This new award for 2008 is especially designed to recognise, reward and inspire the most important members of the team which delivers bus services throughout the UK - the customer-facing staff, including drivers, enquiry office staff and on-road supervisors. At all hours of the day and night, often in the most trying of circumstances, the industry's staff help to get their passengers to their destinations every day of the week and every week of the year.
The winner receives a cash prize as well as a trophy and certificate.
The award was presented in memory of Chris Moyes, for many years a distinguished senior manager in the industry, and Chief Executive of the Go-Ahead Group plc until his illness forced his resignation in July 2006. Chris, who was a great friend and supporter of the UK Bus Awards from the beginning, died in September 2006. He was also the first chairman of GoSkills.
Winner: Leon Wells, First Eastern Counties
Leon has an excellent driving record which shows no accidents. He has entered the local Bus Driver of the Year contest for the past two years and on both occasions has won the event. This took him onto the national Bus Driver of the Year competition.
This year, Leon won that competition, making him Bus Driver of the Year 2008. And as a finalist in that contest, Leon was entered for this award. Our mystery traveller assessment was that his customer service skills were excellent on all counts and he gave an impressive performance. Well done Leon!
Runner Up: Matthew Grant, First West Yorkshire
The runner-up in this category was Matthew Grant of First West Yorkshire, also a driver. Matthew was a finalist in this year’s Bus Driver of the Year competition and he has an excellent safe driving record. Our mystery traveller found that his customer service skills were very impressive - he greeted all passengers with a smile!
John Malcolm, Lothian Buses.
John has been with Lothian since February 2002, and consistently scores well in driving assessments. His customer care skills are described as "always excellent"
James Wright, Stagecoach Oxford
James has been with his present employers since April 2002, and also worked previously for the Oxford Bus Company. He has consistently scored well in BDoY competitions since 2003, and regularly receives commendations.
Philip Glenn, Go-Ahead Bluestar
Philip has been with Bluestar since 2006 and has an exemplary record, and has now been appointed a driver mentor for new recruits. He displays excellent customer care skills, with a friendly and helpful attitude.
- Joanne Price, First PMT
- John Page, Stagecoach North East
- Kieran Atkinson, First Manchester
- Gordon Watson, Stagecoach East Scotland
- Philip Connor, First Cymru
This award is presented to the member of staff who has best demonstrated excellent performance from the customer perspective in the 12 month period to the end of May 2008.
To win the the award, entrants need to go that extra mile to provide the customer’s ideal: a member of staff who is friendly, helpful, conscientious, mindful of passengers’ comfort and well-being – in short, a true professional and a worthy ambassador for the industry.
Who could be nominated?
Any member of staff who is in a direct customer-facing role and employed by an operator of registered local bus services outside London who has been in continuous employment for the 12 months ended 31 May 2008. Additionally, the top ten people in the UK Bus Driver of the Year competition - the annual competition which recognises techincal skills in bus driving - were automatically entered for this award.
…and by whom?
We welcomed entries from employers, bus passengers or bus user groups, or from other organisations. Self-nomination is NOT appropriate for this category. In all cases, the person nominated had to countersign the form to confirm their agreement to their name being put forward for the award.
Criteria and Entry Requirements
Entrants were assessed on their record of customer service and evidence will need to be provided that entrants possess the necessary skills. Items which needed to be addressed were:
- How the person deals with customers generally,and in particular:
- delivery of consistent, dependable service
- treating customers with respect and integrity
- keeping customers informed
Evidence can take the form of assessments, records of commendations and statements about how the employee performs the techincal aspects of their job (for example technical skills in driving, dealing with the public as part of service supervision or processing of enquiries).
In addition, short-listed entrants were assessed on:
- Mystery Traveller reports
- Customer Service Skills
- Public Commendations
- Disciplinary and, where appropriate, safety record
The winner of the Customer Service prize is somebody who represents the whole range of professional and care skills required for key customer-facing roles.