Tuesday 18 July 2023

Customer Experience (CEMP) technical visit from Amsterdam to Brussels

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How can railway companies be transformed into customer-centric organisations? How can the customer experience be improved and measured? How can we engage everyone to achieve this goal? These are some of the main topics discussed within the UIC CEMP project.

Customer Experience is in the details and requires the engagement of everyone, from top management to front-line staff. At the end of June, NS and SNCB shared with the group their efforts to improve customer experience by means of a technical visit from Amsterdam to Brussels with the participation of CEMP members from MAV START (Hungary), Euskotren (Spain), CFL (Luxemburg) and SBB (Switzerland).

The technical visit started in Amsterdam Central Station where Rob Richelle, NS International Alliance Manager, presented the main objectives and challenges of the company with a special focus on the Customer Experience approach for international journeys. The presentation ended with a brainstorming on potential solutions to be prepared in case of disruption using a real case study.

After this first presentation, members had the opportunity to visit Amsterdam Central station with Mark Van Hagen. Since 2000, construction work has been carried out to modernise the station and bring it into line with the national government’s objective of having a train travelling every ten minutes in all directions. Over the coming years the station will undergo the biggest renovation works yet.

After the visit to Amsterdam Central station, CEMP members took a train to Rotterdam station where they were welcomed by the station manager of Rotterdam and Utrecht, Mirjam Schokker and her team.

The station is one of the main gateways to the city and the major events that take place there are reflected in it. For this reason, great care is taken to offer activities related to what is happening in the city, such as concerts, exhibitions and competitions. The station’s large hall allows for the organisation of different types of temporary events, while maintaining passenger flow and mobility as fundamental elements.

The members left Rotterdam station by a Thalys to Antwerp Central Station, known as one of the most beautiful stations in the world, where they enjoyed an excellent view of the four floors of the station from the royal balcony at the top of the upper level before catching the train to Brussels.

The second day started with a meeting in the Customer Experience Lab with Klaus Mariën, Customer Experience Manager at NMBS-SNCB, who shared the main points of SNCB’s customer-central strategy.

At Brussels Midi Station, Theo Kos, Communication Advisor at SNCB described the company strategy to provide accurate information via different channels in a coherent way, especially in the event of works and disruption. Then the group visited the retail and station facilities, hosted by Wouter Eeckhout, Site Manager Brussels Midi, followed by the national sales store and the lost and found premises with Peter Feys, Commercial Lead Brussels area.

The technical visit ended with a short trip on board the new M7 double decker trains produced by Alstom and Bombardier in Bruges, where Marijke De Roy explained the efforts made in terms of comfort and design to the group.

More information about the CEMP project is available at:

For further information, please contact Vanessa Perez at perez@uic.org

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