Beyond If Beyond If

How 1 Highway Network is Changing the User Experience Game

What if we showed you how Jacobs and Costain are using a cloud-based customer service model to improve mobility along more than 2,000-miles of highway in East Sussex?

Stock image of a highway with blur

When it comes to the customer experience, we’ve all seen the good (think: those big, names-that-start-with A brands we keep hearing about), the bad (think: that server who spilled the plate in your lap last week) and the ugly (think: obnoxious telemarketers).

But when it comes to highways – the experience is often neutral.

That’s because in general, the highway industry still uses disjointed, old and redundant technology that doesn’t give customers the quality user experience that they have come to recognize from well-known, big brands.

But what if we showed you how Jacobs’ cloud-based service model on one highway network is changing how the public communicates and reports roadway issues; ultimately providing a better journey?

  • 2 K

    miles of highways operating more efficiently and freely

  • 50 %

    reduction in implementation costs over traditional software

“With the influx of data and the Internet of Things, as an industry we’re challenged to create and improve transportation systems that are smarter and more resilient and secure. At Jacobs, we aren't just thinking about this; we are implementing transformative solutions in the transportation sector today, like this cloud-based customer service platform in East Sussex, that capitalize on real-time data and sharing apps to enhance the safety, quality and efficiency of multimodal transport.”

Stephen Rutherford

Jacobs Global Transport Planning Solutions Director

Driving vision with a creative solution

With more than 30,000 roadway issues reported annually on the more than 2,000-miles of highway Jacobs is currently managing in East Sussex, England, we knew we needed to find a better way.

Keeping the big brand experience in mind, we, along with our joint venture partner Costain, began looking at the best-in-class customer service systems to identify what we could introduce to the highways industry.

Our vision? Offering a positive experience for all road users that provides instant access to up-to-date information on existing issues, changes how the public communicates and reports roadway issues and improves mobility on the East Sussex highways network.

We set out to reach our vision with a creative customer service solution, ultimately arriving on a cloud-based Salesforce platform which allows highway travelers a quick and effective outlet to report issues (like potholes or roadkill) and receive timely updates on impacts to schedules and existing problems.

A journey like no other

The end-to-end Salesforce customer service platform, developed with our consulting partner, makepositive, includes social and mobile elements, such as a chat service, a mobile app and a recently launched website that feeds directly to Salesforce and allows customers to report issues on an interactive map.

The chat service allows customers to track reported repairs from creation through to completion. Like a courier service, customers can track our repair teams on a map to see when they will be making improvements in their area.

The mobility of the platform also significantly reduces response times, since maintenance crews can conduct work and communicate with customers on-the-go. The enhanced flow of information between customers and services crews on the ground has even secured a 50 percent reduction in the number of abandoned cases since implementation.

Perhaps the most exciting part? The annual costs for this software are comparable to traditional solutions. In fact, implementation costs are approximately 50 percent lower than traditional software solutions due to configuration rather than software development.

We’ve also greatly enhanced our efficiency, increasing the number of cases managed per agent by 60 percent and achieving 71 percent customer satisfaction.

The cloud-based solution is scalable and can easily be replicated for other highway agencies. We’re even exploring ways that it can benefit other service organizations, like public works departments.

By providing a big brand-esque user experience, we’re leading the way in customer communication within the highway industry – and the industry is taking notice. Salesforce selected our joint venture, East Sussex Highways as a recipient of the Salesforce 2016 Partner Innovation Award, recognizing our contributions to customer success in the public sector and we earned a place on New Civil Engineer’s 2017 Tech Fest Awards shortlist in the Best Use of Technology: Driving Efficiency category.

Interested in learning more about how Jacobs transforms intangible ideas into intelligent solutions for a more connected, sustainable world?

Explore innovation at Jacobs