: The rail coach attendant leaping down the train at the next stoppage to buy milk from the next available tea shop in response to a lady passenger’s demand for milk for her infant — if its unavailable in the pantry car.
Such prospects might well appear to be the unlikeliest of them all, but best not to remain flabbergasted by the very thought. The Indian Railways has decided to re-design its customer care training modules to enable functionaries to transgress the barriers of the mind so as to incorporate social niceties into the business of train travel.
For aims of improving the customer interface, the Railways recently floated tenders from willing firms to take upon the ambitious task: Of imparting training to the Railways frontline staff in the subtleties of body language, the methods of effective articulation or voice modulation, minding their Ps and Qs — the importance of being tidily attired and being polite and speak softly at all times.
Among the following categories of officials have been short-listed for training: enquiry and reservation clerks; ticket checking staff; goods, parcel and booking clerks; “may I help you” counter staff; station superintendents and deputy station superintendents and RPF staff of the rank of sub-inspector and above. Offers have come in and the finalisation of the tender is under process, an official said.
Not having attended Finishing Schools, the frontline staff of the Indian Railways is usually at a loss about the coping with the myriad challenges that get thrown in at them day in and day out: Mob fury provoked by situations train has been cancelled terminated short of destination, diverted or heavily late; complaints about dirty bed-rolls and leaking toilet taps – dealing with demands of a party of 75 tourists on a circular ticket. Training programs of such sort do help jack up professionalism levels, said an official.
To be conducted at the New Delhi-based Customer Care Institute, the training is expected to cover customer relations and catering management.