Bern, Switzerland



Swiss Federal Railways, known locally as Schweizerische Bundesbahnen SBB, transports over 1.25 million passengers and 205,000 tons of goods safely, on time and in an environmentally friendly manner each day. Some 34,000 employees manage transit services across Switzerland’s multilingual regions. 

The SBB Executive Board has been focused on a management plan, dubbed the SBB 2030 Strategy, in alignment with the strategic goals the Swiss government has set for the country’s largest transport company. The plan involved introducing ServiceNow's Customer Service Management (CSM) at the SBB Contact Center to manage all support interactions with passengers. With the help of DXC, a new integrated end-to-end process was developed on the platform to ensure that all customer enquiries and requirements are resolved promptly. 

“Our goal is to use ServiceNow’s Customer Service Management to integrate our customers’ needs… even more closely into the processes, service creation and service provision. We also want to improve lead time for rectifying defects and [have] transparency for our customers and employees,” says Edwin Imsand, deputy head of the SBB Contact Center. 

Realizing the full potential of the ServiceNow platform

Since the SBB Contact Center’s founding, agents’ workloads have expanded to handling more than 2 million interactions annually — adding up to 6,000 cases to process daily. Agents have had to rely on aging customer service management solutions that were not integrated with each other, which meant that incoming requests from different channels — phone calls, emails and contact forms — had to be manually consolidated. 

Under these conditions, it was challenging to deliver first-contact resolutions; implement new communication channels (such as live chat and instant messaging); have transparency into customers’ needs; and identify weak spots in support processes.

DXC had previously worked with SBB to successfully develop and manage its strategic ServiceNow Enterprise Service Management platform and implement ServiceNow IT Service Management (ITSM), which required migrating data from multiple legacy systems and creating more than 40 integrations to third-party systems, including SAP. When it came time to embed and integrate more employee- and customer-oriented applications into the ServiceNow CSM platform, SBB again turned to DXC. As required by Swiss and EU legislation, these applications were developed in German, French, Italian and English, and they run the gamut from ticket refunds to support for travelers with reduced mobility.

Today, ServiceNow, with its hub of over 2,000 out-of-the-box integrations, serves as the central platform to orchestrate all support and data processes, with ServiceNow CSM delivering new and improved processes for managing customer enquiries. Legacy systems that could not be replaced, due to their unique nature and value for SBB, are fully integrated into the ServiceNow solution to gain access to new functionality.

With the help of ServiceNow’s Agent Workspace and Advanced Work Assignment (AWA), DXC worked with SBB to speed up aggregating, selecting and triaging requests from different communication and support channels into one integrated, end-to-end process. All customer data from all communications channels is now unified and categorized, so cases can be automatically assigned to the right team. Agents also save time because they don’t have to manage different processes to be able to answer customer enquiries. 

Having all the customer data in one place — like ticket details from the vending machine where a passenger bought his ticket — is a huge advantage, helping to reduce customer response time and increase data quality. Overall, SBB cut processing costs and increased customer satisfaction accordingly. The SBB Contact Center also has a greater impact on what products and services for customers should be developed or enhanced, since teams can efficiently analyze integrated customer data to show management the issues that passengers are concerned about.  

Applications rely on integrations and data exchanges

By defining and implementing customer-facing processes using ServiceNow’s CSM, applications were created for processing compensation for national and international delays. Around 80% of compensation applications for delays in national transport are now processed automatically by the system, as well, thanks to the introduction of process automation. The contact center only must deal with exceptional cases and suspected cases of fraud. 

The Field Service Management and Dispatcher Workspace applications will be used to support the obligation of public institutions to adapt their infrastructure and services so that people with reduced mobility can use all transport services. SBB ensures this with its Assisted Mobility (AMo) program, based on a solution DXC developed on the ServiceNow platform. The implementation was an integration challenge as over 150 partners were involved, most of them small companies and non-profit organizations, to develop solutions that support disabled passengers.

With AMo, requests are received and processed such that all parties involved can accommodate the special needs of the passenger. Data and process coordination among train stations identifies changes — such as delays, track changes and train cancellations — so they can be managed accordingly. For instance, direct messages can be sent to the mobile phones of affected passengers and supporting personnel, so the riders always get to their destinations safely.

Value delivered

80% compensation applications for delays in national transport are processed automatically
Seamless omnichannel support
Standardized end-to-end service process
Improved services

The collaboration between ServiceNow and DXC has delivered these benefits:

  • With customer cases unified and categorized, and a standardized end-to-end service process, SBB Contact Center agents are prepared to quickly answer questions and solve problems.
  • Product managers and other executives have greater insight into customers’ concerns, which can spur the development of products and services in line with passengers’ needs.
  • Processes are partially or fully automated to improve services such as applications for compensation due to in-country transport delays — around 80% of these are now automatically processed.
  • With all communication channels (telephone, email, live chat) integrated into ServiceNow using its Advanced Work Assignment function (AWA), SBB gains the benefits of seamless omnichannel support.  

“Our partnership with DXC was crucial for the successful introduction of Customer Service Management at SBB,” says Ursula Stäuble, product manager, ART Customer Services. “Thanks to many years of collaboration and continuous development, our development teams were able to implement the business requirements with the available functionalities of ServiceNow and partner companies and offer the business an integrated solution,” Stäuble adds.

“Through the close and intensive cooperation and the constant exchange of new ideas and innovative technical possibilities with the ServiceNow platform, we have been able to continuously drive forward the transformation needs for the benefit of passengers and employees,” says Ralph Karl Weber, DXC’s ServiceNow region leader, DACH.  

End-to-end process in ServiceNow adds great value

SBB’s new consistent, integrated, end-to-end process for customer contact ensures that every customer request is answered in accordance with its specified service level. This also ensures that troubleshooting and quality-improvement measures are implemented as needed.

"Since the introduction of the standardized end-to-end process, all customer enquiries have been systematically recorded and processed in ServiceNow, which means significant added value for our customers and employees. We are now able to recognize deficiencies in processes across departments and forward them to the responsible department. This means that our customers' problems can be solved much more quickly,” says Johann-Josef Jossen, head of SBB’s Contact Center.

SBB has not only modernized its infrastructure but also transformed its way of managing all its digital needs. To be able to react more quickly to and ensure sustainability for handling new requirements, DXC also supported SBB’s move to the Agile BizDevOps process known as SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework). SAFe integrates business departments with IT development and IT operations, enabling better collaboration for value-enhancing digital initiatives.

Overall, the ServiceNow journey that SBB embarked on with DXC — whose relationship dates back to 2014 — is a success story that underlines how important a functioning enterprise service management architecture is. SBB is on the right track to fulfill its vision for 2030.

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