Posts tagged with Trains

train ticket

Broken multichannel experiences: we’re all waiting for the fix

As a blogger, I have a responsibility not to get personal and not to write with righteous indignation.

However, I also have the pleasure of being able to write about experiences I have had that bear on digital marketing and ecommerce.

After my stag do this weekend, I lost my paper return train ticket from Devon to London and had to pay for a new one.

In my opinion this revealed a disjointed multichannel offering because lost paper tickets cannot be reissued, but mobile tickets effectively can be (by logging into an app on another mobile device).

So what can we learn?

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Blackpool

UX problems I had booking my holiday (and why I need a bumbag)

In this post, or seamless meld of my personal and professional lives, I will highlight a few user experience blips I found when booking a holiday to Austria.

On reflection, it occurs to me we might all be over-excited about new developments online. Wearable technology and cross-channel CRM are both all over tech and digital marketing news, but how far are we from websites working to the user's satisfaction?

As progress brings more examples of 'good', the 'bad' becomes even more annoying. The whole experience of booking my holiday left me realising that one of the main benefits of package holidays remains the same: they take the hassle out of having to interact with more than one service/company in the travel sector.

None of the company websites I used were bad at all, in fact, I was impressed by OBB (Austrian Rail) and Olotels, but the cumulative effect of small user experience hiccups meant that booking tickets and accommodation filled an evening with moderate pain.

Can a holiday ever truly be 'last minute' until travel sites are optimised further? Here are the problems I faced.......

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Virgin Trains releases a poor iPhone app

Virgin Trains released an iPhone app recently, which is a bit of a disappointment and, judging by the low ratings it has received so far, the users seem to think so too. 

The app gives information on Virgin Trains services, and that's about it. The opportunity was there to create a useful app for customers, as thetrainline and Cross Country trains have done, but Virgin has missed this chance.

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Grand Central relaunches its website

Grand Central, which operates rail services between London and the North East, came in for some criticism on this blog a few months ago for the shocking customer experience when attempting to book tickets online.

The company has now relaunched its booking engine so I've been trying it out to see if Grand Central has managed to make the site more usable than before.

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Grand Central needs to improve its usability

I have to book trains online quite often, and am constantly frustrated by the poor user experience offered by some rail operator's websites.

I've criticised National Express for usability problems before, but GrandCentral, which operates train services along the same East Coast mainline between London and the North East, takes the biscuit for poor customer experience. 

Grand Central homepage

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