Mind the Doors! An Innovative Way To Improve Customer Experience!


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Train signs - 3DEver stood on a train station platform in anticipation of wondering, as the train comes in, where the spare seats are – or if there are any? Have you ever struggled down the length of the train through an overcrowded carriage (or two) with your luggage to find a spare seat 3 carriages down?

Well, if you’re in one station in Holland, that anticipation and hassle is over! A Dramatically and Demonstrably Different sign tells you where the seats are!

This 590 foot platform long LED screen hangs above the train platform and uses intuitive color-coding and symbols to show exactly where to stand to make boarding easier once the train arrives! As Fast Company reports, long, illuminated blocks of blue run the length of each car, marking the space where the cars will pull in (and where the gaps between cars will be).

Using information from infrared sensors in the train doors, the sign points out available seats and colour coded arrows highlight empty and full and half full carriages! It also highlights first class, quiet carriages and disabled accesses.

It’s a great example of improving the customer experience by removing barriers and blockages and being easier to deal with and do business with – a key ingredient of 3D Characteristic #3 Create Delighted And Devoted Customers. (more info here)

This innovative approach was developed by the design agency Edenspiekermann for ProRail, the organization that maintains platforms and stations on the Dutch national rail network.

“A lot of passengers are quite confused on the platform,” explained Creative Director Joost Holthuis. “You can’t predict where the train will stop, where it’s busy. It’s very crowded on the platform.” They simply spotted a customer problem and eliminated it!

So, looking at your business….

  • What irritates and annoys your customers when it comes to doing business with you?
  • What are the blockages and barriers your customers experience when dealing with you?
  • How can you find out (hint: ask them and your front line staff!)
  • How can you eliminate them? (the blockages, not the staff!) 

The results in Holland were impressive! A four-month pilot test last year in the Den Bosch railway station proved successful in significantly improving customer satisfaction levels, and  increasing capacities on the trains – a win-win! The plan is to roll this out across other stations around the country.

The only complaint about the service was that it wasn’t implemented in more stations – that’s the danger of increasing customer expectations by exceeding them! They want more!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Andy Hanselman
Hi there! I help businesses and their people create competitive advantage by 'Thinking in 3D'! That means being 'Dramatically and Demonstrably Different'! I research, speak about, write about and work with businesses to help them maximise their sales and marketing, their customer service and their customer relationships.


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