tte-examiner

Charming TTE Soon – Railways may take idea from global companies

 

The curt and often harassed travelling ticket examiner (TTE) donning a black coat may soon turn out to be all smiles and at his charming best.

 

The Indian Railways has been advised to follow Starbucks , Amazon, FedEx , Convergys and Toyota, which are among the top consumer-servicing companies, and make its frontline staff more customer-friendly and recognise and reward them with events such as ’employee of the month’ incentives.

 

While cleanliness in trains has been a priority of railway minister Suresh Prabhu, who actively addresses complaints social media, a bigger headache for the railways is how its frontline staff, especially TTEs, interact with passengers and to ensure it is friendly and appropriate.

“This is one of the major areas of concern in the rail ministry-…it is something that the ministry wanted the study to look into, especially for the TTE,” the Quality Council of India (QCI) said in a report on the issue of ‘Improvement of Frontline Staff Interaction with Citizens.’

The QCI suggested that the railways study the cases of global companies with established customer-oriented cultures such as the Walt Disney Company, Toyota Motor Corporation and Amazon as well as those that follow the ‘train the trainer’ model like Starbucks and Southwest Airlines , to coach TTEs in customer relations.

“In order to make this training effort effective, it is of utmost importance for the TTEs to not only be trained in the right way but also be incentivised to perform better,” the QCI recommended.

The railways ministry did not respond to an e-mail and phone query from ET seeking comment on the matter. The suggestions, if implemented, may prove to be a challenging task for the railways, which operates about 12,000 trains carrying 23 million passengers every day. It has about 15,000 TTEs who are entrusted with, among other things, checking the validity of passenger tickets.

So the railways could now create a team competition to encourage its frontline staff to work better and keep track of their progress through key performance indicators as well as incentivise good performers. QCI, which is a joint government-industry effort, suggested that frontline staff should be divided into zonal teams and should compete over two to three months with clearly defined performance metrics and conduct structured reviews of on-board citizen satisfaction scores through highly standardised surveys.

“The team could be led by the top performers…there should be a clear and significant reward to the winning zone,” QCI suggested. It specified that the KPIs should be comparable with external industry benchmarks and cascaded down across all levels, just as Starbucks and FedEx Corporation do for their employees. QCI cited Amazon and Toyota to recommend formal recognition events every month to motivate top performers and feedback sessions.

Convergys and Southwest Airlines were cited as examples where frontline performance is visually displayed and team competition is created to encourage staff to work

tiger express

Indian Railways unveils IRCTC’s Tiger Express

 

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on World Environment Day flagged off IRCTC’s Tiger Express, a semi-luxury tourist train launched to spread awareness among people regarding tiger conservation. Flagging off the train using a remote control from Mumbai, Prabhu said it has been launched to spread awareness about conservation of tigers. The semi-luxury train will take the guests onboard to the famous Bandhavgarh and Kanha National Parks in Madhya Pradesh. We take a look at 5 interesting facts about the Tiger Express

Monthly trips of the fully air-conditioned train to begin from October onwards would comprise of Rajdhani type coaches, having a First AC and Second AC accommodation. The coaches have been vinyl-wrapped with motifs of the wildlife

This is the first semi-luxury train on a tourist circuit having a dining car. The itinerary has a tariff structure starting from Rs 38,500, IRCTC said in a statement

The package includes accommodation in air-conditioned rooms of three stars or equivalent ranked hotels for three nights, sightseeing, food, inter-city transfers and travel insurance, it said

The 5 days/6 nights itinerary of the Tiger Express includes three Tiger Safaris and a visit to the famous Dhuadhar Falls in Bhedaghat, Jabalpur. The train would take passengers to Katni from where they will be taken Bandhavgarh by road for a safari.

From there they will be taken to Kanha for another safari. The tourists will then be taken to famous Dhuadhar Falls in Bhedaghar, Jabalpur, before heading back to Delhi

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