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Old 2nd April 2010, 14:39   #1
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Default Ideas to enhance Customer Experience on Volvo's

Before anyone makes wrong conclusion, I will clarify that I am not a bus operator but a frequent intercity traveller on Volvo buses and this is my "blue sky thinking" (wishfull thoughts)

I have read through various threads on the forum and have enclosed a crisp summary of the following points which will enhance customer experience on intercity volvo travel. It will be great to see responses from you in addition to the following points. I will keep updating the thread by adding to the list based on your feedback to ensure that we have the latest info for ready reference

1) Inclusion of chemical toilets.
2) Door pick up of passengers.
3) Online bus ticket booking.
4) 1+1+1 seating configurations
5) Family cabins for privacy
6) Economy and Business class.

Last edited by kiranpashtakar : 2nd April 2010 at 14:40. Reason: r
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Old 2nd April 2010, 14:57   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiranpashtakar View Post
Before anyone makes wrong conclusion, I will clarify that I am not a bus operator but a frequent intercity traveller on Volvo buses and this is my "blue sky thinking" (wishfull thoughts)

1) Inclusion of chemical toilets.
2) Door pick up of passengers.
3) Online bus ticket booking.
4) 1+1+1 seating configurations
5) Family cabins for privacy
6) Economy and Business class.
@ kiranpashtakar - Your wishful thoughts are just that - Wishful!

Here's why? -

1. Chemical Toilets - No way they're going be put on buses without proper waste disposal infrastructure.

2. Door Pickup - Expect to waste a whole day picking up 40 or so passengers.

3. Online Ticketing - The only one that's rational and currently available.

4. 1+1+1 Seating - Are you willing to pay 80 Lakhs for a bus and wait 10 years for it to pay itself back OR Pay serious premium as a passenger.

5. Family Cabins - I hope you're joking!

6. Economy and Business Class - Again, economies of space prevent this.
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Old 2nd April 2010, 16:01   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiranpashtakar View Post
Before anyone makes wrong conclusion, I will clarify that I am not a bus operator but a frequent intercity traveller on Volvo buses and this is my "blue sky thinking" (wishfull thoughts)

I have read through various threads on the forum and have enclosed a crisp summary of the following points which will enhance customer experience on intercity volvo travel. It will be great to see responses from you in addition to the following points. I will keep updating the thread by adding to the list based on your feedback to ensure that we have the latest info for ready reference

1) Inclusion of chemical toilets.
2) Door pick up of passengers.
3) Online bus ticket booking.
4) 1+1+1 seating configurations
5) Family cabins for privacy
6) Economy and Business class.
Nice thoughts Kiran!

I think few operators have already started online booking for their buses. (e.g. Paulo)
Door pickup is not possible in all town/cities, as the roads are not wide enough for these big buses. Yes, toilets are welcome always, specially for longer routs for more than 10-15 hours, as they can also save travel time as the halt timings will be reduced considerably.
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Old 2nd April 2010, 18:38   #4
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I feel your query should be Ideas to enhance Customer Experience in Intercity Travel rather than just sticking to Volvo.


1) Inclusion of chemical toilets - Quite Possible for long distance travels
2) Door pick up of passengers - KPN does have a pick up service in Chennai. But unlike door pick up it does it from one various booking office to Koimbedu.
3) Online bus ticket booking - Essentially required and many do have it.
4) 1+1+1 seating configurations - If the customer bears the extra ticket cost its possible.
5) Family cabins for privacy - Good thought. can be explored.
6) Economy and Business class - do -

Apart from this my wishes are

+Having a lounge in the lower deck if a Intercity double decker bus is put in service.

+Personalised audio option with individual head sets ( Like KF)

+Individual charge points.

+On the fly internet.
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Old 2nd April 2010, 19:37   #5
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The chemical toilet thing is very much possible, I travel from Leicester to coventry everyday in a Volvo type bus here in UK, Same size, same everything and all of them have a chemical toilet behind.

Also they have electric plugs for plugging whatever you want below every seat.

On the fly internet, hmmmmm a brilliant extra and the operator could raise the price of the ticket by some 50 or 100 bucks for this.
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Old 2nd April 2010, 23:32   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiranpashtakar View Post
Be
1) Inclusion of chemical toilets.
2) Door pick up of passengers.
3) Online bus ticket booking.
4) 1+1+1 seating configurations
5) Family cabins for privacy
6) Economy and Business class.
Volvos with Chemical Toilets in Delhi are available with many operators. The cost for having a Chemical toilet in a Volvo is additional 5 Lakhs to the base price of 80 Lakhs.

There is one Asian Travel House who has personal IBE (In-bus Entertainment) with Screens behind each seat with personal earphones. That's one great feature. For hiring this Volvo for 4 days from Delhi to Jim Corbett, Kathgodam and back he quoted us 50k, the cheapest amongst all major operators and this guy has one of the best Volvos.
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Old 31st May 2010, 17:52   #7
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Guys, thanks for all the idea's. I see some critique on few of the aspirational ideas that I had listed, before responding to that, let me remind you that this was a "blue sky thinking" and we can be creative only when we think outside the constraints, meaning rather than imposing constraints on our thoughts lets just see what impact do those thoughts have.

Internet connectivity is a great idea and so is individual sockets for charging.


My response,

Home Pick up / Drop, idea is to adopt a hub and spoke model where there are smaller vehicles picking up passengers from the predesignated zones, it will no doubt have an adverse impact the operational cost, but will be lesser headche for passengers who take taxi's/ricks to catch the bus and assumptions is they will be willing a pay a small price for it.

Last edited by kiranpashtakar : 31st May 2010 at 17:55.
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Old 31st May 2010, 19:30   #8
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Default Mobile TV

DishTV has a mobile Satellite TV for cars/buses. That combined with individual seats would be a good option along with IBE. Same screen can also double as internet device ?
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Old 4th June 2010, 17:42   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiranpashtakar View Post
3) Online bus ticket booking.
Have never used it, but my friend has spoken highly of this site :

RedBus.in > ONLINE BUS TICKETS BOOKING SERVICE ONLINE BUS TICKET RESERVATION

cya
R
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Old 4th June 2010, 18:13   #10
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Some more wishful thinking. Here goes:
In-journey meals and "ground" hostesses serving them
Functional spot lights for those wishing to read
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Old 4th June 2010, 18:16   #11
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The best way to enhance experience is to maintain Volvos in good condition (regardless of age) and arrive on time safely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiranpashtakar View Post
Home Pick up / Drop, idea is to adopt a hub and spoke model where there are smaller vehicles picking up passengers from the predesignated zones,

but will be lesser headche for passengers who take taxi's/ricks to catch the bus and assumptions is they will be willing a pay a small price for it.
What smaller vehicles? When ricks and taxis are already existing why should the operator send a similar vehicle to pick you up. (it has to make to and fro journey). Call a Meru if you want..
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Old 5th June 2010, 00:03   #12
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Nothing fancy but basic safety belt for all the seats.On the fancier front would be LCD screens behind every seat.Though have seen many sleepers have seperate screen for each cabin which is not working most of the time.
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Old 5th June 2010, 00:08   #13
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If it is off-topic, then please ignore!

I would like the Volvo drivers to have enough experience and training so that they reach the destination without any mishaps!
This is one major criteria before any other customer experience. IMHO!

Almost all the Volvo's are rashly driven, endangering the lives of the passengers!
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Old 8th June 2010, 14:32   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower View Post

What smaller vehicles? When ricks and taxis are already existing why should the operator send a similar vehicle to pick you up. (it has to make to and fro journey). Call a Meru if you want..
Have you heard of economies of scale my friend, a single guy hiring a meru will be far expensive than sharing the same cab with 3 others.

In addition do you know what a hassle it is to hire a flagdown taxi/rick especially if you are getting down from a bus before 6:30am. If you dont, then the rest is lost on you.

Am not saying there wont be exceptions all I am saying is this is a aspirational idea and needs to be viewed in context.

Lets not evaluate the ideas in this thread please, lets focus on generating new ideas
If anyone wants to evaluate then please start your own thread

Contribution of ideas are welcome's and critique's are not. Please hold on you will be given an opportunity soon.

Last edited by kiranpashtakar : 8th June 2010 at 14:34.
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Old 8th June 2010, 17:14   #15
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Let me contribute my Blue Ocean thinking

1. Make the intercity travel free of cost:
------------------------------------------
In turn the passengers have to listen to advertisements during the journey. tour operators get paid by the advertisers for the dedicated attention of say 40 conumers over say 8-10 hours or longer.

This could be the killer business model, the advertisements could be like Investment plans, homes, holiday plans, health plans, insurance etc.
There could be the hosts (=conductors) who are trained in answering the questions. Only those products and servcies that need a facilitation or solicitation should be considered.

2. Focus on superior complete travel experience. This is divided into three parts viz. Pre Travel, During Travel and Post Travel

Pre Travel :
-------------
a. Reservation through call centers, internet, kiosks, agents etc
b. pick up from the home (person+luggage) via smaller vehicles and drop at the destination address (use post office or courier model)
c. Waiting rooms, lounges with prepaid or on payment food/drinks option
d. low premium travel insurance options along with the ticket fare

During Travel:
----------------
a. Business Class, Economy Class seatings
b. Welcome drink, magazines, hot/cold towels etc
c. Seat belts
d. Personalized entertainment (music, video and satellite TV)
e. meals included in the fare, meal options agreed during booking
f. Enough leg room, width of the seat, reclining for comfortabel sleep
g. pillows, blankets, headphones etc
h. automatic airconditioning, flow adjust etc
i. toilets on board
j. on board medical assistance via Telemedicine if needed, host trained in adminstering first aid, injections, operate defriblators etc.
k. onboard fire fighting equipment, defriblators in case of heart attacks etc
l. Double decker seating positions
m. on time, everytime performance
o. accident free travel experience
p. smoking less journey
q. noise less travel
r. on board shopping e.g. teleshopping : delivery at destination
s. etc, etc

Post Travel:

a. On arrival lounge and transfer assitance
b. transportion to local address of the person and the luggage
c. Loyalty card and points accumulation per trip and redepmtion.


there could be more.
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