We’re creating a more connected travel industry, underpinned by sustainability and long-term investor relations.
Antoine de Kerviler
Former Head of Rail & Ground Travel, Amadeus
As railways work towards a modernised industry, one might ask whether technology or business agility will be the primary driver. Recently, at Passenger Rail Europe in Amsterdam, I explored this question and more with rail players from around Europe.
What does a modern rail experience look like?
This is essentially our vision of a ‘dream railway’ experience. However, there seems to be a productivity paradox when it comes to most companies, and in particular, railways. While technology has improved, computers are faster and more powerful, this improvement is not matched by gains in productivity. To take full advantage of new technology, additional investment is needed to support business modernization. New organisational models and processes are also required to go from frenzy to synergy.
At the heart of these new organisational models and processes lies customer experience. Some of the most successful brands around are not based on competitive prices, rather they have perfected the customer experience.
For example, customers want to log in to their online electricity account and see a real-time report of their consumption. They expect to buy a phone from their provider and have it activated and set up immediately out of the box. They want bank loans to be approved in minutes. They expect all service providers to have automated access to all the data they provided earlier and not to ask the same questions over and over again.
The rail industry is no different from the examples above. Passengers want to be referred to by their name not their ticket number. On top of this, they want a quick and unified digital experience, and they want it now. The future of the rail industry will be one where the customer is at the centre of everything and technology can make this possible.
Were you at Passenger Rail Europe? What were your key takeaways? Send us a tweet to share your views.