Engaging customers on the move – northern rail choose crowd smart wi-fi for innovative station roll out.

Free Wi-Fi at stations will allow train operator to engage with customers and provide insight about their future needs.

In the past this announcement may have been the most engagement a customer could expect when standing on a train platform… but not anymore. Forward thinking, customer focused operators like Northern Rail are now embracing new technology to enhance the customer experience.

When Northern Rail were developing their customer engagement stratergy, they were keen to invest in new station technology to help improve the customer journey and decided to implement the CROWD Wi-Fi solution because of it’s multiple benefits to both customer and rail operator. Rob Wames, Planning and programmes Director at Northern said:

“We keep our customers at the heart of everything we do, and we know that more of our customers than ever before want to access real-time information on the move. By providing free Wi-Fi at out stations, our customers can access live train running  information, which we know is extremely important to them, as well as check their email and catch up on the latest headlines.”

The big picture: Customer engagement

CROWD helps companies build a picture of how their business performs by allowing personalised interaction with customers. This was particularly attractive to Northern Rail as it assisted delivery of focused customer engagement strategy. The CROWD Smart Wi-Fi platform will now enable Northern to engage and interact with customers by delivering opt-in personalised promotions, offers and surveys straight to their mobile devices.

Mark Brackley, Managing Director of Jade Solutions added:

“We are delighted to be working with a forward-thinking company like Northern Rail. We believe in CROWD Wi-Fi solution will strongly contribute towards improved customer engagement and deliver on Northern’s commitment to improve customer experience through technology. With customer satisfaction a high priority for Northern, CROWD Wi-Fi’s powerful analytics platform will deliver a deeper insight into the future needs and requirements of customers, further enhancing their travel experience.”

The environment is a consideration

With the outdoor environment a consideration on the Northern Rail project, Jade installed state of the art hardware technology for US Cloud computing giant Aerohive, a key partner in delivering the CROWD solution. CROWD Account manager Rob Woollard explained further.

“We needed an enterprise-grade, high performance product, which would work in the rail environment and the AP1130 access point from Aerohive was perfect, with its design suitable for high bandwidth outdoor wireless environments. Aerohive have an excellent reputation, provide great support and form a core part of the CROWD offering.”

The results

Northern Rail chose Jade Solutions and CROWD on the strength of both the solution and the whole service offering provided. Frank Bosch, Innovation Manager for Northern Rail explained:

“I was pleased to select Jade solutions as the supplier for our new customer Wi-Fi network. The CROWD white label solution delivered by Jade has not only improved facilities at stations but has also enhanced the user journey for thousands of Northern customers. The input form the Jade team throughout the process has been exceptional. Right from the initial project concept, through implementation to post project support, they have been a pleasure to work with.”

The result is customers at 30 stations can now connect to free CROWD Wi-Fi provided by Jade Solutions and courtesy of Northern Rail, a Serco and Abellio joint venture,

Six months later

11,000 Passengers already engaged – 30% accepting marketing clause

Six months on from the installation of the CROWD platform Northern Railway have been able to obtain a tremendous insight into their customers, their travel requirements and behaviour with over 11,000 passengers registered users of the platform. Northern can also directly interact with a huge slice of their customer base with 30% of all users accepting the CROWD marketing clause. This allows Northern and opportunity to build and interactive marketing database whilst learning and engaging with their customers.

Operational Benefit

Northern know… about detailed traffic information regarding passenger Wi-Fi use. This helps them plan infrastructure requirements for Wi-Fi at various locations to ensure customers are happy with browsing capability and thus enhancing the journey experience.


Marketing Benefit

Northern know… the demographics of their Wi-Fi users building a picture of demographics of passengers and the devices they use. this helps the team plan campaigns, content and ensures digital information is formatted for the right viewing device. The marketing opt in allows for northern to not only build a database but also to communicate directly with passengers on the move with personalised offers, vouchers, news and surveys

What else can CROWD do for the Rail Operator?

Incredible Locations & Footfall Analytics

CROWD has the most comprehensive footfall analysis data, providing rail operators with specific footfall data not just about each location, but specific areas of platforms and stations, allowing for complete analysis of the business to passenger interaction. Understand more about your station portfolio and it’s usage allowing for strategic and operational decisions based upon footfall.

Come and meet us

Jade Solutions, Beech House,
Woodlands Park, Ashton Road,
Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside
WA12 0HF

Give us a call

01925 295 400

Drop us an email


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