Every journey starts with a single step

…or so I’ve been told. It’s true though and as we heard news of Jo’s return from her epic fundraising journey I thought to myself “how very apt”.

We had a stand at Crick Boat Show over the Bank Holiday Weekend  - you might have seen us there. As everything drew to a close, I was curious to hear about the customer feedback my colleagues had received. Emma, our boat licensing team supervisor, had been on the stand all weekend and first thing on Tuesday she e-mailed me. She told me that there had been a noticeable difference this year in the comments made to her about our service. She told me about one particular couple who had been in contact with us over the last six month or so, they’d told her that they had received really helpful advice about buying the boat and how to licence it (amongst other things). They said that, even though a different person often responded, they’d still had really personal responses and it was a pleasure dealing with us. Emma said that this example was the theme of the weekend. I couldn’t have been more pleased. So I started the week with that lovely, warm, fuzzy feeling in my tummy.

There are no such things as strangers, only friends we haven't met yet

We’re also almost ready to celebrate the passing of our first year as Canal & River Trust (I know, time flies when you’re having fun…or are very busy!) and this has put me into a somewhat reflective mood. So, what has really changed?  Well, from my perspective, the answer is actually an awful lot! Being cut free from our quite formal past was, at first, like being sent to a strange and foreign country on your own. Quite daunting until you realise that you’re picking up the language and everyone is really nice…In fact they’re much nicer, more friendly and strangers keep offering to help you. Then you can’t believe how you ever managed before. 

More and more often my team and I hear truly astonishing accounts of the way in which our customers, friends, volunteers and staff make a difference. So, yes it’s definitely right, every journey does start with a single step. We’re on our own epic journey at the Trust and I can see now that all these little steps are putting some real and almost tangible distance between us and our predecessor, British Waterways. 

Join us, Tweeps

Our Twitter account has just celebrated its first 10,000 followers and our own customer service account now has (a more modest but equally notable) 1,000 followers, something I don’t think we’d have been able to achieve in the past.  It’s a really easy and efficient way to contact us at customer services when you’re out and about – the only trouble is squeezing it all into 140 characters. So, if you already have a Twitter account, or just fancy joining in, please follow us @CRTContactUs, you never know what you might find out! 

…and finally

I received a very unusual request from the Police today, they wanted me to make a statement to tell them what a boat licence entitled the registered keeper to do. It seems that someone had claimed (during court proceedings) that we had given them a licence to grow and sell a certain class B drug from their boat.  Not likely, I’d say. Besides, they didn’t even have a business licence.

Last date edited: 1 June 2013

About this blog

Sarina Young

Sarina joined us in 2008 as our customer services co-ordinator. Among other things, she manages our national customer service team, complaints procedure and requests for information made to the Trust. She says that the most important thing to her is to be able to go home and feel as though she’s achieved something, however small that might be. Her job is hugely satisfying, widely varied, full of deadlines, immensely interesting, sometimes challenging and no day is ever the same, although some are surprisingly familiar!  

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