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South West Trains Customer Ambassador

27 November 2015

TSSA met South West Trains to discuss the introduction of the Customer Ambassador Roles into the station environment and the additional introduction of the Customer Advisor roles based at the ROC at Basingstoke.

 

This is a part of the Customer Experience that they wish to develop at their stations.

The Customer Advisor roles based at Basingstoke ROC, will be a 24/7 operation and an employee will be able to communicate with passengers who are using the new video ticket office machines at stations. The passenger will be able to see the Customer Advisor on a screen on the machine and the Customer Advisor will be able to take over the transaction for the customer if the customer so wishes. The grade of the positions will be CO1/2 Customer Advisor mirroring the grade and position at the Customer Service Centre at Southampton. These jobs will be offered to displaced station staff as a result of this reorganisation or anyone who wishes to apply for the roles.

The reorganisation has meant the reduction of 38 roles from the ticket office establishment. The location choices have been based on levels of ticket office sales, with vacancies this has meant that 20 employees are displaced as a result of the reorganisation.

The new Customer Ambassadors will be introduced where there is an indidivual willing to volunteer to become a Customer Ambassador, no one will be forced to become an Ambassador. The new role will be expected to work in the ticket office, with no change to ticket office opening times at stations, but also go out to help customers on the automatic machines and provide assistance. The Customer Ambassador roles do not take the duties of gate line staff and platform staff, which remain at their current establishment.

The original proposal by South West Trains was to bring in a new set of terms and conditions with the role, and higher salary but there were no enhancements etc. The view of TSSA was that any new terms and conditions would take some time to negotiate and therefore we were not going to have this grade used to bring in station staff restructuring through the back door.

As a result these Customer Ambassador roles will be within the CO2 and CO3 exiting station grading structure and will receive all the exiting terms and conditions. The grade will attract £1,000 above the salaries of core commercial CO2 and CO3 grades, the £1,000 will be enhanceable and pensionable for future service only.

The Ambassador roles will have a new uniform and will be given smartphones and tablets to help them. Successful candidates will be required to attend inter active training programmes to enable them to achieve a NVQ Level 2 in Customer Service.

TSSA emphasises that no one will be forced into the Customer Ambassador roles, it is purely for volunteers. In the future all new entrants will start as an Ambassador and if an existing CO2 is promoted to a CO3 position they will not have to take the role of the Ambassador but the resulting vacancy will be advertised as an Ambassador role.

There will be voluntary redundancy offered to mitigate against the loss of the roles in the ticket office, and it is hoped that all those displaced will find roles within the company. Although there is a reduction of 38 positions in the ticket office the introduction of the Customer Advisor roles at Basingstoke counter balances against that and as such there is no reduction in roles overall

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