Thought leadership

The UK's largest coach company turned 40 this year, having formed in 1972 with 300 vehicles and 13 million annual passengers – today National Express employ 4000 people across Britain and carry over 18 million customers.

To celebrate their landmark birthday National Express joined UK Customer Service Week to officially launch their first Customer Charter – outlining the service and commitments passengers throughout Britain can expect on every journey.

Coach Stations across Britain organised special events as part of the week, which ran from 1 – 5 October, and a group of 'customer service ambassadors' were selected to be the face of the company in their regions.

Belen Martinez, Group Customer Service Director for National Express, said: "We celebrate our 40th anniversary this year and it's a real testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff across the country. We wanted to mark their achievement by participating in Customer Service Week to launch our Customer charter and showcase the great work they deliver day in, day out to keep Britain moving."

'Customer Service Ambassadors' included Bournemouth Driver Lorraine Barnes – who receives hundreds of commendations from customers every year.

Nicknamed "sunshine on legs", mum of one Lorraine said:  "I think smiling first and foremost is the key to making customers happy, a smile really does go a long way and customers really appreciate a warm and welcoming face."

Another ambassador is Paul Waplington from Nottingham, who greets his passengers in 25 different languages and has been driving for 14 years. He said, "I see every customer as an individual and that's why I wanted to take the time out to learn their different languages. People are amazed when I am able to greet them in their own language and I just love seeing the surprise on their faces."

Welsh father and son team Gwyn and Richard Thomas from Barry were also selected as ambassadors having clocked up a combined 50 years service to National Express. Richard said: "Ever since I was a little boy I always wanted to be a coach driver like my dad. I love my job because you get to meet lots of different people and help them start their day with a smile on their faces.

He added: "Customer service means going that extra mile. If you are always smiling and helpful whatever the situation, it really helps customers enjoy their journey."


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