A Virgin Trains female passenger is sitting and talking to a Virgin Trains female employee as a glass of champagne is pour for her
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Virgin Trains transforms rider experience using ServiceNow


Improvement in CSAT within first eight weeks


Reduction in hiring timeframes


Cost savings

Virgin Trains embarks on a journey to radically improve customer service and selects ServiceNow as a key strategic partner. Although the service transformation is still in process, by all accounts, the results are right on track.

Streamlining processes to provide excellent IT service    

To digitize, automate, and personalize the rail experience, Virgin Trains selected ServiceNow as a key partner in creating excellent IT service delivery
Virgin Trains is determined to transform the rail experience into a reliable source of enjoyment and pleasure. The company wants to deliver a consistently positive experience that keeps customers happy—and keeps them coming back. When it embarked on a journey to radically improve its customer service, Virgin Trains selected ServiceNow as a key strategic partner.

“We’re moving toward a digitized, automated, personalized rail experience that puts customer satisfaction first,” says Virgin Trains CIO John Sullivan. “All of that starts with a foundation of streamlined internal processes and excellent IT service delivery, and that’s exactly what ServiceNow brings to the table. Eventually, we’ll be able to use the same system to integrate data and automate processes across the enterprise, in just about any business function.”

Modernizing ITSM infrastructure and apps to create “a single source of truth” and visibility allowed the Virgin Trains IT team to take ownership of and continuously improve processes
For Virgin Trains, the first milestone on the journey to service excellence was modernization of the underlying IT Service Management (ITSM) infrastructure and applications. The company’s legacy ITSM platform was aging and had limited capabilities. 

"Everything we do for customers starts with great support for employees,” says Dean Underwood, head of IT Services for Virgin Trains. “If you don’t have infrastructure and processes in place that can improve service delivery and grow and evolve with you, transformation is just not possible.”

The focal point initially was transparency. Dean says, “We had no visibility into processes and we had very limited data on which to base decisions that would improve service delivery.”

At a previous company, Dean experienced the Now Platform® in action and saw that it could integrate applications and data from multiple sources, thereby creating not only a “single source of the truth” but also new ways to streamline a broad array of ITSM processes.

“With ServiceNow we have data and visibility into processes, so we can take ownership of those processes and continuously improve them,” says Dean. 

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Virgin Trains
Virgin Trains
London, United Kingdom
A Virgin Trains train is rounding a curve in the countryside

We’re working hard to move rail travel into the 21st century. It all starts with modernizing our internal processes, and ServiceNow is the right platform and the right partner to get us there.

John Sullivan


Equally important, the Now Platform gave Virgin Trains insight into core IT processes such as incident management, change management, and more. “We can quickly understand where failures are occurring, what’s causing failures, average resolution times, and so on—and we can monitor our progress in both preventing outages and minimizing their impact to employees,” says Dean.

“Fundamentally, ServiceNow gives us the data we need to improve the service desk and overall service delivery,” says John Sullivan. “In the past, we made changes based on what we felt needed changing. Now we have the data to drive better decisions.”

Virgin Trains has also streamlined core processes so that they take less time, making it possible for staff to focus on higher-value tasks. “We’ve automated tasks and simplified processes, for example making it easier and faster to get needed approvals for changes,” says Dean. “In some cases, what used to take a month now takes a day.”

The modernization effort was also accelerated by the ease of implementation of the Now Platform. “The core functionality is all built in—it’s relatively easy to activate the specific modules and functionality you require,” says Dean. “And the platform is cloud-based so scale-up is not an issue.”

By radically improving their employees’ experience, Virgin Trains saw significant increases in their customer satisfaction metrics—NPS going from mid-20s to averages between 70 to 80
The result of the modernization efforts has been a radical improvement in the quality of IT service delivery. But that’s just the beginning of the transformation journey for Virgin Trains.

“Richard Branson has a saying ‘if we look after our staff, they will look after our customers,’” says John, “and so a key part of our transformation journey is constantly improving the service we provide to employees, and measuring their satisfaction levels.” 

To that end, Virgin Trains has begun meticulously measuring and tracking customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores internally. According to John, the Net Promoter Score (a measure of CSAT) was initially in the mid-20s range, but today averages 70 to 80. 

The Net Promoter Score was initially in the mid-20 range, but today averages 70-80.

“We saw a 44% improvement in the first eight weeks with ServiceNow, just from improved hiring processes” he says. “To us, that score is a measure of how much lost time we’re giving back to employees, and how much more they’re able to focus on what matters most—constantly improving the customer experience.”

John says the increases in CSAT were attributable to many factors, but the acceleration of processes enabled by ServiceNow was critical. He says, “Employees don’t always analyze why service seems better—they just perceive that they’re getting what they need faster.”

Automating common customer service tasks with CSM saves time for both Virgin Trains agents and its customers by resolving issues faster
The next phase of transformation is currently underway with the implementation of ServiceNow® Customer Service Management (CSM).

“CSM will help us automate common customer service tasks and save both agents and customers a lot of time,” says John. “We get thousands of inquiries, suggestions, and requests each year—with CSM we can issue reference numbers, track cases more easily, and get important data about our customers that will drive future improvements.”

In addition, Virgin Trains will use CSM to connect departments internally and further expedite customer service. With CSM, it will be possible to route work from customer service to field service, engineering, operations, finance, legal, etc., so questions raised by customers can be quickly routed to the appropriate staff.

Creating an end-to-end service value chain for its suppliers extends the efficiencies that Virgin Trains achieved and further enhances service and satisfaction
Recognizing that the overall customer experience also depends on partners, Virgin Trains has launched an initiative to create an end-to-end service value chain that extends to its base of suppliers.

“We’re on track to save 20% of our operating budget, and we want to invest some of those savings into our supply chain,” says John.

More specifically, Virgin Trains is restructuring its RFP process so that suppliers are highly motivated to use the Now Platform for their own service management processes. John says, “We want to extend the efficiencies we’ve achieved internally to our supply chain to further enhance service and customer satisfaction.”

Innovating with ServiceNow for a fantastic rail experience for all Virgin Trains customers
Virgin Trains is looking at innovative ways to deliver the rail experience of the future. “We want to provide digital entertainment, easy access to up-to-date schedule information, simplified booking and payment capabilities, the list goes on,” says John. “The Virgin brand has always been about innovation, and we’re trying to be inventive in improving the entire train experience.”

“The reason ServiceNow is such as exceptional partner is that their platform is extensible to any business process. ServiceNow is capable of true enterprise service management—bringing service improvement not just to IT but to security operations, HR, finance, legal, compliance, and more. The way ServiceNow connects to the business and business objectives is fantastic. We’re working hard to move rail travel into the 21st century…and ServiceNow is the right platform and the right partner to get us there.”

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