SilverRail and National Express Group have announced an industry-first technology partnership which is set to transform the travelling public’s experience with UK rail, starting with the c2c rail franchise that links the City of London with east London and south Essex.
SilverRail will provide the functionality for the complete customer sales journey, from journey planning to ticketing, underpinned by their multi-channel ticketing issuing system (TIS). This allows c2c to own and control all customer touch points including c2c’s website, mobile site, app layers, ticket vending machine interfaces and easily adapt to new emerging channels.
This is a first for a UK rail company, effectively taking ownership of the entire ticket retailing experience, and is part of c2c’s strategy of making the end-to-end journey experience as smooth as possible for customers. Unlike other travel verticals, rail, particularly in the UK has traditionally seen operators outsource their digital customer experience to third party companies, therefore losing control of the customer experience and slowing their rate of innovation.
SilverRail will provide the digital foundations for their retailing activity, enabling c2c to build a unified customer experience of searching, booking and fulfilment across all of their sales and support channels.
SilverRail’s foundation is an ‘open’ technology designed to work seamlessly with other technology suppliers, allowing c2c to easily work with best in class digital design agencies, CRM and yield campaign management tools and ticket vending machines.
This new technology platform allows train operators to know their customers, understand travel behaviours, provide targeted information and enhanced services, utilising all the channels that their customers want to use. A single view of the customer, irrespective of their chosen channel is a fundamental improvement for UK rail operators.
National Express Group was looking to adopt an easily reusable model with a specialist rail technology partner. With its extensive experience of delivering across Europe and North America, SilverRail is pleased to respond with a solution that can be simply rolled out across newly acquired franchises or operations.
SilverRail is a ‘software as a service’ (SaaS) company providing a single rail digital infrastructure to multiple clients. It enables distributors like Expedia to sell rail in multiple countries and carriers to manage their own retail operations, driving a network effect of value for partners. Always innovating, the platform is continuously improved using an Agile methodology, delivering new functionality releases every four weeks. SilverRail’s global partners collectively benefit from these releases, future proofing their technology investment.
Debbie O’Shea, UK IT Director at National Express said “As an industry, UK train companies have traditionally struggled with shifting significant numbers of customers to use their own direct online channels. National Express Group is succeeding in delivering this kind of channel shift in other operating areas within our business, so through our partnership with SilverRail we aim to repeat this success in the rail industry.”
Clare McCaffrey, Commercial Director at c2c said: “We are delighted to be working with SilverRail as part of our customer-focused retail strategy. We know there is a real appetite among many customers to use modern and simpler purchasing methods if they are given the right tools and incentives to do so and, in working with SilverRail, that is exactly what we intend to deliver.”
David Pitt, Head of UK at SilverRail says “We are thrilled to be working with National Express and c2c in a truly collaborative partnership. Our cross continent experience in rail ticketing and journey search will be available at every level and with c2c’s overwhelming desire to give its customers the best experience all-round, this will prove to be a very exciting association.
“SilverRail’s ethos is simply to give rail customers what they deserve. This requires a technical step change and we are delighted to be leading the way alongside c2c and its other chosen partners.”