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Case Study

SmartSurveys Invigorate Kolumbus’ Data Strategy.

Kolumbus is the premier mobility provider in Rogaland County, Norway.  Their aim is to make Rogaland a better place to live, through zero growth in private car traffic. They achieve this  by offering an innovative and customer centric public transport service.  Kolumbus works towards connecting all forms of transport so people can travel without the need to use their own cars. 

The bus and boat services are operated by companies on contract with Kolumbus with a total of 450 buses, 10 speedboats and 3 ferries in service.  From Monday to Friday, there are 85,000 daily trips taken with Kolumbus. 

Case Study Details

  • Client
  • Location
  • Year
    Since 2021

The Challenge.

Kolumbus historically conducted customer surveys, using a team of people, who were onboard their vehicles and vessels, to capture customer satisfaction levels and improvement areas. The data collected is also used to incentivise their PTOs financially with a customer-satisfaction based bonus model.

The challenge was gathering enough data through this manual method.  It was complex and with over 10,000 annual onboard interviews, it was a very costly and inefficient undertaking. Traditionally data collection personnel physically entered the buses with tablets or clipboards or used other costly manual methods. They would ask passengers about their journey and record their responses.  

Kolumbus wanted a more efficient method that involved a degree of automation. Kolumbus recognised the need for greater volumes of more accurate data to improve its customer service experience and to optimise its service. The creation of the data needed to be as automated as possible and done in a consistent manner to establish a deep and reliable understanding of the experience it was offering its customers. Most importantly the solution needed to respect a high level of privacy and compliance, while delivering datasets to their analysts with real time accurate and meaningful data.

a green kolumbus bus driving through a norwegian countryside in winter.

Achieving More for Less

The Solution.

Kolumbus selected SmartSurveys, part of Kogenta’s Transport and Mobility product portfolio.  SmartSurveys is a unique survey engine that differentiates itself by presenting detailed travel data to the interviewee so that they do not need to rely on memory.  This automated data driven approach results in significantly more meaningful and accurate insights, in real time.  Kolumbus  use SmartSurveys to measure customer satisfaction regarding the service provided by their operator partners to ensure they are meeting their KPIs.

Kogenta’s Delivery and Customer Success team worked closely with Kolumbus to deploy the SmartSurveys product. As well as the usual onboarding, this involved aiding the integration of the Kogenta SDK with the Kolumbus App. Providing this expertise and assistance meant the need for specialization within the customer’s tech team was greatly reduced. The delivery was completed on time and immediately began generating the necessary data.

Comprehensive reporting was enabled to ensure the required number of surveys for the PTO contract bonus program were generated. SmartSurveys can be tuned to ensure the survey distribution frequency is achieved to reach volume targets, also on smaller routes.

With the SmartSurveys, Kolumbus now has accurate visibility to enable informed decisions to support a great customer experience and to streamline the travel journey, including:

  • Summary metrics
  • Survey analytics interface that allows the user to drill down and filter the required information
  • An overview of customers who travel with valid tickets versus invalid tickets
  • Ability to conduct Ad hoc surveys, for example: preferred bus type, seating versus standing etc.
  • Specific targeted surveys, specific hubs, particular lines etc.
  • Increasing customer focus and data driven cooperation with the operators
  • Instant insights as opposed to quarterly or half-yearly reports
  • Significant future opportunities using surveys in combination with travel data; such as understanding and influencing the Work Travel segment versus Leisure travel

With SmartSurveys, Kolumbus is able to efficiently measure their Operator’s customer satisfaction levels and highlight where problems exist ultimately resulting in improvement.”

Supporting Sustainability Target of Zero-Growth in Car Usage

The Result.

Using SmartSurveys, Kolumbus has a way of conducting automated surveys in an efficient and cost-effective way and increasing the total number of respondents for a lower overall cost when compared to manual surveys. A secondary benefit is that respondents now tend to answer more honestly through the App than when approach “face to face” leading to more reliable insights.

SmartSurveys are now providing accurate, non-biased feedback to inform the decisions around the full range of services within the Kolumbus network. 

Kolumbus can now both analyse the traffic flows, customer satisfaction and feedback. They have a deeper understanding of which areas have a high public transport share compared with where cars are more heavily used. This means they have accurate information to inform decisions to support the sustainability targets of a zero-growth car increase in the area. They can have an accurate understanding of the travel chains of their customers, types of buses and transport they prefer as well as establishing how many customers travel with valid tickets vs invalid tickets.

Kolumbus has expanded their use of SmartSurveys, not just for the baseline type of surveys that run continuously, but also for ad hoc surveys they want to conduct for specific cases/purposes.

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