearly made on people’s lives.

“These examples represent just a snapshot of the wonderful work I know our colleagues carry out across the route on a day-to-day basis, as we strive to put the customer at the heart of everything we do.”