1, 2, 3... Programmes to improve service quality in Bayonne!

For over a year, Keolis has been trying something completely new in Bayonne by simultaneously implementing three programmes: Keolis Signature Service (KSS), Keolis Industrialises and Harmonises Operations (KIHO) and Keolis Industrialises and Harmonises Maintenance (KIHM). The goal? To meet performance, safety, wellbeing and environmental requirements in collaboration with passengers, PTAs and employees. Pulse looks back after a year of deployment.

groundIt all started in April 2021 when Patrick Cozan — head of the Keolis Côte Basque-Adour (KCBA) subsidiary — decided to implement the Keolis Signature Service (KSS) programme in Bayonne. Around since 2015 (see insert), the KSS programme is designed to improve the quality of customer relations in all regions where Keolis operates. “On the Côte Basque-Adour network, we had to meet several challenges,” explains Patrick Cozan. “We needed to enhance service quality, boost our operational efficiency and increase customer satisfaction rates.” To achieve this, the Keolis team opted for the synergistic effect of carrying out not one but three programmes at the same time!

As a result, two months after kicking off KSS, Patrick’s teams rolled out the KIHO and KIHM programmes — a first for the Group. The public transport authority’s key concern was to improve satisfaction and loyalty among passengers by addressing their concerns and expectations more effectively. “The first initiative implemented through KSS was the systematic handling of irritants reported by our passengers during their journeys,” says Patrick. “We also trained network staff in customer relations using role-play and peer-to-peer discussion sessions.” These efforts have already produced results, with the network recording a decrease in passenger complaints and a significant increase in customer satisfaction.

KIHM programme presented to Keolis Côte Basque-Adour staff.

Joint implementation of the KSS, KIHM and KIHO programmes has also had the knock-on effect of enhancing employee wellbeing. “By conducting out all three programmes at the same time, we’ve given Keolis teams something tangible to work towards and enhanced their sense of purpose,” says Patrick. “The co-construction process, which is central to the KIHM and KIHO programmes, has enabled staff to really get involved and have their opinions and suggestions taken into account.”

Thanks to deployment of the KIHM programme, progress has also been made on improving network maintenance and operations. “We’ve introduced regular five-minute reports, for example,” says Olivier Debalanger, who heads up maintenance at KCBA. “Through this simple procedure, we’ve been able to improve the clarity of information transmitted, benefit from immediate feedback on work carried out during the day and get a clearer picture of the vehicles available.”

“After just over a year, the benefits observed have been significant, for passengers and staff but also for the public transport authority,” says Patrick Cozan. “This three-way approach has enabled our PTA partner to offer services that are more closely aligned with the community’s expectations.” Mission accomplished for KCBA, which has successfully measured up to the local PTA’s expectations in terms of safety, reliability and quality of service. Hopefully, this innovative example of operational performance will inspire many other Keolis subsidiaries!

Key figures:

  • 200 out of 350 employees, have been trained for KSS

  • 60 employees, have been trained for KIHO and KIHM

In a nutshell

Rolled out at Group level in 2015, the Keolis Signature Service programme involves 12,000 employees and 5,000 ground staff. “KSS puts into action the Group’s commitment to offering the best possible passenger service,” says Annelise Avril, Group Senior Executive Vice President - Marketing, Innovation & New Mobility Services. A practical manifestation of the “Thinking Like a Passenger” philosophy, the programme is all about getting network staff and supervisors to jointly develop practices that improve service quality: greeting and guiding passengers, reassuring them throughout their journeys and keeping them informed of any unexpected disruptions. Keolis hopes to triple the number of Group entities that benefit from the KSS programme to 60 by 2025.