Company culture - The 3 practices Virgin Trains use to ensure they go the extra mile

Delayed train

Brilliant service is also about turning unexpected errors into positive outcomes…

When the nature of your service involves any margin of error, no matter how big or small, you have to prepare for things that may go wrong from time to time.

Part ten in our series documents a recent experience a little closer to home, when the son of one of our partners booked a Virgin train that ended up being 20 minutes late. These things happen occasionally, it’s true; but the response from the provider proved to be quite out of the ordinary…

They recognise their faults

When Virgin notice on their system that a train has been delayed, they don’t ignore it. Instead, they acknowledge the negative impact it may have on a passenger’s personal experience. How do they do that? By getting in touch with the passenger to offer them a partial refund dependent on how late the train actually was. It’s a straightforward gesture that sets their service apart.

They automate with personality

This is the message that was sent to Hayden, the passenger in question:


They inspire you to return

The Delay Repay scheme is only available to Hayden because he booked through the Virgin website so, even though his train was late, is it likely he’ll feel the need in future to book the same route via a different method or service?

That’s what top companies do when things go wrong: they explain the situation, offer a solution and put personal experience before short term costs. In doing so, they are able to raise the bar of service to such a level that there’s no need for their customers to search for alternatives – they become fans for life.

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