Web 20 Dutch Railways Teststation Leiden 1228861397788772 8

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  • 1. The Dutch Railways, Test Station Leiden and Web 2.0 Coen Dirkx
  • 2. Good morning
  • 3. I would like
  • 4. to give you a presentation about:
  • 5. Mijnproefstation.nl my test station.
  • 6. This is a website that belongs to the virtual world we’ve just seen
  • 7. And that’s part of the project World Stations .
  • 8. The title of my presentation is:
  • 9. How we try to build a new station together with our customers…
  • 10. or more modestly:
  • 11. How the Dutch Railways try to listen more carefully to their customers
  • 12. and even ask them for help .
  • 13. First a little history of myself:
  • 14. My University major was political sciences
  • 15. with a minor in communication,
  • 16. which is now my core business.
  • 17. I started as a journalist,
  • 18. then I worked as a communication manager in the world of training companies for 15 years.
  • 19. Two years ago I made a move to the Dutch Railways
  • 20. as a senior advisor in communication,
  • 21. always inspired by doing new things
  • 22. and trying to learn and grow .
  • 23. Okay,
  • 24. back to the subject.
  • 25. How did we begin?
  • 26. It was a Monday in January last year
  • 27. when I was asked to join
  • 28. a small team with a mission :
  • 29. Build a test station
  • 30. in Leiden within 1 year:
  • 31. a test station where 1. the latest ideas about stations are put into effect
  • 32. and 2. where c ustomers are being challenged to
  • 33. help think up ideas and join in.
  • 34. A test station, where we can learn
  • 35. from implementing new ideas
  • 36. for the upcoming new international stations.
  • 37. Such as this one in Rotterdam.
  • 38. Our management also told us
  • 39. to dare to -if necessary-
  • 40. step outside the usual working process
  • 41. even when it implies taking ‘unusual’ steps.
  • 42. sometimes it’s easier to ask for forgiveness instead of permission.
  • 43. in other words:
  • 44. we were asked to really take responsibility.
  • 45. So we could do things
  • 46. instead of mostly talking about things.
  • 47. And that’s what we did,
  • 48. and that’s what I did.
  • 49. I was in charge of the communication
  • 50. in the process of making this test station.
  • 51. So far so good.
  • 52. Well, we started with nothing:
  • 53. just a small team of enthusiastic people.
  • 54. I organized a brainstorm session
  • 55. and then we had a plan ,
  • 56. or maybe it was more of a dream:
  • 57. to improve our performance in cooperation with our public
  • 58. Can we create a site
  • 59. where we build a new station together with our clients?
  • 60. And let’s use the latest communication techniques
  • 61. in order to fulfill this dream.
  • 62. Let’s build a website
  • 63. that tries to:
  • 64. relate to the public,
  • 65. and test the innovations.
  • 66. Mijnproefstation.nl was born 9 months later, in December 2007
  • 67. And this is how we started:
  • 68. We didn’t succeed to build the real station in 1 year,
  • 69. it was easier to build the virtual one .
  • 70. That’s for sure.
  • 71. One of our first learning points.
  • 72. Actually, this interactive website is an ongoing learning process.
  • 73. It’s also – like the test station – one big experiment:
  • 74. How can we use the new media to our gain?
  • 75. Our intention with this website was
  • 76. to inform
  • 77. to engage
  • 78. to test
  • 79. and to entertain.
  • 80. and above all:
  • 81. to introduce and improve the station of the future.
  • 82. And what did we accomplish?
  • 83. That’s a serious question,
  • 84. that deserves a serious answer.
  • 85. So let me give it a try.
  • 86. We set ourselves 4 targets:
  • 87. The first target
  • 88. To inform our customers better and broader than before.
  • 89. We offer an insight
  • 90. into the future of stations in The Netherlands.
  • 91. Like this one in Utrecht.
  • 92. And we provide information
  • 93. of the actual building process of the test station in Leiden.
  • 94. And what are the results?
  • 95. First of all, the visitors know more about our plans,
  • 96. not only of Leiden,
  • 97. but also of the other cities
  • 98. where the international train will stop
  • 99. like Amsterdam South.
  • 100. More knowledge leads to more understanding.
  • 101. For example, for the inevitable chaos of a building construction.
  • 102. How many people visited the website during these last months?
  • 103. We had more than 60.000 visitors,
  • 104. who could read about the new stations
  • 105. and experience the new dynamic shops in the virtual world.
  • 106.  
  • 107. They could read about our plans to improve
  • 108. the perception of a station.
  • 109. But
  • 110. we’re not only telling our customers about our innovations
  • 111. we’re trying to get them involved :
  • 112. The second target
  • 113. To get a real and direct opinion of our clients.
  • 114. We ask them:
  • 115. ‘ what do you think of this?’
  • 116. ‘ And do you want to help us?’
  • 117. following the rules of Web 2.0 :
  • 118. which means:
  • 119. information sharing and collaboration of the public,
  • 120. giving and taking
  • 121. And how did we get them involved ?
  • 122. With daily polls,
  • 123. surveys and tests.
  • 124. The mere fact that a customer
  • 125. is asked to share his opinion,
  • 126. makes him feel appreciated
  • 127. and also important.
  • 128. And at the same time
  • 129. it gives us insights
  • 130. into the hearts and minds of our public.
  • 131. What do they really care about?
  • 132. What’s their perception of the station?
  • 133. What can and must we do better ?
  • 134. The fundamental question is:
  • 135. do our new stations’ concepts work ?
  • 136. That’s what we hope to find out in Leiden
  • 137. and that’s what we are already testing virtually,
  • 138. before everything is realized.
  • 139. This involvement of our visitors and
  • 140. insights in the needs of our customers
  • 141. must lead to more sales in the station area.
  • 142. It gives us the opportunity to learn
  • 143. which innovation works and
  • 144. which one doesn’t.
  • 145. Results till now?
  • 146. 12.000 filled in polls
  • 147. More than 4.000 filled in surveys (with 38 questions!)
  • 148. 2.500 responses to the Study of Colour and Light
  • 149. and more than 400 ideas, tips and warnings from the public.
  • 150. The third target
  • 151. To work together with the business partners in the station.
  • 152. In real and in the virtual world.
  • 153. We come up with activities,
  • 154. that must lead to more traffic
  • 155. not only to our site, but also to the site and shops of our partners.
  • 156. Let me give you 1 example.
  • 157. The Photography contest Mooi op het station (what’s beautiful in a station?)
  • 158. Mooi (‘Beautiful’) is our new station perfumery.
  • 159. With this contest,
  • 160. which is now running
  • 161. we inform the public
  • 162. about the arrival of Mooi in Leiden,
  • 163. and in the other big international stations
  • 164. like Arnhem.
  • 165. That brings us to
  • 166. The fourth target
  • 167. To enrich the brand of the Dutch Railways.
  • 168. Can a website do this?
  • 169. Yes, I think so.
  • 170. How?
  • 171. By showing that we are more than just a company with trains
  • 172. We want to improve the station, the station area and our service in the station.
  • 173. And by showing that we try to listen to our customers:
  • 174. ‘ Give us your opinion’,
  • 175. ‘ Think and work with us’.
  • 176. We know that a strong brand
  • 177. leads to customer loyalty .
  • 178. and so to more business.
  • 179. But there’s another relationship between a strong brand and business,
  • 180. especially in the world of business – to – business .
  • 181. It’s called trust.
  • 182. When you’re building or rebuilding a station
  • 183. there’s one thing crucial:
  • 184. Cooperation and thus
  • 185. trusting each other .
  • 186. How can a website contribute to building a brand ?
  • 187. We try to be transparent
  • 188. by telling the public what goes right and what goes wrong.
  • 189. One of the most visible features of the website
  • 190. is the daily blog,
  • 191. which allows people to peep behind the scenes.
  • 192. This blog gives
  • 193. a big, anonymous organization
  • 194. like the Dutch Railways
  • 195. a human face .
  • 196. 10 colleagues of mine who are working within this project
  • 197. write about their daily routine, but also
  • 198. about their hopes and dreams
  • 199. and –sometimes- about their fears and furies .
  • 200. For 2 months now
  • 201. we have been giving some visitors
  • 202. this platform to write about their
  • 203. experiences and opinions.
  • 204. As far as I know
  • 205. this is unusual on a corporate blog.
  • 206. Does this building the brand work ?
  • 207. Does it have any effect?
  • 208. We cannot give an answer yet.
  • 209. But let me tell you this:
  • 210. in the last years
  • 211. the Dutch Railways are climbing in the list of
  • 212. strong brands
  • 213. and in the list of
  • 214. most popular employers in The Netherlands.
  • 215. I’m not implying that this is an effect of
  • 216. Mijn proefstation.nl
  • 217. it may well be just a pure coincidence.
  • 218. Let me finish my presentation with
  • 219. a case study: the design contest.
  • 220. It’s an example of co-creation and crowdsourcing
  • 221. (outsourcing to the crowd )
  • 222. which means: use the knowledge of your public.
  • 223. I’m going to tell you what we have done
  • 224. and what we have learned from this contest .
  • 225. We invited the public
  • 226. to design the station toilet areas of the future.
  • 227. There were two parts to this contest:
  • 228. 1. Design a logo,
  • 229. 2. Make a design for all the glass walls.
  • 230. The public was asked to participate in 2 ways:
  • 231. 1. by sending in designs and 2. by voting.
  • 232. The winning design would be realized at Leiden Station
  • 233. and the winner would receive 5.000 euro.
  • 234. Choose a serious subject for co-creation, so the people can really join in. So Lesson 1 is:
  • 235. The next thing we had to do,
  • 236. was convincing all the internal players.
  • 237. So that they would cooperate with us. think of the internal designers, the project managers, the builders.
  • 238. And that is Lesson 2: Focus on selling your idea in your own organization.
  • 239. The next step was more difficult:
  • 240. to make the right regulations for this contest.
  • 241. How can you make sure
  • 242. that you get serious contestants and serious designs?
  • 243. You can’t.
  • 244. but you must anticipate and hope for the best.
  • 245. We had to think about: which procedure, which upload mechanism, how to vote? etc., etc.
  • 246. A lot of questions, because some of us
  • 247. feared fraud
  • 248. and some of us feared
  • 249. a lot of non serious contestants.
  • 250. We devised a procedure with a “way out”.
  • 251. In short: the public made the short list
  • 252. and the jury (staffmembers of the Dutch Railways) picked the winner.
  • 253. And that’s Lesson 3: Think carefully about your procedure.
  • 254. We decided to inform every Art School in Holland
  • 255. and we launched a 3D-movie.
  • 256. So, Lesson 4: Give it the right exposure
  • 257. And it worked (Yes!)
  • 258. We received almost 250 designs -in our modest opinion- of good quality.
  • 259.  
  • 260.  
  • 261. After that we had some serious discussion with the jury.
  • 262. They did pronounce a winner for the glass walls.
  • 263. this one:
  • 264. But they decided not to choose a winner for the logo,
  • 265. due to a ‘ lack of quality and applicability’ (as they put it mildly).
  • 266. Then we had to make sure that
  • 267. they explained their choices openly and transparently .
  • 268. That’s Lesson 5: Be transparent and honest at all times.
  • 269. And this August we opened the new toilet area in Leiden
  • 270. with this result:
  • 271. So, let me finish by saying one more thing:
  • 272. it’s the most important thing I’ve learned these last 2 years.
  • 273. We must realize that the new media
  • 274. give our customers more power.
  • 275. It’s in our best interest
  • 276. to let them use this power to help us !
  • 277. And if you take them seriously
  • 278. they will help you!
  • 279.  
  • 280. Thank you for your attention.
  • 281. Any questions?