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User experience,

key challenge for railway sector development
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Luis Mendoza

Luis Mendoza

Director
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Spain, with more than 3,000 kilometers, is the first European country and the third in the world –after China and Japan- with more High speed kilometers. Moreover, our railway structure has 11,483 km of conventional railway, 119 of mixed system and 1,207 km of narrow-gauge railway.

Spanish railway industry offers innovative last generation products and solutions developed and implemented in more than 80 countries, being leader and worldwide reference in the sector as recognized by MAFEX, the association that bind more than 70 Spanish railway industry enterprises together  and accumulate about 85% railway exports of our country.

 

The number of subsectors involved in the value chain of the rail industry is extensive construction, electrification, stations, maintenance, fixed materials and equipment, components and onboard equipment, machinery and equipment for rolling stock manufacturing, manufacturers, builders, interior , maintenance, security, engineering, consulting, signaling, traffic control, telecommunications and ticketing… And to maintain the leading position in the Spanish railway sector, the companies that provide such services are bound to invest in continuous innovation and technological development that is a prerequisite for participation in the business. Its innovative solutions are being developed and implemented in railway projects carried out both in Spain and in international markets, as more than 50% of exports of Spanish SMEs are to countries of the European Union, one of the rail markets most demanding in the world.

Only in Spain, RENFE transported more than 465 million passengers in 2015. In Cercanías, this company carries more than 1,100,000 people per day, while its high speed trains (AVE) and Long Distance ended the year 2015 with almost 31 million passengers, a record second consecutive year.

Increase the volume of customers each year requires significant investment in technical and economic resources but user satisfaction it is and will be key to the business. Evolve the user experience is essential, especially in a context in which new generations enjoy new habits that must be satisfied if we want to retain them as customers.

We must analyze their expectations, their adaptability to new technologies, their new concepts of comfort and efficiency, concerns about the sustainability and security, but also need to advance in accessibility for all users, study the implications the aging population, the needs of disabled people, of which come with baggage, sustainability, safety...

In short, you need to define the customer experience to the smallest detail, from how to buy a ticket to the environment of the station entrance, hallways, corridors of access, wagons...

 

Therefore, in the immediate future we enjoy innovative concepts of stations, with new furnishings capable of satisfying user experience of the most demanding customers.

We will see best solutions for the needs of some consumers increasingly aware of the value of the services, who care about sustainable solutions and that want to make the most of your trip.


But a good knowledge of the user and adding value to maintain and increase the differential between transport and competitors, is necessary. If transport becomes a market of cheap seats, without any attractive, companies cannot make their economic forecasts by objective values. If you do not have a different hue, the user - mostly unfaithful - will change to other means of transport at their convenience. It is imperative, therefore, to increase customer loyalty and make him change the habit of looking cheap by custom to have us as favorites in your browser or on your mobile.

Redesigning the passenger experience can benefit more, offering onboard services with higher added value, just what the traveler demand. Also, at the station, in the before and after, can be improved even fit the travel experience to get to practices being of other sectors, they are viable and easily adapted to rail.

Perhaps, without losing the horizon of economic figures, to study the passenger as the center of the operation, not the train, it can lead to operators in the sector to get more revenue and convert travelers into loyal allies of the new model deal.

 
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