What do bus drivers in Aalborg, Denmark have in common with a Retail Manager for Heathrow Express in London? They both use Academy – the knowledge sharing platform is widely used within the public transportation sector.
Academy is used daily by 80% of all bus – and DRT drivers in Denmark. Why do Academy and public transport make such a great match? More details below.
The customer in the driver’s seat
Public transportation is more like retail than you may think: Driver behaviour towards customers (i.e. passengers) influences the customers’ journey experience. So it is imperative to provide good service and correct information.
That is why it makes a big difference for customers whether or not a driver is knowledgeable and approachable, despite any (figurative and literal) bumps in the road during a workday.
On Academy drivers can get up to speed on all information regarding ticketing, zones, procedures and more – as well as being able to test and repeat their knowledge through certifications, and discuss any residual questions in the Forum, where a manager can quickly mark the correct solution.
When information and practical know-how is second-nature, it leaves more time to focus on giving an extra helping hand, smiling wider and explaining things more thoroughly. In other words, Academy can support employee confidence, positively impacting customer service.
FynBus experienced this when they first introduced Academy for their bus drivers in 2011. After only 3 months driver-related complaints had been reduced by 50%. Customer satisfaction had been boosted by 24% and FynBus won an independent customer service award in 2015.
Ready for rush hour – from Day 1
Getting everyone off to a good start is essential to a well-functioning organisation. Having a thorough onboarding plan is sometimes neglected, but it can make all the difference for new employees and giving them the necessary tools for success.
Starting a new job is in and of itself a big challenge, but it becomes an almost impossible task if the new employee doesn’t have a clear idea of what they are headed for: work tasks, the exact measure of the job description, what a daily routine looks like, and what they can expect in their first weeks.
The onboarding module in Academy can be used to prepare employees even before their first shift, but despite the name, pre- and onboarding isn’t the only thing the module is good for. It can be used to customise all types of training, long or short-term. Onboarding training modules can be combined to create a so-called Skill Tree, through which employees can cover large quantities of course materials in a structured manner – and with a sprinkling of gamification to kick-start their motivation.
The Rail Delivery Group uses Academy so ensure their members, the train operators, can revise training courses and post questions regarding their new reservation system, launching in 2021. With certifications aimed at each area of responsibility repetition and understanding is ensured, so that RDG’s new system has had a successful launch. Any difficulties are nipped in the bud through an extensive encyclopaedia and course correction, so that everyone learns the same new ways of working relevant to their position within RDG.
Bus drivers and train staff don’t have offices where they can small-talk over coffee, and with varying shift patterns meeting a colleague can be few and far between. Most employees within public transportation are used to this, the rest of us have had to adapt due to the pandemic.
Luckily, the community spirit and friendly rapport can continue online, provided you have a well-integrated channel of communication. Here you can post important news and clever ideas, ask questions and share tips, as well as tell stories, jokes and make time for the small interactions that all add up to a healthy workplace culture.
Nordjyllands Trafikselskab (Northern Jutland’s public transportation company, NT) uses the dialogue created on Academy to ensure that everyone is up-to-date, knows where to find important documents, and has a place to ask questions and receive quick replies. Apart from management providing necessary information for employees, the platform-wide communication helps to spread good vibes on a dreary day; on Viazonen, NT’s Academy system, employees have written 879 entries in their forum – and that is only counting the month of December. Sharing fun Christmas decorations, holiday greetings, and jokes helped to spread the cheer and smiles, smiles that made it past the driver’s seat and into the hearts of passengers.
Information at the speed of light
Sometimes things have to move quickly. This has been particularly evident in relation to COVID-19, where changing restrictions have to be implemented from day to day.
So how do you ensure that all employees spread across the country and with varying work hours are given the same information, at the same time – and that they read it? This is where Academy shines.
Through visual communication, various Top of Mind and Call to Action features, along with the ability to send SMS-messages to all or select employees, information can reach every nook and cranny at record-speed.
When FynBus launched a new type of ticket, they needed to act fast; the ticket was already in use, but the drivers hadn’t been given the right information about the new product. Using Academy, they were able to ensure that news of the new ticket had reached all 900 drivers and that 60% of them had completed a training module about the ticket within just 24 hours.
Moving in the sector’s fast track
The Academy system is updated monthly with new features and improvements. These updates are developed with input from clients, particularly those in the public transport sector. Throughout the year we host networking events for knowledge sharing between our clients in the sector – this provides us and them with new ideas for supporting drivers and employees in the best possible way.
Whether minor adjustments or large overhauls, Academy is a flexible system that develops alongside client needs. And everyone at A Close Shave is standing by to advice and co-create content that will ensure optimal customer service, whether it be in NT-busses in Aalborg or on the train to Heathrow in London.
During the COVID-19 crisis A Close Shave has been in close contact with its clients and tailormade campaigns and training materials to support and inform on new initiatives. This has ensured that drivers are always ready to make the daily route, despite changing restrictions.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details or to book a non-committal presentation.
Photo credit: A Close Shave