Building a Digital Vision for Customer Experience


North Highland helped a leading passenger rail provider reimagine the end-to-end customer experience (CX) with three primary digital channels: the website, the mobile website, and the mobile application. Beginning with strategy and insight development, the project team then worked with the client to co-create a new, seamless experience.

Client Situation

The client, a leading passenger rail provider, wanted to understand how its customers interacted with its digital channels—including website, mobile website, and mobile application—throughout the customer journey.

With about 60% of its sales through digital channels (including those through third-party retailers), and the most common customer complaints relating to online booking issues, the client sought to generate higher customer satisfaction and conversion by optimizing its proprietary digital channel assets.

The client engaged North Highland to design an end-to-end digital customer experience (CX) that would differentiate it from competitors, and help address any current customer issues that stood as obstacles to conversion or customer satisfaction.

Our Approach

North Highland approached the project by beginning with strategy and insight development, partnering with the client to help define a clear vision for the customer journey. To get to know the client’s customers, the project team traveled over 900 miles along five major routes to understand customers’ daily habits, preferences, needs, and reasons for traveling. With this feedback and existing qualitative research, North Highland developed customer behavioral segments—within the existing high-level business and leisure categories—mapping their needs versus existing digital channel assets to paint a picture of what customers needed from their digital experience and why. In this process, North Highland developed 50 customer journey maps that visualized the end-to-end experience and identified key pain points. These maps helped the client determine its goals for customers in each of the website, mobile website, and mobile application channels.

With the strategy and insights in place, North Highland then moved into the design phase, taking an approach anchored in co-creation with the client. A cross-functional workshop combined diverse perspectives including those from Marketing, Finance, Technology, and Operations. The North Highland project team presented its customer research findings and brought the customer to life for the organization, using real customer footage, sound-bites, and storytelling. The team then facilitated actionable discussions on how stakeholders across the organization could work together to optimize the customer experience. North Highland then put the ideas from these sessions into a design backlog that included over 80 proposed digital initiatives. In a second session, the client reviewed the ideas to begin designing the ideal experience in each of the digital channel assets.

Value Delivered

North Highland worked with the client to co-create a comprehensive roadmap and vision for the optimized customer experience, including a two-year implementation portfolio that took the client from strategy to deployment. To ensure that recommendations were actionable and generated value quickly, North Highland paired the roadmap with a technical feasibility assessment, providing delivery options along short, medium, and long-term timeframes. Because of thoughtful, phased development and implementation, the client has seen improved CX and client satisfaction with its digital channels, and has further increased sales through these channels, taking market share from other retailers.

Beyond sales growth generated, the client also came away with a broader understanding around how customers interacted with channel assets, what their goals were, and how the two could align in creating a seamless experience that ensured sustainable customer satisfaction and engagement.

Because of thoughtful, phased development and implementation, the client has seen improved CX and client satisfaction with its digital channels, and has further increased sales through these channels, taking market share from other retailers.



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