The big message I got from Fujitsu’s recent insight guide, Where Are We Going? And How Are We Going to Get There?, was that the whole sector must start thinking in new ways about how they operate and how they interact with their customers – the passengers. It’s vital that transport operators use digital technologies creatively so that getting from A to B becomes almost effortless.
The contributors are all on a journey themselves. Each of them agrees that when it’s easy to book an entire journey in a transparent way, customer satisfaction rises. It put them in the mood to be a passenger. Of course, each passenger is a customer, and the insight guide proves why it’s important to see them as such.
A fascinating book by Richard Coyne, Professor and Chair of Architectural Computing at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, called Mood and Mobility: Navigating the Emotional Spaces of Digital Social Networks shows how our interaction with our devices enhances the moods we’re already in, and also influences how they change, especially when we interact with online stores or travel sites. Digital devices transmit moods from one person to another via social media, and from small groups to large groups as people share posts or ideas. And that fact has a big influence on how people consume goods and services online.
The urge to travel is also social. We must commute, and we like to complain about the downsides of doing so: congestion, delays, ticket prices – the list is endless. We love to go on holiday: city-breaks, annual vacations, weekends away. Our moods influence the way we manage both. And those moods usually form while we’re on the sofa checking various websites, wondering what the morning’s journey to work will be like, or how we can spend our days off enjoyably.
If it’s hard to get information, buy a ticket at the right price, or work out an easy way to get to a place we want to see, then our mood takes a down-turn and we don’t spend money, or we complain. Both affect the way we see travel operators. The insight guide suggests that this happens because, until now, most operators have not worked hard enough to leverage the power of digital to make the whole process of finding a route and booking a simple, unified way of getting to a destination easy.
It’s time to do that now.
Read the Insight Guide here:
 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press 2016