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BlogPost 163357402420 Improving the Bus and Coach Passenger Experience Through Conversational Channels//
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Improving the Bus and Coach Passenger Experience Through Conversational Channels


In today's dynamic transport sector, the concept of the “customer journey” extends far beyond the physical travel from one point to another. It's a much broader experience that starts from the moment a passenger thinks about booking a trip and continues throughout their physical journey. It goes beyond dealing with any post-trip queries and trying to get that all-important next booking. Throughout the experience, Unifonic's innovative multichannel communication tools can play a crucial role, offering a streamlined, efficient way to manage the customer journey from start to finish. These tools boost the operational efficiency of transport services and can significantly enhance customer satisfaction by offering a seamless, integrated experience.


A great example of the impact these tools can have can be seen with Rekab, a ride-sharing company operating in several cities across Saudi Arabia. By using a chatbot to automate their bookings and support process they managed to reduce response time from around 30 minutes to just 1 minute, increasing customer satisfaction and driving internal efficiencies. Read more about Rekab’s experience here.


The Customer Journey vs. The Passenger Journey 


At first glance, bus and coach transport might seem like a simple process of moving passengers from one place to another. However, a bus and coach company will have numerous interconnected services and tasks contributing to the overall experience. Consider the steps below: 

  • Journey research
  • Price comparison
  • Booking
  • Online payment
  • Itinerary changes
  • Travel information
  • In-trip information/entertainment
  • Destination information
  • Complaints and queries
  • Feedback gathering
  • Special offers
  • Follow-up booking

Each of these elements plays a vital role in defining the quality of the overall customer experience and very few take place on the day of the journey itself.



The Challenge of Fragmented Service Delivery


It’s common for companies to view these diverse tasks as individual, isolated processes, often falling under the remit of different departments and teams, rather than interconnected steps in a single, comprehensive customer journey. This fragmented approach can lead to inconsistent messaging, a lack of cohesive information flow, and ultimately, a sense of frustration and undervaluation from the customer's perspective. Recognizing and treating these tasks as part of a unified journey is key to delivering a consistent and satisfying customer experience.



The Unifonic Solution - Seamless Communication Across Multiple Channels


Multichannel communication across platforms like WhatsApp, SMS, webchat, and instant messaging channels with a common integrated chatbot tool provided by Unifonic can address this challenge head-on. We offer a solution that bridges the gap between multiple technologies and human interaction. The tools are designed to compile and utilize data from all aspects of the customer journey, presenting it through a platform that supports natural, intuitive conversation, accessible from the customer's preferred platform. This approach allows customers to ask questions in their everyday language, bypassing the often cumbersome need to navigate extensive menus and FAQ sections. It's a balance of technology and personal touch that addresses the core needs of modern travelers throughout the following stages.

The Booking Experience


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Through Unifonic’s solutions, prospective travelers can use multiple platforms to inquire directly about schedules, check prices, and understand how changes in routes or departure times might impact costs. They can also get information on travel conditions, cancellation policies, and other relevant details, all in a conversational format or with a simple menu system. This level of interaction makes the booking process more accessible and user-friendly, and the experience is the same regardless of the customer’s preferred communication platform.



Quick and Secure Payment and Ticketing 


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Once the passenger has decided on their itinerary, the next step is to facilitate a quick, easy, and secure payment for their journey. With secure user verification via One-time passwords (OTPs) issued through Unifonic’s Authenticate solution, users can feel safe knowing their payment is fully secure. Once the transaction is complete, e-tickets can be issued over the same platform, adding to the convenience for the passenger, avoiding the use of cumbersome paper tickets, and making the entire process more efficient.




As the journey approaches, Unifonic’s tools continue to provide invaluable support. Customers can easily make changes or get information by simply typing a question directly into WhatsApp, or a chatbot on webchat or social media. From the business’s perspective, this opens up opportunities for proactive customer engagement, such as sending reminders, updating schedules, and offering additional services like seat upgrades or preordering food. During the trip, real-time messages about delays, safety information, and details of onboard facilities can be communicated directly to the passenger’s device, significantly reducing the workload on onboard staff and enhancing the customer experience.


Post-Trip Engagement and Feedback


After the journey, the interaction doesn’t end. Unifonic’s tools can help automate thanking passengers, conducting satisfaction surveys, and handling complaints and queries. This integrated approach allows for a mix of automated responses for common questions and seamless handover to human support agents for more complex issues. It ensures that customers feel heard and valued, even after their journey has concluded.



Repeat Business and Customer Loyalty


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Finally, Unifonic’s suite of solutions play a critical role in encouraging customers to remain loyal and choose the service for future trips. Whether through a loyalty program, special promotions during off-peak times, or using data to anticipate high-demand periods and encourage early bookings, the system facilitates ongoing engagement. Integrating internal CRM systems and data with WhatsApp, SMS, or other messaging platforms, simplifies achieving business goals and maintaining a competitive edge.



Simplifying the Customer Journey


Throughout each of these stages, the customer interacts through a single, convenient point of contact: Their own preferred device. This unified approach eliminates the need for multiple logins, extensive email searches, and dealing with different platforms, thus providing a streamlined, efficient, and satisfying customer journey from start to finish.

To learn more about how Unifonic can help your business communicate with customers and prospects to enhance their traveling experience, contact us today.

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