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Establishing customer need in Virgin Trains

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E2 - Establishing customer need A consumer requires goods and services of all types for personal as well as household usage. Sometimes referred to as customers, each consumer is something of an enigma to marketers. How does he or she perceive products, brands, stores or even entire organisations? How are individuals product choice made? Is customer loyalty attainable? A trend of consumer behaviour has emerged in recent years to help Virgin Trains better understand critically important issues such as these. Targeting Virgin Train 1st Class traveller can be divided into two different segments. These segments are made up of business clients and consumers from social classes A, B and C1. Keynotes (2002), state that the average number of trips per week on national rail for social class A-C1 is considerably higher than that of social classes D & E. Also, the age groups that use the national rail most frequently are 20-34, which are those from an employed status. However, Virgin Trains have decided to target the first class business traveller. Tapp (2000, p16) states that most airlines are driven by the 80/20 rule which could also be applied to the rail sector. The rule is that twenty percent of customers are from the business sector contributing to eighty percent of its profits. ...read more.


Only a fraction or sample of customers can be surveyed. To be useful, the sample chosen must be representative of all customers (the population). In a random sample, every potential respondent has an equal chance of being chosen. Random numbers can be used to do this or it can be done by 'picking people out of a hat'. It is often quite difficult to construct a truly random sample. So a cheaper and quicker method is to use a systematic sample. This is where, say, every 100th or 1000th person on a list like a telephone directory or the electoral register is chosen. A systematic sample is not truly random though and therefore the results may be less reliable. In a quota sample, the sample is broken down. This is a far cheaper method than random sampling. Below is a sample of the questionnaire I used for my primary research. I did most of my questionnaire around train and tube station like Sudbury hill station. Questionnaire This questionnaire will be asking questions to you about the rail industry and what you think about the situation it is in. *Please circle the appropriate answer Q1.Have you ever travelled by train? ...read more.


This stat is good for Virgin Trains as they provide a long distance travel service to places like London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow. Rail complaints Following the Hatfield crash in October 2000, which the Health and Safety Executive believe was due to a fractured rail, temporary speed restrictions (TSRs) were imposed by Railtrack on around one thousand sites throughout the national rail network. Due to these restrictions Virgin Trains had to issue new timetables for its services, and these, coupled with severe flooding in some areas, had an adverse affect on service timelines. For example, between July and September 2000, 80 per cent of long distance trains arrived on time (within 10 minutes of advertised time); between October and December, this figure fell to 48 per cent. Below shows the percentage and types of complaints received. Source: Strategic Rail Authority These problems contributed to a sharp increase in complaints made to the Train Operating Companies (TOCS), which run trains on Great Britain's rail system. Between the fourth quarter of 1999-00 and the fourth quarter of 2000-01, the rate of complaints received per 100,000 passenger journeys rose by 54 per cent. Complaints about train service performance, although the most common type of complaint increased by only 2 per cent from 1998 to 2001. ...read more.

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