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ENGAGING WITH CUSTOMERS – CREATING SOLUTIONS

THE TRAINLINE CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT CASE STUDY

CREATING AN INDEPENDENT LISTENING EXERCISE AND ADVISORY BOARD ACROSS MULTIPLE STAKEHOLDERS AS A PLATFORM FOR FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS

The mission

About Trainline: Trainline are Europe’s leading train and coach app. Their aim is to bring together all rail, coach and other travel services into one simple experience so people can get the best prices and smart, real-time travel info on the go. Alongside the more well-known leisure travel offering, is their corporate solution, Trainline Partner Solutions (TPS). TPS provides industry-leading, innovative rail technology solutions for businesses, travel sellers and rail carriers to empower travellers to choose rail worldwide. It gives companies of all sizes full visibility; cost controls and management of their travel spend and their employees an easy way to book rail.

Building on the ongoing success of TPS, Trainline wanted to ensure the brand grew in profile and that they were fully embedded in the business travel community – both amongst TMCs and travel partners. They started by engaging FESTIVE ROAD to initiate a listening exercise, in order to understand what the perception of TPS was in the marketplace. They then worked together to devise a plan of long-term activity to grow and maintain engagement.

LIZ’S PERSPECTIVE...

“As we continued to develop TPS we wanted to ensure that we were keeping pace with and totally connected to our TMC and travel partners. Creating a regular, independently moderated advisory board was undoubtedly the best solution for achieving this.”

LIZ EMMOTT
DIRECTOR, GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION & TRAINLINE BUSINESS

ENGAGING WITH CUSTOMERS –
CREATING SOLUTIONS THE TRAINLINE CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT CASE STUDY

THE ISSUE

Trainline is so much more than a ‘mint green app’, but with such a strong B2C offering, the business wanted to establish how Trainline Partnership Solutions, Trainline’s commercial offering for travel management companies and other industry partners, was understood and perceived in the wider marketplace. They had a very clear challenge: To assess perception and knowledge of TPS in order to continue developing the solution and creating a best in class offering for the market.

THE SOLUTION

In early 2021, Trainline commissioned FESTIVE ROAD to undertake a listening exercise. As a reputable and renowned consultancy within the corporate travel sector, FESTIVE ROAD had the ability to connect with Trainline’s target audience and gather intelligence on their market impact.

Trainline provided an initial list of partners, which FESTIVE ROAD then enhanced through their wider network to build out a list of interviewees. Utilising their position as a third party, FESTIVE ROAD asked a range of high-level questions about the rail marketplace and their perception of Trainline. Rail isn’t often focused on as a category, so interviewees were keen to share. The responses received were insightful, open and honest, given the independent stance of FESTIVE ROAD.

THE RESULT

The exercise showed that Trainline’s account management and product offering – including split save and overall service – was well received by the industry. However, there was still confusion in the marketplace around the difference between Trainline’s consumer offering and TPS.

Armed with the results from the listening exercise Liz Emmott and the leadership within TPS were keen to create a regular touch point with customers and prospects as they expanded and developed the platform.

CHARLIE’S PERSPECTIVE...

“By working with FESTIVE ROAD to create the CAB, we have been able to bring together key stakeholders across the travel ecosystem to support and drive change within the rail agenda in the UK and Europe.”

CHARLIE BAIKIE
HEAD OF COMMERCIAL, TRAINLINE

THE ISSUE

Keeping continued contact with key industry voices, was going to play a crucial role in the future development of TPS. Trainline needed a way to establish ongoing communication to get closer to TPS customers, enable them to better understand TPS and together help one another to grow the rail proposition within the travel industry.

THE SOLUTION

FESTIVE ROAD designed and moderated the Customer Advisory Board (CAB) sessions and provided healthy challenge to Trainline leaders and participants in the room. Our role was to make sure all voices were heard, ensure a balanced discussion and clarity on objectives. This helped Trainline to present their strategy and new product offerings and get vital feedback from their partners. In tandem, the partners were able to learn from leading experts in the TPS business about the most recent industry developments and how Trainline was at the forefront of influencing change.

THE RESULT

By early 2023 Trainline had run five successful CABs, designed and moderated by FESTIVE ROAD. Topics included: the future of UK ticketing, Customer, Journey Mapping, Sustainability in Rail, EU rail liberalisation and the William Shapps Review. The discussion and engagement have brought great value to both the participants and Trainline.

Since inception, Trainline have seen greater engagement with CAB members and their organisations. On occasion where topics have required deeper or further learning Trainline have commissioned additional sessions to improve learning and engagement.

LOUISE’S PERSPECTIVE...

“Leading the Trainline CAB has been a great experience. My role is to design the sessions, moderate and provide healthy challenge to Trainline if I notice that a participant is not 100% clear. By setting
out our objectives and rules of engagement early on, all participants knew what they were signing up for and it has been fantastic to watch this group bond and build trust so quickly. The entire Trainline team were engaged from the start. The internal deep subject matter expertise within Trainline has added a great and engaging edge to the meetings. I never thought I’d say it, but I have become a huge rail geek as a result!”

LOUISE KILGANNON
PRINCIPAL, FESTIVE ROAD
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