It can be difficult for those close to their business to communicate clearly with their customers – despite the very best of intentions. Please see below for an example of copy where we have made changes to reflect better the needs of the customer. We believe the revised version is shorter, crisper and easier to understand. What do you think?
This example was recently spotted and comes from a train company’s leaflet to passengers:
A recent passenger leaflet from my local train company
We are taking forward a number of improvements to its online, station and on-train customer information systems to provide passengers with accurate and timely train running information.A key project is to upgrade the link between real-time service updates on our website and National Rail websites. This will help to provide more consistent information for issues such as station platform departures, so that (for example), if a platform is changed at short notice the online information will be automatically updated to reflect this. This will be especially helpful at busy stations where customers are using their smartphones on their way to the station to obtain information about their desired service.Similarly on websites, wherever possible the reasons for train disruption will be more clearly explained to customers rather than using some of the standard rail industry terminology that can be confusing and cause unnecessary frustration.
We offer below a revised version that we believe is clearer for the busy commuter, and uses c.33% fewer words:
We are improving the way in which we communicate with you, our passengers. We know that you want accurate real time train information and that different websites often show conflicting information. We are therefore upgrading our IT so that information, such as train times, changes to departure platform and reasons for any delays, is accurate and consistent whether you access our website or that of National Rail. This should particularly benefit those of you seeking information via your smart phones on the way to the station. In addition we will explain reasons for delays in clear plain language, avoiding industry jargon.
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