Can digitalization increase railways' quality of services?

Prof. Andrea Giuricin

CEO at TRA Consulting

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Passenger rail deregulation is increasing railways' speed of change. In an industry, where infrastructure investments, such as new high-speed lines, take the largest slice of the cake, can soft investments increase railways' service quality?

Digitalization and Quality  Service

Indeed, digitalization is that type of soft investment that can increase passenger demand. It is not only important in order to have a more reliable rail service, but also in order to improve the rail passenger experience. 

As an example, imagine that a train is delayed. In an ideal world, the railway will notify the passenger with a push notification, directly on the passenger's mobile. But quite often railways' Customer Relationship Management Systems (CRM) don't talk with the rest of their systems. What does this mean for the passenger? Inaccurate information that leads to high dissatisfaction when traveling by train. 

Technology applied to the railway's CRM is the way to build a direct relationship with the passenger and help to segment the needs of every single rail passenger. In the case of travel disruption, this will be the way to share instant information with travelers. 

How can big data increase passenger satisfaction?

At the same time, a service-oriented IT platform, where all the railway's subsystems are linked, can increase rail passenger satisfaction. And big data and rail business intelligence is the technology that glues railways subsystems. For example, through the use of big data railways can:

  • Match onboard staff to passengers’ nationality so they can serve the customer in their own language.

  • Avoid crowded stations, as it can notify passengers in case of travel disruption.

Digitalization can also apply to the trains maintenance. In the near future, the 5G arrival will benefit the Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Communications. Having real-time data analysis on the trains' performance will increase the reliability of the services, and this translates into better customer service. 

Lastly, digitalization is also linked to the revenue management. Flexible technology solutions can help to offer the right price for every single customer. 

As a conclusion, digitalization is key to deliver better quality and a more reliable service. Railways have now the possibility to answer the needs of today's travelers. Learn how open source technology can lead to greater quality and customer satisfaction.

Open Source Systems: The revolution in the rail IT

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