If there’s one thing that people love to gripe about, it’s public transport. Too late. Too slow. Too crowded. While many organisations shy away from complaints, Transport for NSW is embracing them.
The public transport authority that manages bus, train, and ferry services throughout NSW is building a responsive and innovative transport network that really listens to its 600 million annual customers, and gives them the services they need, when they need them.
To reach its goal of delivering truly connected customer experiences—and to transform its public image from being an organisation that merely ‘moves metal boxes around’—Transport for NSW is using Salesforce.
With the rise and rise of apps like Uber and AirBnB, customer expectations around digital services are higher than ever. Customers rely on apps for everything from banking to paying for their morning coffee—they expect convenient apps to exist for all their day-to-day services.
“Commuter expectations are set not by their last transport experience, but their last digital experience. As a key part of commuters’ daily life, Transport for NSW needs to be up there with the best digital experiences that are provided to customers across all platforms,” said Tony Braxton-Smith, Deputy Secretary – Customer Services, Transport for NSW.
To kick-start its digital transformation, Transport for NSW sought a cloud-based platform to replace a range of disconnected systems—including customer service, operations, third parties at various transport stops, and maintenance. The platform would give Transport for NSW real-time access to the data and insights needed to drive innovation.
As well, the platform would need to give customers a voice—making it easier than ever for them make contact, provide feedback, and get useful information about the transport services they use every day.
A feedback system has been designed on Salesforce, built around Transport for NSW’s nine customer satisfaction drivers. Transport for NSW is using the rich, real-time feedback to better understand the customer experience and find ways to serve customers better.
“Salesforce brings together all channels—trains, buses, ferries—into one place. As a management team, we can look at all feedback from our customers across all their transport modes, at any point in time,” said Bennetts.
“For example, one of our drivers is timeliness, so how late was the bus this morning? Another one is cleanliness, so when I got on the bus, was there a dripping coffee cup on my seat? Was there graffiti on the side of the bus? Another one is convenience. How easy was it to get from my bus onto the train? All this feedback is captured in Salesforce,” Bennetts said.
Transport for NSW is using the customer feedback captured in Salesforce, overlaid with other data sources such as journey times and ticketing systems, to prioritise actions that will improve its services. For example, they may identify that more bus services are needed in a particular area; or that engineers are required to improve the reliability of a particular train service.
Transport for NSW is committed to building the most innovative, customer-centric transport network that Australia has seen—and understands that this innovation comes from all stakeholders, not just from within. Using Wave Analytics, Transport for NSW can view customer insights in real time from its Feedback2go app, allowing their contact centre to receive feedback from commuters and respond instantly.
“There is an infinite variety of opportunities out there. We want to work collaboratively with the app development community—it is amazingly quick and easy to deliver solutions using this new approach,” said Braxton-Smith.
Using Salesforce, Transport for NSW can also analyse torrents of data in real-time to react faster to transport network issues. For example, it can divert an empty bus to an over-subscribed route so that every passenger gets a seat.
“The great thing about all these insights is that it reshapes the way we do transport planning. We can make more effective use of the transport network that we have,” said Bennetts.
There are now many real-time transport apps available on the Transport for NSW website, all designed to create more connected customer experiences. Apps like these, together with the authority’s ongoing commitment to use customer insights to drive innovation, have set Transport NSW up for an exciting future.
It is continuing to explore opportunities—such as the application of the Internet of Things and the use of Salesforce Journey Builder to connect with customers in much more relevant and personalised ways—to realise its ambitions.
“For the people of NSW, this level of innovation could deliver a real sense of pride that government transport services are changing forever … and that we are leading the way,” said Braxton-Smith.