South Western Railways have just announced that they are going to give away coffee and jelly beans. This incredible act of generosity is in aid of Customer Service Week which starts on October 2nd. Never mind that scarcely  one train has run on time since they took over and several have never even arrived.

I can just imagine the brain storm session in a forward planning meeting in July, before they had taken up the new franchise.

"So what's happening in October?" asks Head of Customer Experience. "Oh, it's customer service week" squeaks an exec " and we had this brilliant idea of giving everyone free coffee....and jelly beans. We'll get PR to put a press release and get our social media team stick it on all the channels"

The golden rule is always make sure that your marketing plan is joined up. Having a customer service initiative of this kind when your whole service is in disarray is a mistake. I don't think that this initiative has done anything to enhance SWR's customer service as SWR's social channels are awash with disgruntled remarks about the jelly bean promotion.

I am now just waiting for Ryanair to follow suit. I would just like to be a fly on the wall when the first customer gets their free Jelly beans ......