If someone had told me 6 years ago when I was working at Deutsche Bahn that car sharing would pose a real threat to rail operators, I wouldn’t have believed them. Nor that new, virtual train operators could pop up overnight – how could that be possible, in the capital-intensive and engineering-heavy rail world?
Clearly, disruption is the order of the day for the travel industry and rail has not escaped the storm of change. Over the last decade, an industry that was so often splintered along national lines and driven by the priorities of engineering was ignited by a key imperative: to reengage with the customer.
In our new rail discussion paper, The Battle for the Customer, we bring together leading figures from across the European travel industry to discuss how rail can win the battle for the customer. This discussion paper explores how rail can use technology to strengthen customer focus and look to other industries for best practices that drive change.
How can rail executives place the customer at the heart of their business? Do they need to embrace new technologies, or adopt new commercial strategies, or both? What kind of mind-set do they need to adopt to win this battle? How can rail operators best confront today’s competitive travel landscape and pave the way for a door-to-door travel future?
The insights in this paper will shed some light on these questions and others to hopefully help players from across the industry understand the forces that are driving change and harness them for competitive gain.
The Battle for the Customer in rail is on-going and there is much at stake: the prize is stronger customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and, ultimately, revenue growth – reassuringly, there are more than a handful of players who have started to reap these gains The ultimate winner though will be none other than the traveller, and their prize, the perfect rail experience.