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Southern’s Charles Dickson is a customer service star

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A friendly face is what we all hope to see when we’re looking for help and advice in unfamiliar surroundings. The rail industry’s customer service staff are always ready to deliver this despite the pressures their roles can entail.

At this year’s Rail Staff Awards, Southern’s Charles Dickson was handed the Customer Service Award for his dedication to making passenger journeys that little bit easier.

Charles is seen as a local hero at Gipsy Hill station – and for good reason. He has worked at the station for the better part of a decade and has got to know countless customers and staff.

He always greets passengers with a welcoming presence and wishing them a safe journey. Passengers always leave with a smile on their faces.

Charles’ work ethic and customer service are exceptional. One colleague who nominated him commented on an interaction he had with an elderly passenger:

“One classic example I can remember of Charles’ work was when he helped an elderly lady with directions for her train the next day, as well as directions to a specific road within the local area. Charles was warm with his welcome and managed to fit in a few jokes. He even wrote the directions down on a piece of paper for her. An interaction that would normally take up to about two minutes lasted for 15, personality and they ended up just having a general conversation.”

Charles was typically humble about his award. “I don’t know what to say,” he said. “It’s a real joy to honoured like this. I want to thank everyone who has supported me over the years and everyone at Gipsy Hill station – they’ve all been so helpful towards me. Thank you to everyone who nominated me too.”

The Customer Service Award was sponsored this year by Ontrak Recruitment and Training, an innovative company that combines traditional and modern recruitment practices to place staff in roles throughout the rail industry.

Company Founder and Director, Ashley Spence, said: “All railway staff have had a really tough job these past couple of years, but customer service staff have been the stars of the hour. Customer service in a face-to-face role is never easy because you can never predict how the interaction will go. I’m so pleased that Charles has won this award.”

Highly commended
Deborah Hubner, Network Rail
Charlene Peirson, MTR Elizabeth line