A model for customer information management

29 July 2021
We have challenged and worked with the rail industry to deliver a step change in customer satisfaction with information provision specifically through greater industry wide collaboration.
Stephanie Tobyn
Stephanie Tobyn
Deputy Director, Consumers
Cover Image
Provision of timetable information to passengers

This challenge, in conjunction with findings from the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) ‘Digital Strategies Report’, led to the creation of the industry wide Customer Information Programme and now known as the Smarter Information Smarter Journeys programme. This extensive programme spans the rail industry with a clear vision to “provide customers with all the information they want, when and how they want it”.

As part of ORR’s work we committed to the development of a framework, known as the Customer Information Mode (CIM), designed to measure strengths and weaknesses across all elements of the existing system and processes designed to deliver good quality information to passengers. This approach has been successfully applied in health and safety. It provides a consistent methodological approach to move organisations from an immature stage where many ad hoc processes and systems operate in different ways, to a mature place with standardised procedures followed in the same way irrespective of location or organisation.

Instilling consistency and cross-industry cooperation 

The CIM builds on the techniques used for the safety and performance and comprises a detailed model with seven key components covering issues such as leadership, co-operation, operational delivery, people management, customer focus and monitoring. 

A pilot programme was undertaken with the willing support of CrossCountry, LNER and Network Rail, and with the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) providing project support. Overall the CIM was positively received with operators recognising its value as a flexible tool that could be used to understand and improve the elements that contribute to good customer information.

Our aim was to help the industry to adopt a more integrated and collaborative approach and drive continuous improvement. Despite the impact of COVID-19 the industry is continuing with this work with a strong focus on two key elements of the CIM: collaboration and capabilities, and delivery arrangements. 

This work will support the development of cross-industry working with Network Rail. It will help to identify areas where closer cooperation is needed with the objective of driving sustained and measurable improvement for customers.