Customer experience in the rail industry

The importance of customer-centric train carriage interior design  

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Across the world, train interiors are becoming more exciting. It’s because of passenger insights, which show that rail users expect more from their trains than transporting from A to B. But it’s not just about looking nice. There are many additional aesthetic, functionality, accessibility, safety and security requirements to be met these days – especially post Covid-19.

There are also social and environmental imperatives. The world’s population is growing and, by 2050, will reach over nine billion, with 75% of those people living in cities. Attracting more people to more efficient and greener mass transit systems is vital for sustainability and the only way city infrastructure will be able to cope with the increasing demand.

If rail companies want to attract more users – and keep ahead of competitors – they need to make enhancing their customer experience a priority and turn insights into innovation.

Achieving customer-centric rail interior design

The buzz-phrase right now is customer-centric design: giving people what they want and need. When it comes to rail interiors, this means creating a joined-up experience that helps people feel more at home, is in line with social pressures (e.g. sustainability) and also operational. There are many points to consider.

Final thoughts…

Train operators continuously seek more business. The key combination to achieving this is high performance and happy passengers; with the latter relying on innovation in customer experience to stand out from competitors and give people a reason to not only choose a particular rail brand, but also take a train over say the car or an airplane.

Sustainability also plays a huge part. Good customer experience and overall satisfaction is increasingly becoming linked to good environmental practice: with people far more likely to choose to travel with more eco-friendly rail operators. More than that, for the sake of our planet’s future, we need to implement more sustainable practices and resources wherever we can; from the materials used for seating to operating with renewable energy.

It’s why creative, customer-centric interior design is so important. It’s a smart and efficient way for operators to meet their objectives, while developing an emotional connection with customers that creates strong brand loyalty, drives up ticket sales and supports sustainable growth.

Win-win all round.

At Henkel, as the leading provider for adhesives, sealants and surface treatment materials in the rail industry, we are equally committed to developing innovative solutions to support operator objectives. Find out how we can support your rail interior design needs by reaching out.

About the author

Patric Scheidner

Corporate Vice President Global Head of Aviation, Space, Rail


Patric has been serving the chemical industry for more than 25 years.
He has mainly supported customers in Heavy Industries across four continents. His focus has been to develop customer-centric organizations and processes following continuous improvement methods, such as Lean Six Sigma. Being experienced in Supply Chain / Operations as much as Sales he fostered a culture of increasing customer value through the optimized combination of chemistry, process improvements, equipment as well as digital interfaces.

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