Singapore’s public transport company SMRT (Singapore Mass Rapid Transit) has a long history of bad publicity from frequent train breakdown, ever-increasing fare hike (with zero co-relation to the up and down of oil price), to vandalism due to lack of security, to even the negative story of chartered train by a school (I have to admit that I see nothing wrong in offering chartered train to students). Despite numerous public campaigns to improve corporate image and customer satisfaction, it’s seems that their corporate communication team are still having a uphill task. In recent survey, Customer Satisfactory Index of MRT continue to slide by 6% year on year.
But wait… drum rolls.. A young train driver comes to the rescue.
Recently, he got the internet talking about the teasing public announcements he has made in one of the boring Thursday morning on North-South Train.
“If you’re planning to leave anything behind, please make sure it’s something I can either use or sell. Otherwise, please remember to take all your belongings with you,”
“Since its a Thursday today, what you do today will determine whether tomorrow will be a ‘thank goodness it’s Friday’ or ‘oh goodness, it’s Friday’.”
For those of you who have not boarded SMRT train before, the public announcements are usually pre-recorded with perfect but monotonous voice, so having a real person making announcement is quite a big deal, let alone with some cool bites. Luckily, one passenger recorded the video and through Yahoo Singapore, this story got viral and won praises from netizens.
Hopefully, it’s not another stunt staged by a social media agency. From the subsequent official press releases (yawn…) here and here, it seems to be a genuine case of a driver just wanting to do something special and add spices to his work. It also revealed that the driver Tan Ming Hui did seek clearance from his supervisors before performing the stunt.
With all buzz about “humanising the brand”, “customer experience”, “employees empowerment”, this is one genuine example of how a small act can have big impact on customer and brand experience. I’m sure the act of this front line staff generate more positive vibes than all the marketing and PR campaigns that the corporate communication did in the year.
So are there some genuine lessons that companies can learn here?
(This is a mock announcement video recorded during the press conference)