Virgin Trains introduce new handheld devices for staff

Virgin Trains staff holding new handheld devices

20th December 2018

Virgin Trains have now introduced a new range of handheld devices enabling customers to beat the queues and buy directly from frontline station staff. An industry first, the new tablet technology has been rolled out across the network in an effort to further improve customer service.

Other retail sectors along with banking have introduced similar technology in recent years, allowing staff to move from behind screens and engage with customers in a face to face environment. The system will be able to issue digital tickets directly to the mobile device of a customer, reducing paper usage.

The technology - known as Avocet - was first rolled out in August across the West Coast network following a successful trial at major stations. Staff can now be much more responsive to the needs of the customer and provide immediate support with ticketing, travel advice and assisting passengers with mobility issues.

Director of digital projects at Virgin Trains, Nick Dodd, said:

“Avocet is giving us flexibility. Our people can work behind a window, on the concourse, on the platforms or within the ticket machine vending area.

“We have also used the system in station car parks so customers do not have to walk to the ticket office. It’s about opening up our ticket offices and ensuring customers have better access to our frontline teams as well.

“This approach has been successfully adopted in banks and on the high street so it makes sense to introduce it at our stations, but we are taking this a step further as we are focusing on face to face engagement whilst making best use of the technology in a customer’s own pocket – their mobile phone.”

Author: Darren Porter
Image: Virgin Trains