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Conference hears how Virgin Trains has improved customer and employee experience with ServiceNow

Press release   •   May 15, 2019 10:20 BST

Image: John Sullivan addressing delegates at the Knowledge19 conference
  • Knowledge19 in Las Vegas hears how Virgin Trains has improved IT with ServiceNow

  • Chief Information Officer John Sullivan addressed thousands of delegates

  • Partnership has improved customer experience and operational efficiency

A major international conference has heard how Virgin Trains has revolutionised its information technology to benefit its customers and employees.

In a keynote speech, the Train Operator’s Chief Information Officer, John Sullivan, addressed 20,000 delegates at Knowledge19 in Las Vegas where he outlined the benefits of Virgin Trains' partnership with cloud-based digital workflow platform provider ServiceNow.

Since going into partnership with Virgin Trains in 2016, ServiceNow, alongside its UK partner UP3, has worked on several projects with the operator including frontline business and Customer Service Management - which has both improved customer experience and operational efficiency.

ServiceNow specialises in simplifying common workplace processes — whether it’s holiday bookings, IT help desk queries or ordering a new company laptop – in turn this helps free up employees to do more complex and meaningful work, as well as fulfil the demands quicker and easier for the person behind the request.

Some of the projects the company has worked on at Virgin Trains include developing a new app that provides front line staff with the latest information train services to keep customers better informed in real time. 

They have also created a new monitoring system for operational staff meaning, for example, that a team can be speedily assigned to fix a train fault and that issues are quickly resolved before customers are even aware of any potential problems.

John Sullivan told the conference last week  - which was also live streamed across the world - the payback period (the length of time required for an investment to recover its initial outlay in terms of profits or savings) of some projects has now been reduced to one day when previously on average a payback period could be a number of years.

“Our company ethos at Virgin Trains is screw average and create amazing,” he told delegates “We do that every day. It’s about working as a team to drive innovation and push the boundaries for the benefit of our customers and employees.”

John added: “ServiceNow has been an absolutely brilliant partner and work with us across the business to create a much better working experience, reducing complexity and fostering enterprise.”

About Virgin Trains

Stagecoach and Virgin are working in partnership to operate the West Coast inter-city route under the Virgin Trains brand, revolutionising travel on one of the UK’s key rail arteries.

The network connects some of the nation’s most iconic destinations including Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester and London.

Virgin Trains is committed to delivering a high speed, high frequency service, offering shorter journey times, more comfortable travel and excellent customer service. Customers consistently rate Virgin Trains ahead of other long-distance rail franchise operators in the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) commissioned by industry watchdog, Transport Focus.

Virgin Trains has a proud record of challenging the status quo - from introducing tilting Pendolino trains, to a pioneering automated delay repay scheme, introducing the industry-leading onboard entertainment streaming service, BEAM, and becoming the first franchised rail operator to offer m-Tickets for all ticket types.

Virgin Trains operated the East Coast route between March 1, 2015 and June 24, 2018. In that time, we invested £75m to create a more personalised travel experience, including over £40m in the existing fleet. Customers have benefitted from 48 additional services between Edinburgh and London every week, and an extra 22 Saturday services between Leeds and London – a total of 1.74 million additional seats since May 2015.

Working together, the partnership railway of the public and private sectors has published a long-term plan, called In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity, to change and improve Britain’s railway. The plan will secure almost £85bn of additional economic benefits to the country whilst enabling further investment and improvement, and contains four commitments which will see rail companies: strengthen our economic contribution to the country; improve customers’ satisfaction; boost the communities we serve; and, create more and better jobs in rail. For more information go to Britain Runs on Rail.

Visit the Virgin Trains Media Room - - for the latest news, images and videos. Subscribe here for regular news from Virgin Trains.

Press Office: 0845 000 3333.

About ServiceNow

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