A transport company with experience in operating bus networks won a new contract to operate an express metro line in the heart of a European capital. Operating the new metro line represented a significant step up in terms of the level of service expected from passengers as well as from the general population and local administration. There were also new contractual requirements to measure passenger satisfaction and achieve targets to avoid financial penalties.
The bus operations had grown “organically” over time and were organized in a relatively unstructured manner with little or no clearly defined plans. A new, more structured approach was required.
The objective we agreed on was:
From launch day onwards staff should be in a position to proactively understand the passengers’ needs, this would represent a new customer-centered company approach.
How did we achieve that together?
Before it could start developing its detailed operational planning, ticketing and pricing strategy, passenger information plan and customer service recruitment and training, the company needed to clearly understand what its passengers wanted.
We worked with them to guide them and assist them:
- Pulling together the available data and research to identify key demographics and current and expected future travel habits
- Carrying out specific market research to understand passenger expectations and other factors key to providing the best possible level of service
- Identifying the major passenger segments to tailor a target passenger experience for each
- Summarizing the key actions required so that each department could contribute to deliver the required level of service by developing their individual operational plans.
Finally, we helped them to prepare the promotional material and advertising programs to promote the service and highlight its advantages in competition with alternative methods of transport.
What were the keys to success?
- A management desire to put the customer at the heart of the business’ processes and so rely heavily on the recommendations of the marketing study as a reflection of the passengers’ needs
- Detailed analysis and research to understand the environment
- A structured marketing plan piloted by a team that understood both the methodology and the overall business objectives