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Click here to view a video of the unveiling of the new Amtrak logo!
Amtrak News Release -- July 6, 2000
Amtrak Introduces Service Guarantee and
New Corporate Brand Identity At Event At
Los Angeles Union Station
Event Focused On Employees As Providers of High-Quality Service
LOS ANGELES - Hundreds of Amtrak employees from across the country joined together today in celebration of the
company's new unconditional Satisfaction Guarantee and corporate brand identity. Souther California Amtrak workers
gathered in the south courtyard of Los Angeles' historic Union Station to pledge their support to the Serivce
Guarantee. They heard fellow employees, Amtrak and the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) officials describe
what the changes mean to them, Amtrak and the future of travel.
"This one-of-a-kind guarantee represents another step in Amtrak's transformation into a customer-focused business,
which puts the guest at the forefront of everything we do," said Gil Mallery, president of Amtrak West. "Our promise is to
make every guest's trip a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable experience."
All of Amtrak's 25,000 employees have been training and preparing for more than a year in advance of the guarantee's
Members of the Amtrak Board of Directors, including Board Chairman Governor Tommy Thompson (WI) were also part of the
celebration, appearing via videotape, to promote the new Satisfaction Guarantee, the first of its kind among U.S.
Capping off the celebration, Amtrak West President Gil Mallery joined employees to reveal Amtrak's new brand identity
for the first time in the west, by unveiling a banner with the new company logo in the courtyard. All employees present
were invited to sign the banner pledging their personal support for the Service Guarantee. The signed banner will be
displayed at Los Angeles Union Station.
In addition to the celebration in Los Angeles, employees pledged their commitment to the Service Guarantee at events
in Union Station in Washington, D.C., 30th Street Station in Philadelphia and Union Station in Chicago.
Los Angeles Union Station
July 6, 2000 11:00 a.m.
Presentation by Amtrak West President, Employees and Business Partner
Listed in order of appearance - live
George Rainey, Pacific Surfliner Conductor, Los Angeles, CA
Gil Mallery, president Amtrak West
Lourean Van De Street, Supervisor, Oakland, CA
Stan Jones, member, American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA)
Board of Directors
Ralph Reed, Administrative Chief, Seattle, WA
- Governor Michael Dukakis, Vice Chairman, Board of Directors (video)
- Governor Tommy Thompson, Chairman, Board of Directors (video)
- Barbara Richardson, Executive Vice President (video)
- Mayor John Robert Smith, Member, Board of Directors (video)
- Governor Linwood Holton, Member, Board of Directors (video)
- Sylvia de Leon, Member, Board of Directors (video)
- Amy Rosen, Member, Board of Directors (video)
- Deputy Transportation Secretary Mortimer Downey, Board of Directors Representative
(for the U.S. Transportation Secretary) (video)
- Federal Railroad Administrator Jolene Molitoris, Board of Directors Representative
(for the U.S. Transportation Secretary) (video)
- U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater, Member, Board of Directors (video)
* Videotape will repeat continuously throughout the duration of the event
(10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.)
Questions and Answers About the Amtrak
Unconditional Satisfaction Guarantee and New Corporate Brand Identity
July 6, 2000
"You're our guest on Amtrak. We promise to make your trip a safe, comfortable, and
enjoyable experience. If something isn't right, talk to any Amtrak employee, and we'll try
to make it right. If our efforts aren't enough, call 1-800-USA-RAIL for a Service
Guarantee Certificate toward future travel. Your satisfaction is guaranteed."
Unconditional Satisfaction Guarantee
What is the Amtrak Satisfaction Guarantee?
Our Satisfaction Guarantee is Amtrak's commitment to provide all guests with a safe,
comfortable, and enjoyable travel experience. While the guarantee cannot prevent the
occasional problem that a guest may encounter on a trip, it is designed to ensure that guests
receive full satisfaction for their money. We are guaranteeing our guests that if something
isn't right, we'll do everything in our power to make it right. If the guest feels that the
effort is not enough, Amtrak will offer the guest a Service Guarantee Certificate toward
future travel. This guarantee is a first among U.S. travel industry providers.
Why is Amtrak offering this Satisfaction Guarantee
By offering our Satisfaction Guarantee, Amtrak is striving to achieve a level of customer
satisfaction that no other U.S. transportation provider can surpass. We believe that
providing excellent service and guaranteeing our guests' satisfaction is essential to
building loyalty which, in turn, will lead to financial success. We estimate that for every
one percent improvement in our guest retention rate, $13 million is added annually to
How does the Satisfaction Guarantee work?
If a guest is dissatisfied during any portion of a journey on board Amtrak, the guest should
first address their concerns with any available Amtrak employee. If the guest is still not
satisfied, he or she may request a Service Guarantee Certificate, good for future travel on
board Amtrak. The value of the certificate will be equal to the cost of the trip segment for
which the guest was dissatisfied.
How does a guest request a Service Guarantee Certificate?
A guest should call 1-800-USA-RAIL to request a Service Guarantee Certificate. Guests
should keep their ticket stubs as our Customer Relations Representatives will use the ticket
number on the ticket stub to determine the value of the Service Guarantee Certificate.
Service Guarantee Certificates are mailed to guests. We also encourage our guests to share
their stories with our Customer Relations Representatives so we can improve our services.
Will every guest who requests a Service Guarantee Certificate receive one, no
Yes, no questions asked. Guests may be asked about incidents so that we can take
measures to see that it doesn't happen again and, of course, we'll take reasonable steps to
ensure that fraud doesn't occur.
What is the anticipated cost to Amtrak for the number of potential certificates issues?
By implementing an unconditional guarantee of satisfaction, we are confident that we will
increase ridership and revenue by developing long-lasting relationships with satisfied
customers and exceed the costs that we will incur through issuing certificates. Our goal is
to deliver satisfaction to our customers that, in turn, contributes to our financial bottom
Is Amtrak concerned about the ability to handle a significant number of requests for
Service Guarantee Certificates?
We do anticipate that some of our guests will request certificates. However, through the
extensive development process of our Satisfaction Guarantee, we are training our
employees to provide top quality service and are putting a Right-and-Ready program in
place to ensure every aspect of the corporation is prepared to meet the needs of our guests.
Is every employee empowered to address a guest's complaint?
Yes, all Amtrak employees are empowered to take the initiative to ensure that every guest
is a satisfied guest.
What training have Amtrak employees undertaken to be prepared to deliver
Every Amtrak employee has completed a comprehensive training program, and new
procedures have been adopted to empower employees to take a personal initiative to solve
guest problems, often before they occur. The company also instituted a series of new
policies and practices designed to meet the highest standards of service excellence. These
include procedures to ensure that all trains are "right and ready" for service, covering every
aspect of every train prior to guest use. Amtrak has also developed new standards to ensure
consistently high levels of service and amenities on trains.
Is Amtrak providing employees with incentives for good service?
As part of an extensive planning process for our Satisfaction Guarantee, all 25,000
employees completed advanced customer service training and learning how high-quality
service can positively affect the corporation.
In addition, as an incentive to provide world-class service, every employee will receive a
bonus equivalent to last year's average ticket price when the guest satisfaction level is
99.9% or higher. This satisfaction level will be based on the number of Service Guarantee
Certificates issued every month. We will also continue our current satisfaction surveys
that are mailed out randomly to Amtrak guests every month.
How will the Satisfaction Guarantee help Amtrak end federal operating assistance by 2003?
Improving guest satisfaction can have a significant impact on strengthening our bottom
line. We estimate that for every one percent improvement in our guest retention rate, $13
million is added annually to Amtrak's revenues. In addition, we are making great strides
in becoming a customer-focused, commercially-oriented, and financially-viable business.
Through our Network Growth Strategy, which will expand service in 21 states, the
introduction of our Acela Express service in the Northeast, and the development of high-speed
rail corridors in key population centers across the country, Amtrak is striving to
increase guest satisfaction and loyalty while increasing service, ridership and revenue.
The Amtrak Corporate Brand Identity
Why is Amtrak changing its corporate brand identity?
With our bold commitment to customer satisfaction, the development of new rail services
including America's first high-speed rail system, and many business ventures reflecting a
stronger commercial orientation, Amtrak has become a new company. The time has come
to represent this revitalization and set the state for future growth.
After 29 years, the familiar "Inverted Arrow" of the Amtrak brand will be replaced by a
new logo whose shape and suggestion of movement convey the comfort and uniqueness of
the rail experience. The new Amtrak Blue brand color and typographic treatment of the
Amtrak word mark reflect the company's commitment to quality and reliability.
Combined, they represent a revitalized corporation that puts the safety, comfort, and
enjoyment of every guest first and backs it up with a one-of-a-kind commitment to guest
The new brand identity serves as a master brand and as an endorsement for a family of
services. Under the new brand architecture, Amtrak is bringing greater rationality and
consistency to the numerous service names it inherited during its formation.
What led Amtrak to update its image?
The Amtrak identity we are retiring today was created in 1971 to represent a different kind
of institution in an era with different values. Through extensive research, we learned that
our existing brand image did not reflect many of the positive attributes of train travel or the
attributes that consumers desire in transportation services today.
The new identity sends a strong signal that significant changes that have occurred at
Amtrak in the past few years. As the company has become more market-focused in
developing its rail services, we expect to increase ridership and attract new customers who
haven't previously considered rail as an alternative to flying or driving. Our new brand
identity will make communicating with consumers about the new Amtrak easier and more
If you really want to change your image, why didn't you change the Amtrak name?
The Amtrak name is a widely-recognized and valuable trademark. Surveys indicate that
many Americans are generally aware of Amtrak as a provider of passenger rail service. It
is in the best long-term interests of the company that we protect this valuable asset by
keeping it current and reflective of the passenger rail system we're developing to meet the
needs of Americans today.
Have other companies retained their name, but changed their identity?
Companies often change or update their identities to communicate changes in their
business strategy or offerings, or sometimes to align with changes in their markets or
among their competitors. For example, a few years ago, Continental Airlines traded its
orange and gold brand colors for a new blue and gold globe symbol that was designed to
place a greater emphasis on their international reach and their attention to the needs of
demanding business travelers. Continental's identity change has fit together with many
other business changes to play an important role in the company's success in recent years.
Will all of Amtrak's signs across the country change with the new identity?
The new identity will be phased in gradually in a managed and cost-conscious manner over
the next few years. Signage will be replaced as part of regular station improvements. A
similar approach will be used for all affected items. For example, existing stationery
supplies will be depleted before stationery with the new brand identity is ordered.
What is the total cost for changing the identity in all Amtrak stations and on all
First, Amtrak has no plans to make changes overnight. While other companies may
change their equipment at once. Amtrak will do it incrementally as equipment is
overhauled. Instead of applying the former logo and colors as we would do with
overhauls, we will apply the new identity. The same is true for stations that, from time-to-time,
require signage changes. This gradual changeover could last two years or so, which
is not inconsistent with the approach taken by many other companies. To keep costs to a
minimum, a plan is being prepared identifying all possible elements of change and
establishing a timeline and possible costs.
What about state, local, or privately held stations and signage?
Just as Amtrak makes changes on a gradual basis, we do not expect our partners to change
overnight. But as they upgrade facilities, we would ask them to incorporate our new
identity. This would also be true for state and city Departments of Transportation that
have trailblazer signs with the former logo on them.
With the new corporate brand identity, will you be dropping historic train names like
the Sunset Limited and the Southwest Chief?
Many of our current train names are an important part of our heritage and represents the
uniqueness of the rail travel experience. We will continue to use historic train names to
represent specific routes and services as part of our overall brand architecture.
Where did Amtrak get the funds to guarantee service and introduce the new brand identity?
All costs will be covered by existing resources in the current budget, and ultimately be
more than offset by new and growing revenues.
Amtrak's Strategic Plan Is Working!
Amtrak's new Satisfaction Guarantee and new brand identity are just two of the
company's major strategies to achieve business success and end federal operating
assistance by 2003.
The other elements of Amtrak's strategy are:
- Developing high-speed rail corridors
- Building a market-based rail network
- Forging partnerships with state and local authorities and large commercial clients
These strategies are already producing results:
- Annual revenues reached a record $1.84 billion in FY99.
- Just over 21 million guests traveled on Amtrak last year,
for a third consecutive year of ridership growth.
- Overall ridership in the last five months is up eight percent over the same period last year.
- Ridership on the high-speed Acela Regional service is up nearly 40% over the trains that were replaced.
- The development of more commercial partnerships has boosted Mail and Express
revenue by 35% in this calendar year.
- Amtrak's Network Growth Strategy (NGS), introduced in February, will expand
passenger rail service in 21 states, based on a comprehensive economic analysis of
the national rail system and potential market opportunities. The NGS is expected to
add as much as $229 million in revenue by 2003.
- New partnerships have been forged with Motorola, Dobbs, and The Hertz Corporation, among others.
- Amtrak's new web site for ticketing has been named one of the 100 most popular
bookmarked sites on the Internet. And, for FY 00, Internet ticketed sales are up
113% over the same period last year.
- Partnerships with 36 states and local authorities will lead to improved, high-speed
service in key corridors across the country.
Starting today, I'll do a lot more than wish you a
great trip. I'll guarantee it. That's the Amtrak promise.
So if for some reason we don't meet your
expectations, or ours, I'll make it right. Right away.
On the spot. Anywhere and anytime you travel
on Amtrak. What's more, there are 23,999 of my fellow
colleagues with the power to make the same promise.
Our new Satisfaction Guarantee is our commitment to you,
our guests, that the high standards we have
set for your travel experience will be met every time
you step on board. Are you ready to go further?
"Our trains cover 22,000 miles of track. But I'll go even further." -- Sheila Buchanan, Safety Liaison, Philadelphia
"I guarantee you'll see some glorious sunsets from my train. And speaking of guarantees." -- Bob Landreth, Conductor, Milwaukee
Click on a link below for further information:
AMTRAK INTRODUCES SATISFACTION GUARANTEE AND NEW CORPORATE BRAND IDENTITY
Rail System Is the First and Only National Transportation Provider To Guarantee Satisfaction Unconditionally
Amtrak News Release, Thursday, July 6, 2000
Coverage of Chicago Union Station Ceremonies from Rail Travel in the US!
Image of the new Amtrak logo at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia! (Stan's Railpix)