Mark Holt, CTO of rail travel ticket retailer thetrainline.com, puts the customer at the centre of his strategy and the day-to-day operations of everyone in his IT team. As organisations struggle with digital disruption, the CTO at thetrainline.com has embraced the growing ‘outside-in’ trend of being customer-centric as part of his change management programme.
“All teams now have 100% customer-centric KPIs that are measured on a monthly basis and reports distributed. This means that we can accurately track the effectiveness of each team in moving the dial for customer benefit.”
Holt joined thetrainline.com in March 2014 as CTO after a year as CTO of intellectual property software services provider CPA Global.
As a mobile and web-based retailer, thetrainline.com has to keep pace with changing customer behaviour and technology trends.
“I have an obsession with moving quickly and reducing time to market, so we are instilling a culture where change is a positive,” Holt said. To create this culture change, Holt has reorganised development into cross-functional, product-centric teams.
“The goal of localising decision making to the closest point to the customers, and empowering all team members to innovate and ‘do the right thing’,” he said. As a result Holt has brought in new Product Management and User Experience teams.
As well as changing the culture, Holt has introduced new tools such as NewRelic and Centralised Log Management to gain deeper insights into real user experience. He said these tools were “a big cultural improvement that has helped teams focus on site performance (highly correlated to revenue) and reliability and getting developers out to stations to interact with real customers”.
He said: “Transformation is about people, not really technology. But technologies that provide people with deeper insights such as Application Performance Management, Crash Analysis, Log Management, and deep tagging make a huge difference to transformation of customer experience,” he said of the journey his team has been on.
“We capture and analyse the maximum data we can get our hands on. Many of our teams have dedicated insights managers who provide customer insights.”
Read the full Mark Holt CIO 100 Q&A here.