Bus travel is considered a convenient and reasonable means of travelling by many commuters from one city to another. Although bus services have been around for ages now, customers always have to settle with the standard so called perks that travelling on a bus offers on long journeys, or at least what companies ‘think’ the customer enjoys. Here are some interesting ideas that bus service companies can use to offer unique experiences that will not only give them an edge over competitors but will also enable them to make lifelong customers as well.
Any long, tiresome journey can be made miles and hours shorter by offering the best possible comfort level to customers. To make the journey comfortable, put yourself in the customers’ shoes and imagine how you would ideally want to travel in a bus. Instead of worrying about how much it would cost to add a unique service, simply test it out and see the results. Reclining seats with sufficient leg room would be an added bonus along with a pop open tray for meals or work related use. Buses that travel overnight could offer complimentary blankets and pillows. Complimentary snacks like crisps or biscuits could be offered to commuters as well. Through the app/website customers should be able to inform the company in advance if they require any special attention owing to a medical condition so that bus staff can be prepared.
Some bus tours and routes pass by heritage sites, monuments, popular landmarks etc. It would be really informative to offer live commentary for the commuters on the bus about such places. It would add to their knowledge and would keep them from getting bored. Such commentary can be available to commuters through the built in console in their seats and they can ‘choose’ to listen to it if they want to through their earphones.
Cleanliness and sanitation is key. Quality checks must be kept in place to have the interior and exterior of the buses clean at all times. Such maintenance is very important as it impacts the image of the bus company. Imagine how a commuter would feel if he were to put his hand on the arm rest and be greeted with the remains of chewing gum. Therefore, strict protocols must be kept in place keeping in mind cleanliness and sanitation of the buses. An ample supply of tissue papers and hand sanitizers should also be provided onboard. Air fresheners should be used at intervals during the journey. Ensure that the bus has a first aid kit and the staff onboard is trained for emergency situations.
Having a website and an app has become a necessity for those who want to book tickets online, get more information regarding bus schedules and manage their travel. Frequent travelers can download the app and the company can keep them updated with the latest offers and promotions. They can also easily check on departure time or bus routes and stops. Seat reservation and new offers can be made available online as well and through the app. A rewards system could be introduced for regular customers. Power outlets should be available on the bus so that passengers can charge their laptops and phones easily. All these steps will add to the customer experience before and during the journey.
No journey, be it long or short, is complete without entertainment these days. By installing small screens on the back of seats with a user friendly, touch system offering internet access and the option to watch movies or just simply listening to radio stations will make the journey entertaining. Toys for kids, entertaining games like crossword puzzles, jigsaws etc can be given onboard.
Similarly, before the journey begins, the bus lounge where people have to wait for buses could be made into the most comfortable and relaxing place by adding soothing music, comfortable seating and refreshments. By offering such unique services, you can win lifelong customers who keep choosing you whenever they have to travel.
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