The majority of Danish bus drivers now have access to communication and training in an online knowledge portal.
In the Autumn of 2011, FynBus introduced a knowledge portal for bus drivers as a pilot project supported by the Danish Transport Authority’s green funds. Expectations for the project were high, as FynBus wanted to create an engaging dialogue across the entire organisation and ensure that their bus drivers’ knowledge about current products was constantly updated. Training in everything from ticket types to travel regulations went online with the new portal Vores FynBus, enabling bus drivers to keep their knowledge up to date at all times.
The project was an essential component in FynBus’ strategy for attracting more passengers – realising that the bus driver is in many ways the person paving the way for the customer’s service experience and perceived product quality.
The Bus Drivers Were Involved
The bus drivers were involved in Vores FynBus. Through the portal, they were able to report capacity problems, ticket-related errors or driving/schedule challenges. This enabled FynBus to react to various issues quickly and efficiently, to the benefit of both bus drivers and customers.
The forums let drivers exchange everything from opinions to good advice, ideas and experiences – and FynBus’ management was present and listening in the dialogue.
FynBus achieved results with the pilot project already within a short time. Six months after the introduction of Vores FynBus, the amount of customer complaints related to bus drivers had fallen with around 50 percent. Feedback from the drivers themselves was also positive.
Frank Kusk from Keolis says:
”Vores FynBus is a good information hub for employees working for FynBus. You can inform people about detours as well as new ticket system information – and what the future will hold. It keeps us well updated among our colleagues.”
Finn Madsen from Vester Skerninge Biler says:
”VoresFynbus is a place that lets us bus drivers keep ourselves updated about everything big and small related to Funen’s roads and routes, ticketing, detours or general daily changes, and it reminds us when to fly flags etc.”
The system’s social element has become an important value-creating factor for the bus drivers who appreciate the possibility of talking with colleagues online when you normally work alone behind the wheel every day. At FynBus, several retired bus drivers have expressed a wish to stay present in the system while they enjoy their retirement. That made FynBus offer all retired bus drivers the option of staying on Vores FynBus, even though they are not in uniform anymore.
Increasing Customer Satisfaction
Since 2011, customer satisfaction has increased with 24 percent, and FynBus won the Forbrugerrådet Tænks Passagerpulsens customer service prize in 2015 and repeated their success in 2016 with the online prize. Today, all written communication between bus drivers, operators and FynBus takes place in Vores FynBus.
Nordjyllands Trafikselskab, FlexTrafik in Region Nord and Region Syd and Movia have since implemented their own knowledge portal based on the same system as the one used for Vores Fynbus. This system, Academy, is developed by the company A Close Shave and adapted to the individual transport authority’s strategy and needs.
The System Strategy
At Nordjyllands Trafikselskab, the goal with implementation of the platform Viazonen.dk was a part of the organisation’s vision about broadening their service approach. NT’s goal is, through strategic communicative and skill-enhancing activities, to have Denmark’s best bus drivers.
“Viazonen.dk lets us ensure that bus drivers possess a high level of knowledge so they can provide our customers with the best service experience possible. With the option of entering into a dialogue with both colleagues, other drivers and NT, many questions and dilemmas from the bus drivers’ workdays are discussed and answered here. The drivers feel that they are heard to a much greater extent than before, and that leads to much higher job satisfaction,” says Gine Petersen, Product Manager at NT.
At Movia, the incentive was the need for a new method to certify the approx. 4,500 bus drivers in Movia’s area. Academy was the chosen solution because the system makes the certification easily accessible for both bus drivers and operators.
Operator Coordinator at Movia, Uffe Tokehøj, says:
“Our mandatory certification of bus drivers now takes places in the portal vores- movia.dk. Aside from the certification itself, however, the portal also provides employees with more options to seek and share knowledge. Before, employees were informed through emails, printed notices at the driver hubs and printed handbooks. Some of those materials are still in use, but bus drivers know that they can now locate all of the information they need at voresmovia.dk”.
Experiences Are Shared
The traffic authorities’ knowledge portals are developed continuously in order to keep them alive and add value for both users and providers. The company behind the system, A Close Shave, functions as a sparring partner for the system owners. A Close Shave facilitates continuous evaluations of individual systems and shares experiences from systems in other businesses when they make sense as sources of inspiration for the traffic authorities.
The traffic authorities using Academy have recently taken their first step towards meeting in an experience group where they will focus on their knowledge portals and share experiences and ideas.
This article was also published in the newsletter Kollektiv Trafik on the 6th of July 2016. Read more about Kollektiv Trafik Forum.