At Amtrak, business-IT co-creation engineers CX success

Close collaboration between IT and marketing is helping Amtrak provide a more seamless omnichannel experience for passengers.

Delivering a superior customer experience (CX) requires close partnerships between IT leaders and their business peers. That's been the ticket for Amtrak, where IT and marketing are co-creating digital services to inspire brand loyalty among the 30 million passengers it serves a year.

These efforts, marshalled by Amtrak CTO Sovan Shatpathy and Kerry McKelvey, vice president of marketing, include assigned seat selection, as well as regular upgrades to the Amtrak mobile application, which enables consumers to purchase tickets and access other information.

“It starts with the business needs,” McKelvey says, adding that marketing conceives of digital products, services or features it wants and pitches them to IT. “Then we work with IT to provide customers with a best-in-class product.”

On the wrong track

Research suggests that building a superior CX requires a close relationship between CIOs and CMOs. But the reality is that such fruitful collaborations are scarce, according to Forrester Research, which found that only 16 percent of 885 marketing decision-makers surveyed see CMOs and CIOs as strategic partners in developing technology solutions.

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