Pension reform, COVID-19 crisis, François Julia has not been spared since taking office at the head of the SNCF’s Remote Customer Relations Ireland Email List Operations department in June 2019. However, in the face of crises and situations uncertain, he seems to retain a remarkable serenity. Rich in his long experience in customer relations , he has forged strong convictions which allow him to stay on course in all circumstances. As Director of Remote Customer Relations Operations within SNCF, what is your mission? The mission of my management is clear: to create the conditions to obtain the best possible satisfaction from our customers on the assistance register. It takes place during a dialogue that includes more than 4 million contacts per year, to which we must respond whatever the channel used: voice, webmail, social networks and messaging.

This ambition concerns more than 120 million travelers, which lets you imagine the level of commitment required. Since taking office, what have been your main challenges? They are two in number and aligned with the mission. Maintain the confidence of our customers whatever the situation or the solicitation, including on everyday subjects Offer assistance in line with our customers’ expectations . Indeed, it is no longer up to the customer to adapt to our assistance journey, but the reverse. Our main challenge (which is not unique to SNCF) is therefore to reduce customer effort. The loyalty and preference of our customers derive directly from the ability of our services to meet it. Obtaining customer engagement is essential in the face of the arrival of competition.

What innovations do you particularly believe in and want to deploy in the future?

However, in the age of the trust economy where the requirement of trust is fundamental, promises are no longer enough. We have to provide proof. In the world of travel, it is therefore our responsibility to demonstrate our commitments to welcome and hospitality. You were Director of Customer Relations France Europe at OUI.sncf, a SNCF subsidiary regularly awarded for its technological innovations. Why does digital represent an opportunity to improve customer relations? The particularity of OUI.sncf is to be a pure digital player within a structure, like the SNCF, which did not include digital in its DNA. Thus, its strength has been to integrate, via the channel of the transaction and the relational, all the need for digital. The success was so strong that it is now the leading e-commerce site in terms of transaction volume in France in 2019 (and 17 million unique visitors).

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Interface Yes sncf This digital experience of customer relations highlighted the opportunity and the need, in particular in this area, to use artificial intelligence. The latter provides an answer to the challenges of time and immediacy with which the customer relationship is confronted. Our customers seek simple and responsive support throughout their customer journey. Streamlining navigation from one channel to another to provide the right information in an individualized and personalized way is, in my opinion, one of the immediate benefits of AI for customer relations. This is the case, for example, with conversational communication, which makes it possible to deploy hybrid assistance combining bot and human without friction and without delay.

What qualities / skills are you looking for in your teams?

On the other hand, the use of algorithms is a tremendous opportunity to improve the relevance of responses within deadlines unattainable by humans. In just a few minutes, we can query nearly 33 million travel combinations to respond to ticket change requests. Technologies therefore work in favor of reliable, relevant and immediate processing of customer requests. Conversational fields make endless the opportunities for dialogue with our clients on any subject. It requires a very great ability to bounce back. How does this translate into your customer experience strategy? All of these digital issues must serve only one goal: to reduce the effort of our customers by improving simplicity. This echoes our raison d’être at VOYAGES SNCF: to provide everyone with the freedom to travel easily while preserving the planet .

This is all the more important for a company that belongs to all French people. If the SNCF is obviously multiple, our users often perceive it in a unique way. Our courses are however made of stages and ruptures which can generate complaints. This is a reality that we are therefore striving to streamline and simplify. In this perspective, one of my first actions was to set up, in addition to monitoring customer satisfaction , monitoring customer effort. This step may seem obvious but was essential and necessary to understand where we were starting from and the areas for improvement. The challenges and expectations facing digital are ever greater and more sensitive in the face of ever more demanding customers. How do you go about staying the course and motivating your teams?

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