Navigating the pace of change: Unveiling Trainline’s strategy in predicting demand for proactive CX – Calabrio (UK)
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Navigating the pace of change: Unveiling Trainline’s strategy in predicting demand for proactive CX

Trainline stands as Europe’s premier train and coach booking provider, offering a comprehensive solution for all customer travel needs. With access to routes, prices, and travel times from over 270 rail and coach operators across 40 countries, Trainline simplifies ticket purchases, saving customers time, effort, and money.

Recognising the inherent stress of travel, Trainline prioritises a seamless and easy customer experience. Their proactive approach ensures customers feel assured and in control, with empathetic customer service at the forefront.

We had the pleasure of speaking with Leighann Radley, Senior Forecast and Business Planning Manager at Trainline, in a recent webinar with the South West Contact Centre Forum, SVL, a contact centre consultancy with over 55 years of experience, and Hoover Candy in which we discussed emerging forecasting and scheduling trends and contact centre insights.

In an industry as multifaceted as travel, anticipating demand to deliver proactive customer service poses a unique challenge. Leighann shared Trainline’s strategy for predicting demand for proactive customer experience.

Mastering uncertainty through scenario forecasting

Comprising of 600 agents, with 470 stationed in India, and an additional 130 multilingual agents proficient in French, German, Italian, and Spanish, operating from their Edinburgh contact centre, the team handles over 200,000 customer enquiries each month.

Since integrating Calabrio in collaboration with SVL back in 2019, Trainline has forged ahead with a proactive approach to customer experience, developing a series of specialised playbooks rooted in scenario-based forecasts. “Calabrio is great for allowing us to test out different scenarios. Our series of playbooks serves as a vital resource, ensuring readiness for unexpected circumstances. Our planning team is small but mighty. Calabrio is well embedded and saves us so much time,” comments Leighann. Their playbooks carefully consider anomalies, thoroughly validating their forecasting data. While they diligently track weather patterns and seasonal shifts, the unpredictability of train faults, emergency incidents, or sudden strikes presents an ongoing challenge.

Training agents for unexpected demand

In moments like these, frontline staff are often the first to spot what’s happening. That’s why Trainline came up with an agent feedback form, making it easy for agents to share their insights and keep the wider team in the loop.

“Our feedback forms empowers agents to swiftly report any irregularities or deviations from the norm in their operations. Plus, our daily meetings with the operations team further enhance their ability to navigate unforeseen hurdles,” shares Leighann.

The frontline team at Trainline isn’t just equipped to handle the expected; they’re adept at navigating the unexpected surge in demand with poise and empathy. Trainline recognises the pressure unforeseen demand can place on agents, which is why they integrate readiness for such scenarios into their daily routines.

In addition to their regular duties, Trainline prioritises the ongoing growth of their team members. Through weekly one-on-one development sessions and dedicated ‘Development months,’ they ensure that every agent has the tools and knowledge to excel. Trainline also prides itself on fostering a culture of continuous improvement, offering clear pathways for advancement and embracing every opportunity for professional development.

Elevating contact centre visibility through Calabrio Analytics

At Trainline, the team places a strong emphasis on budgeting to ensure that ample attention is given to training and personal development, creating a more enjoyable workplace for agents. “For us, training and development is a well-thought-out process. It isn’t something that we try to implement at the last minute. We want our team to be prepared for everything and be proactive, not responsive,” states Leighann.

When seeking approval for training and development plans, Leighann and her team prioritise thorough reporting by tracking training ROI using metrics such as CSAT scores and other KPIs. Monthly operational reviews provide opportunities for honest discussions about the previous month’s successes and challenges.

An effective reporting method used by the team is measuring adherence, which reveals the impact of schedule deviations. With plans in place to make adherence a KPI in 2024, the team is continuously looking for ways to improve and maintain high standards. The team also enjoys using Calabrio’s flexible reporting tools for interactive dashboards, which provide real-time insights.

Plans for the future

Leighann is fully committed to elevating, overseeing, and enhancing the quality of the services offered by Trainline to ensure that they remain consistent and reliable. In line with this goal, Trainline will soon be implementing Calabrio Quality Management (QM) and Analytics. This system will allow Trainline to gain valuable insights into customer behaviours, preferences, and operational inefficiencies. By making data-driven decisions based on these insights, Trainline will be better equipped to identify areas for improvement, optimise resource allocation, and tailor their services to more effectively meet customer needs. Ultimately, this integrated approach will drive growth and profitability for Trainline.

In addition, Leighann and her team plan to incorporate AI automation, specifically for translation services, to meet the demands of their multilingual agents, who possess unique skill sets that are highly sought after.

Looking forward, Leighann envisions a future powered by SVL and Calabrio. Having experienced limitations with other WEM solutions in the past, she champions Calabrio as the epitome of market excellence. This is attributed to its unparalleled agility, which enables Trainline to adapt to changing demand, anticipate upcoming needs, and prioritise agent well-being and autonomy. “I am a total convert now with Calabrio. It gives us total agility to flex our demand. What is in the forecast and what isn’t in the forecast. We’d be lost without it,” comments Leighann.

To find out how Calabrio can help you provide proactive customer service by using predictive scheduling and analytics, book a custom demo today.

Calabrio is a trusted ally to leading brands. The digital foundation of a customer-centric contact centre, the Calabrio ONE workforce performance suite helps enrich and understand human interactions, empowering your contact centre as a brand guardian. We maximise agent performance, exceed customer expectations, and boost workforce efficiency using connected data, AI-fueled analytics, automated workforce management, and personalised coaching. Only Calabrio ONE unites workforce optimisation (WFO), agent engagement, and business intelligence solutions into a true-cloud, fully integrated suite that adapts to your business. For customers and partners.

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