In today’s increasingly competitive marketplace, rail operators face numerous challenges when it comes to engaging with new travellers, growing revenues and securing customer loyalty. The impact of digitalisation has made time-to-market and reactivity more important than ever before. Re-engaging with the customer should be the priority for every rail company.
Travellers have now fully embraced social media for travel inspiration, and are using online and mobile channels alongside traditional channels for travel booking. They expect the information they need, and the offer they’re looking for, in real-time and at a swipe or a click.
As our recent whitepaper, Reinventing rail in Europe: the battle for the customer, outlines, re-engaging with the customer is now a strategic priority for rail companies as they look for ways to interact with the traveller throughout the journey – and to react quickly and effectively to new traveller preferences and demands.
FROM INSPIRATION TO REALITY
- Respond in real time to market developments and traveller requirements,
- Quickly adapt to the environment,
- Implement new strategies.
The power to adapt: A competitive advantage
We can help railways to adapt to ever faster changing market demands and compete effectively with other modes of transport - for example, if a destination is popular over a specific weekend as it’s hosting a music concert, the railway can respond in instantly by implementing a new marketing campaign aimed at concertgoers across multiple channels in real time, according to the new demand pattern.
These channels might include social media. We recently developed a proof of concept ‘Railbot’ solution, which uses artificial intelligence as a basis for a chat bot, through which consumers can book rail travel directly in Facebook - so the inspiration, shopping and rail booking experience is completely seamless.
Innovation and flexibility: leading to success
New solutions can be trialed through test releases, which are managed in an agile mode, allowing railways to pilot new and creative ideas before committing full implementation. This enables innovation and experimentation, with back-end flexibility empowering rail companies to be creative in their consumer-facing channels.
Flexibility is important for staff and travellers on a day-to-day basis. If a traveller misses their connecting train, real-time systems will ensure it’s easy for staff on the platform to rebook them onto the next one – so they can deliver a better customer service. To help rail companies in scenarios like this, we are piloting a ‘Rail On Board’ solution, which allows railways to:
- incorporate operational data into a mobile app, so that travellers can see where their train is on its route and where the onboard facilities are located,
- suggest and sell ancillary services to travellers, in turn increasing revenue.
This flexibility is possible because every solution in our RailyourWay portfolio is based on web services and open source technology, meaning they are scalable. Our solutions are underpinned by Amadeus Cloud Services, which provide a foundation for ultra-high availability, upon which our application-as-a-service offering is based.
With this modular approach and flexibility in back-end systems, rail companies are freed up to focus on innovation, new strategies and the customer experience.
To find out more, visit our new website.