The Deutsche Bahn Group is one of the world’s leading mobility and logistics companies with more than 4.6 billion passengers annually and around 331,600 employees worldwide.
- More than 250,000 finds annually
- > 50% return rate
- Online loss reporting with item categories and characteristics
- Automatic matching of find and loss reports
- Multilingualism in recording and matching
- Automated communication
- Efficient management of found objects
Nova Find, the lost-property office software as a digital transformer for better service quality
“Smartphones, backpacks, suitcases and wallets are among the most often lost items on trains and at train stations. But keys, glasses, tablets and identity cards are also very often lost,” says the product manager in the lost-property management office of Deutsche Bahn AG. “With these personal items, every minute counts to be able to continue the journey in a relaxed manner.” In today’s the online age, passengers expect all services to be performed as quickly as possible. As a result, expectations for a high-performance lost-property service have also risen enormously. If lost items can be returned quickly, the passenger is happy, and the service concept of Deutsche Bahn is perfectly implemented.
The challenges in practice
“More than 250,000 found objects are collected by Deutsche Bahn every year,” explains the product manager. “Often it is not clear when and where a passenger has boarded, changed trains or disembarked. The trains run across national borders, there is no regional limit.” In addition, lost objects are often described very differently. Colour, size and appearance are subjective. This makes it difficult to merge loss and find notifications.
“Whether it is called bicycle, bike or cycle, the assignment of terms is now much easier for Deutsche Bahn thanks to Nova Find, our web-based lost-property office solution,” says Christoph Unger from RUBICON IT GmbH. Since August 2019, Deutsche Bahn has been relying on Nova Find and the expectations of a high hit rate have already been met after two months. The simple, standardised recording of loss notification using predetermined item categories and characteristics ensures high data quality. This also increases the probability of a matching hit with the find notifications. Nova Find recognises different names for the same item such as mobile, smartphone or iPhone, and understands the term even if there is a typo and the phone becomes the hone.
Win-Win thanks to digital communication
Anyone who has lost an item can immediately submit a loss report via smartphone, tablet or laptop online on the lost property service platform. Nova Find supports this with item categories and feature descriptions to simplify the process. Each loss report is automatically matched with all existing find reports and in the event of a hit, the passenger is immediately notified via e-mail or SMS. Automated communication reduces the costs involved for the Deutsche Bahn lost-property office. The process is easier and more efficient for both passengers and lost-property offices: a win-win situation.
Automatic hit matching ensures fast assignment
“Nova Find checks each loss report for matches with existing found objects and displays the possible matching items whose descriptions and characteristics could be a match,” Christoph Unger explains the sophisticated search technology in more detail. “If there is no suitable find at the time of the loss report, it will be compared again and again with subsequent findings. During this search, the customer will also be automatically informed in the event of a match.”
Even if fund reports are submitted by Deutsche Bahn employees, the comparison check with existing loss reports is always carried out instantly. Thanks to this efficient matching function and the digital networking of all Deutsche Bahn lost-property offices, an average of 50-60% of the found objects – and in some product groups even significantly more – can be successfully returned.
Simplified management of found objects
“Deutsche Bahn not only reduces internal expenditure, but also strengthens its customer service,” says Christoph Unger. “Short retention times and a high return rate also mean more satisfied customers.” Thanks to the more detailed recording by item categories and characteristic descriptions in the online loss reports, the data quality has increased significantly. In this way, the work steps in the lost-property office could be simplified.
Successful start thanks to intensive training
During the one-year project implementation, the old system was replaced and Nova Find adapted to the existing processes of Deutsche Bahn. The employees of the railway’s own lost-property offices were intensively trained on site by RUBICON trainers in order to become familiar with the new system. In mid-2019, a storybook joint start with the new digital find solution took place.
The result: Satisfied rail customers
The high hit rate represents a boost to Deutsche Bahn’s service quality. “The satisfied passenger is at the heart of the entire project,” emphasises the head of the DB lost-property office headquarters in Wuppertal. “With Nova Find, we want to make modern customer service tangible for our passengers. The fast, uncomplicated handling and the significantly improved service are well received.” Any loss of an item while travelling generates great stress for those affected. In such a situation, simple procedures, support with the description of the lost item as well as fast communication via e-mail are very important.
“For us, Nova Find is a digital transformer,” explains the head of the lost-property office. “Simply and intuitively, we want to help the passenger who has lost something. Advanced customer service, active communication, a very high return rate, and all this provided in a state-of-the-art form for the smartphone age. The service concept of Deutsche Bahn has been perfectly implemented.”
“RUBICON is the right partner for such projects with Europe’s leading lost-property office solution, Nova Find.”