We spent five action-packed days at North America’s Biggest Bus Conference, hosting a Betterez Summit for our customers, attending informative educational events and networking with several operators and industry partners! If you weren’t able to attend the Betterez Summit at ABA’s Marketplace this January, we’ve got you covered. Below are some of the key learnings from our session.
Technological Innovation is Pushing the Bus Industry in New Directions
The mobility landscape is changing. Technology is moving the entire bus industry in unprecedented new directions and forcing many businesses to question the long-term viability of their operations.
In fact, on our own journey to get to the conference, a heavy winter snowstorm resulted in our flight being significantly delayed. We ended up re-routing our schedule and taking a 90 minute Uber ride from the Cincinnati airport. Surprisingly, that was the most hassle-free way to arrive at our destination. Five years ago, you wouldn’t have been able to accomplish anything travel-related at the click of a button!
Ride-share options are proliferating. The autonomous vehicle market is also expanding. Just recently, it was announced that Denver is launching its first autonomous shuttle. Operated by Transdev, the EasyMile shuttle will be programmed to make designated stops along predetermined routes. It runs an average speed of 12 to 15 miles per hour and can carry up to 12 passengers.
From improved shared mobility options to the growth in the autonomous vehicle and electric car markets, the expansion of Europe’s Flixbus to North America and Greyhound’s rollout of e-ticketing, ground travel operators are using technology to re-define their businesses.
How Does a Bus Operator Get Ahead in the Face of Increased Mobility Options?
It’s difficult to be all things to all people, and you shouldn’t try to. Your bus operation targets a specific set of customers and fills an existing set of needs. However, as customer needs and preferences evolve, you need to be able to quickly follow suit and continue to provide an enriching customer experience at every touchpoint.
A relentless focus on your customer is what will ultimately set you apart from your competition. It has always been about providing the right offer, at the right time, at the right price to the right customer. While this concept is simple, you need the proper tools to deliver against this promise. To help you out, here are a couple features we recommend you start employing in your ticket management systems:
- Revenue Management: Dynamic pricing – manage revenue, maximize profit, and attract more passengers by offering different price points at different times.
- Loyalty Program – incentivize repeat travel on your bus by rewarding your customers with rich points that can be used as credit towards future travel.
- Flex Pass – provide flexible travel options with daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual passes for your customers. Explore hop on/hop off passes and Tourist passes.
- Realtime Seat Maps – do what the airline industry has been offering its customers for years and create an easy booking process by displaying real time seat availability.
- Integration Suite – extend your systems to CRM and ERP software, create meaningful reports, and develop automated messaging, through APIs, webhooks and more.
In our pursuit of technological innovation to continuously enhance the customer experience, we announced some very exciting new features and upgrades we’re exploring in 2019. From improved payment methods to re-imaging the scanner experience, we plan to unveil a suite of exciting new products and features this year.