Customer-oriented business operations
Utilising a customer-oriented approach to grow passenger numbers
VR’s passenger service customers are a key element in the development of all services, including transport planning, pricing, marketing as well as the services offered on trains, in coaches and buses, at stations and in our online channels. In 2015, passenger services focused on assessing the travel needs and wishes of its customers in various ways. Supporting the development work is a strong understanding of the customer base through the Veturi loyalty programme. Almost one million train travelers have joined Veturi.
During 2015, VR conducted a number of customer satisfaction and corporate image surveys in long-distance traffic, and their results are now being used to develop operations. Every year, 11 million passengers travel by long-distance train. Train travel is seen as pleasant, comfortable, fast, safe and environmentally friendly. Customers also provided a lot of positive feedback on the customer-oriented nature of train personnel. The areas that need to be developed the most are pricing and punctuality.
The strong transition in consumer habits can be seen on trains. The largest customer flows can be found in Helsinki and its neighbouring areas as well as in the traffic between major cities. In 2015, transport planning processes became demand-oriented with the goal of creating faster and smoother connections for routes with the most traffic.
Digitalisation is constantly changing customer expectations for the whole journey experience. Our online shop vr.fi and its mobile app are easily the most popular channels for ticket sales. Demand for traditional ticket offices has strongly decreased and in the autumn of 2015, VR decided to reduce the number of ticket offices to just nine from January 2016 onwards. R-kiosks that can be found everywhere in Finland complete the ticket sales network.
Commuter services transports over 63 million customers every year with commuter trains in the Helsinki region’s HSL area as well with VR’s own zone area traffic. For commuters, punctuality, speed and frequent service intervals are an important part of their daily train trip. Commuter services has received excellent feedback from HSL’s extensive customer surveys with growing customer satisfaction figures year by year. A key achievement for commuter services in 2015 was the inauguration of the Ring Rail Line. With the Ring Rail Line, traveling to Helsinki Airport is easier than ever before both within the HSL area as well as for long-distance travelers, and it only requires one ticket.
Avecra is also improving the comfort and competitiveness of train travel by developing its train restaurant concept to better meet customer needs and preferences. In 2015, focus was placed on the sales-orientedness of personnel, the customer orientation of the organisation and making major improvements in logistics by moving the warehouse from Oulu to Tampere.
Pohjolan Liikenne continues to compete for express coach service customers by further developing its concept. It is improving its competitiveness with its versatile online shop, high-quality customer service, renewed pricing and services that it provides during trips, such as a working wifi connection in its buses and coaches. Up-to-date equipment and modern comforts create a better experience for customers. In 2015, Pohjolan Liikenne opened its own customer service unit that will help provide better service for its customers. In addition, its website was updated to make planning trips and buying tickets easier and faster than ever before on any device.
Understanding the business operations of its customers is important for VR Transpoint
For VR Transpoint, customer orientation means understanding the business operations of its customers. Different business sectors require different logistics solutions for the transport of their raw materials and products. Solutions are built according to the individual and changing needs of customers while also taking the end user into account. The most central aspects are the management of the whole logistics chain and the close collaboration with different partners.
For VR Transpoint, customer-oriented operations mean meeting the expectations and wishes of its customers as well as the good fulfilment of the tasks that are agreed upon: easy and smooth service, flexible and efficient operations, punctuality and reliable delivery, as well as responsibility and reliability. A key aspect in this is the continuous development of operations together with customers.
VR Transpoint wants to produce added value for its customers. VR Transpoint offers railway and road transports that can be flexibly combined. This is an advantage in situations where the transport needs of customers change seasonally according to demand. Transports are complemented with diverse services from transport planning to loading and unloading as well as storage and terminal services.
VR Transpoint also offers comprehensive logistics solution where the whole transport chain and any added services are customised according to the customer’s needs, factory-to-harbour, in both Finland and abroad. When VR Transpoint is part of the whole transport chain, managing the whole chain becomes easier and more efficient.
VR Transpoint wants to further deepen its collaboration with its customers. The aim is to produce logistics solutions that benefit both parties. In the future, VR Transpoint will make even more detailed service promises that commit to mutual goals. These service promises can be about safety or punctuality.
Customer experiences are made in projects
VR Track has highlighted its customer-oriented approach and promises to customers as the core functions of its operations. In 2015, its customer work focused especially on developing interaction and communications as well as establishing best practices in its daily operations.
In the infrastructure engineering business, the customer experience is made in projects. The meaning of customer satisfaction and customer work in projects has been highlighted as one of the top priorities for project coaching in 2016. Project personnel training focuses especially on developing a customer-oriented approach and project-oriented communications in every step of each project, from making a proposal to the end of the warranty period. Best practices that have been gained from alliance projects are also being utilised in projects.
VR Track works in close collaboration with its customers. For example, alliance projects have increased customer insight and thus have accelerated the implementation of even more customer-oriented modes of operation.