I had occasion, dear reader, to go to France and Italy a few weekends ago. It was a bit of a road trip – with some planes and trains thrown in for good measure – and one of the earlier legs was the Eurotunnel from Folkstone to Calais. I’ve been on the Eurostar from London to Paris, but never the car-train thingy.

I didn’t know what to expect. I hadn’t booked the tickets as it was a surprise held in my dubious honour, so I hadn’t gone onto the website to see what it was all about. I was going in cold, which is always interesting from a marketeer’s perspective. It is always incredibly valuable to experience the customer journey through your product or service for the first time, because once you’ve got your feet under the table and you know where to look, what to do and what to expect, you can’t help first-time visitors navigate big idea any more.

I was expecting something like a cross between the car ferry and the Eurostar. Drive on, dump the car, chill for a couple hours, drive off. So, imagine my surprise when we drove onto a ‘carriage’ that houses about 3 or 4 cars and sat there. You can either sit in your car and feel mildly seasick as the train speeds through the tunnel, or you can get out of your car and walk up and down the side. There’s an emergency loo, but no cafeteria, no entertainment, no view, nothing.

I examined the inside of the carriage. There were lots of emergency notices and information about what you can’t do. What I didn’t know was that the journey is only 35 minutes long and there’s not much you can do.

One thing that struck me was that there was nothing to manage expectations for the first time traveller. You have to find stuff out for yourself, when it’s too late.

How hard would it be to produce a 3-minute video that runs in the terminal and the carriages to give you more information on the customer experience? It would put you at ease, enhance the experience and make you spend more money in the terminal, knowing that you would be without food and drink for the best part of an hour.

I’m not saying Le Shuttle is Le Shittle, far from it. It’s a massive investment and a huge time and money saver. It’s no nonsense, not quite ‘quick and dirty’ but certainly at the functional end of travel. What I am saying is that they need to work on the customer experience. And, when they do, everybody wins.