14M

Passengers per day

50%

Reduction in support tickets

24/7

Availability

Company

SNCF is France’s state-owned national railway company. Founded in 1938, it operates the country’s national rail network, including the TGV, France’s high-speed rail network. SNCF manages approximately 32,000 km (20,000 mi) of track and the 14,000 trains that run on it every day.

www.sncf.com

Headquarters

Paris, France

Use cases

– Help app users with discount cards, travel alerts, itineraries, and upcoming train information

– Reduce the number of support tickets

– Provide 24/7 support for app users

How SNCF reduced the number of customer support tickets

When asked about the biggest challenges they were facing, 38% of rail companies responded with “providing passenger information.” With impatient passengers increasingly using mobile apps, websites, and social media, rail companies are expected to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

SNCF picked up on this trend and decided to take action. The company transports 14 million people every day. With so many passengers, there is the potential for thousands of support requests from phone lines, email, social media, and messaging platforms.

Since launching their mobile app, SNCF has seen a growing proportion of users relying on it for train information, booking management, ticket information, discount card subscriptions, and other travel-related questions.

The challenge

Reducing the number of support tickets

With millions of passengers trusting SNCF for their daily commute and long-distance rail travel, the customer support team was dealing with a deluge of support tickets. SNCF started exploring ways they could reduce the load on their support agents.

The support team was using Zendesk to handle customer issues and respond to inquiries. Naturally, SNCF was looking for a tool that could seamlessly integrate with Zendesk.

Mindsay worked with SNCF to build a bot within the SNCF mobile app. Within only a few months, this helped to reduce the number of incoming support tickets by 50%. The bot can answer questions about using the app, lets users create alerts, finds travel itineraries, and provides departure information. Passengers can interact with the bot by talking or typing.

Helping passengers use the app

SNCF noticed a sizeable number of requests were related to using the app. Some users felt lost within the app, causing them to uninstall it. There was nothing in place to show users how to use all of the app’s great features.

The bot is now able to address users’ questions about the app, improving the app’s usage. This also helped to decrease the number of users contacting the support team and reduced the number of uninstalls.

Always-on customer support

Passengers don’t stop at 7 pm. When they send a message on the app, they want an instant response. If they don’t get that, they’ll leave the app. SNCF wanted to tackle this. However, adding more support staff to deal with around-the-clock requests is costly.

Luckily, a bot can answer questions 24/7. This allowed SNCF to be there for their users when their support teams were getting some well-deserved rest. In the end, this helped them to increase overall customer satisfaction.

SNCF app chatbot in action

Results

Within months of being launched, the SNCF bot was able to help app users:

– Digitize their discount cards

– Find travel itineraries

– Create travel alerts

– Look up train information

– Get answers to their frequently asked questions

More success stories

How Iberia offers a better passenger experience

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with Mindsay