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Member of the Month: Vinay Parmar, Digital Experience Director, National Express May 31, 2019

Vinay Parmar from National Express shares insight on AI, customer experience and mobile first strategy

National Express' UK Customer and Digital Experience Director, Vinay Parmar, sat down with us at the DLF May event to discuss how National Express is undergoing a digital transformation.

Why has National Express joined the Digital Leadership Forum?

As a business who is going through significant digital transformation, we wanted to be part of a group of like-minded people who have faced or are facing similar challenges to us. We are keen to learn from the successes and failures of others and share our own!  For me, this was a network of real people driving real change in organisation, and not just vendors or salespeople you usually find at conferences. 

How are you trying to transform the company with digital technologies?

We've had a great deal of focus on our digital retail platforms with new CMS, booking engine and Apps, as well as digital marketing which is a key channel for us. We are also looking at innovation and digital tools to improve processes, productivity and the performance of our business in areas such as safety and engineering. It’s not really about the digital platforms though, it’s the team that uses them. Our traditional digital team of product owners, UX designers and developers is supported by a customer experience executive. Having worked in National Express contact centre for a few years they are perfectly situated to be the voice of the customer in the room and to challenge our digital team. 

Have you met other organisations with similar challenges to you within the Digital Leadership Forum?

Yes. I've met some great people so far who have common challenges and can share their experiences!

What kind of digital experiences are you looking to create for your customers?

Our core mission is to change the perception of coach and bus travel and win the lifetime loyalty of our customers, so right now personalisation and "stickiness" is a focus. We are working in ways to increase relevancy, reduce friction points, and introducing value add services to customers such as our onboard entertainment system and journey management tools like coach tracker and self-service hubs. We are adopting agile methodology and driving a culture of test and learn.

What progress have you made so far with your digital transformation programmes?

Our investment in digital has grown year on year and we now have a skilled in-house team which has improved our speed of delivery and capacity for change.

Do you have a philosophy which guides you when you are developing new approaches for your digital customers?

Although we have done some great work, we are still relatively early in our digital transformation. We are adopting agile methodology and driving a culture of test and learn. Late last year we launched National Express Innovation and Science - NXIS - our first innovation accelerator designed to work with companies to build MVP and POCs which could transform our business. 

Here more from Vinay at our September member session on 'How to transform customer experience.

National Express and DLF

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