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Excellent customer service is at the heart of any successful company. Clients return to companies which surpass their expectations and deliver an excellent experience. Furthermore, they go on to spread the good word and generate more business in return. The RailStaff Awards recognise those teams and individuals who’ve gone above and beyond in meeting their clientele’s needs with the Customer Service Award, sponsored this year by Ontrak Recruitment Ltd.

Established by Company Director Ashley Spence in 2007, Ontrak Recruitment is excellently positioned to support the award, melding traditional recruitment practices with modern methods to deliver a professional and personal service to its clients and candidates.

“Ontrak Recruitment and Training have been providing Customer Service Staff to the Railway Industry for over 15 years,” says Ashley. “We are fortunate enough to be in a position to sponsor this worthy award, as all too often Customer Service Staff are overlooked, yet bare the brunt of passenger frustration.”

Built on a commitment to customer service, the company sticks to three core principles: first – honesty, commitment, and respect for customers and colleagues; second – regular engagement and communication with all stakeholders; and third – continuous monitoring and improvement of performance.

Staying true to these values allows the firm to offer customers and clients the best experience and helps the company build collaborative partnerships and pair talented individuals with top-flight employers.

Respect and professionalism
Matching a candidate to a client’s requirements isn’t a simple box-ticking exercise. A candidate with the correct skills won’t necessarily match the culture of a company and getting the right fit is essential. Ontrak Recruitment aims to do much more than slot potential staff into job roles, and ensures it places candidates with the right attitude and personal qualities − as well as correct qualifications − to ensure successful partnerships. This allows the company to deliver the best recruitment experience to all involved.

The company sets out to provide all candidates with the best service possible, treating everyone with the respect and professionalism they deserve. Building long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with each of its candidates, whether they’re permanent, temporary, or contract workers, is more important than simply filling a vacancy.

Bespoke solutions
On the client side, successful recruitment is dependent on a number of elements: one – understanding their requirements; two – offering specialist insight into the market; and three – making the right connections to provide a competitive edge. Ontrak Recruitment delivers all three.

From temporary assignments to permanent hiring, the company’s services are designed to meet the needs of its clients who benefit from bespoke packages, access to a network of high-value candidates, and a team of professional advisers with wide industry experience. Client firms are supported in identifying, engaging, and selecting the strongest candidates for a given role, and treated as valuable advisors throughout the recruitment process.

Above and beyond
With outstanding customer service at the core of its operations, Ontrak Recruitment is perfectly placed to sponsor RailStaff’s Customer Services Award, the winner of which will have demonstrated an ability to exceed company requirements in delivering a stellar experience for their clientele.

Customer service is at the heart of our company’s values and the core of everything we do,” says Ashley, “and we are therefore thrilled to recognise the hard work of all of the nominees. Passion, proactivity, and perseverance are all traits we would expect to see in the recipient of this award”.

Previously awarded
After receiving an extraordinary 31 nominations at the last RailStaff Awards, Southeastern’s Margaret Capps was awarded the top prize for customer service. Margaret runs a station in leafy Etchingham, Sussex, and has very much become part of the fabric.

She has brought colour to the village station with floral displays, keeps a box of confectionary at the counter for customers and has even created a fairy garden to entertain children.

Such are the efforts Margaret goes to that one customer, who nominated her for a RailStaff Award, said they can get to London quicker via other stations but they choose Etchingham because of Margaret.

Using her expert knowledge, in times of disruption she ensures everyone is safe, understands what’s going on and knows how best to get to their destination and she even helps customers to organise lifts with each other if necessary. Calm, professional and equipped with a ‘can do’ attitude, she copes well under pressure.

One nomination perfectly summarised what an asset Margaret is to Southeastern and the rail industry as a whole: “I never thought buying a ticket at the start of the day to commute to London could be so enjoyable!”

Margaret, whose trophy will take pride of place at Etchingham station, said: “I would expect the same treatment that I give to customers from anyone else. I know people say it’s your job, but if you don’t enjoy your job, don’t do it, walk away. I do actually love my job – but don’t tell the managers! But I actually do, my station is really, really good. My customers are going to be really pleased because they adore me and I really adore my customers.”