A “single place” to find information and tickets, and above all the desire to “keep it simple”: the SNCF expects a lot from its new application in its strategy of winning back customers, explains the project manager, Anne Pruvot. “The ambition behind SNCF Connect is to ensure that our customers find everything they need for their short and long journeys in a single place”, summarizes Ms Pruvot, Managing Director of SNCF Connect & Tech, an entity called until recent days e.Voyageurs.
Launched on Tuesday, SNCF Connect is essentially the result of the merger of oui.sncf (formerly voyages-sncf.com, the merchant site) and L’Assistant SNCF (the information application launched in 2019, mainly oriented on travel Proximity). It will be available with the same functionalities in web and mobile version, explains the manager.
We want to make sure that a user no longer has any questions to ask whether he should open such or such an application.
Some 200 people took 18 months to develop the new platform, which features a midnight blue background to dim the brightness of the device used.
A “single place”, certainly, but not really the “single application” promised by the CEO of SNCF Jean-Pierre Farandou. Because a good part of the existing applications and developed by the various activities of the public group in recent years should survive. “Today, we have applications within the SNCF group that are focused on certain uses, certain customer targets,” notes Ms. Pruvot. “We are not opposed to maintaining these habits, but we want to ensure that a user no longer has questions to ask whether he should open such or such an application. By opening SNCF Connect, you have all the features. »
For example, the “My line C” app, dedicated to this often disrupted Ile-de-France RER line, is not threatened. But all incidents will also be posted on SNCF Connect. “A unique response for the customer”, therefore, which should in particular allow you to navigate the maze of TER prices, which could vary depending on the site on which you were booking…
After-sales service and more complete local offer
A major objective of SNCF Connect is to “support the return to mobility of the French after this period complicated by the Covid”. With “fairly strong ambitions in terms of business volume by 2025” for the sale of online travel, notes Anne Pruvot: 6.5 billion euros, against 4.3 billion last year.
“It also applies to everything that is after-sales gesture”, that is to say complaints and requests for reimbursement, specifies Anne Pruvot. The idea is also to place particular emphasis on daily journeys. “The objective is to continue to complete the offer, to enrich the functionalities while keeping this sense of simplicity,” she says. With in particular the gradual integration of timetables for local public transport networks. In addition to SNCF products, SNCF Connect will initially offer FlixBus and BlaBlaCar coaches, car rentals from Avis, carpooling, and also taxis or VTCs to get to the station. But especially not the competing trains of Trenitalia.
It remains to broaden the spectrum, especially in Ile-de-France where the app does not sell tickets to go to the suburbs. Another curiosity: it markets high-speed trains from the local company Renfe in Spain, but not the Ouigos that the SNCF launched last May between Madrid and Barcelona.
The site and the oui.sncf application totaled 450 million visits per year with 11 million “active customers” who bought a ticket in 2021. The SNCF Assistant application, downloaded 16 million times, responds on average to a million route searches every day, according to Ms. Pruvot. In practice, the oui.sncf site will automatically redirect to the new sncf-connect.com address, while the mobile version will be updated automatically. The Assistant application remains online, but it will no longer allow you to buy tickets.