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SBB Case Study 

Online Community Plan & Technical Design 

Project members:
Kamales Lardi

Every year, SBB transports 366 million passengers on its 3024 route kilometres of Swiss rail network. The SBB brand stands for the promise of customer-oriented railway and travel services that are safe, reliable and offer the highest comfort.

Patrick Kramer, Head Strategy & Service Management at UBS:

“Kamales knows how to work within complex organizational settings and easily manages deliverables across countries, work cultures and time zones. She is also very well connected and manages very effectively virtual knowledge networks to the benefit of
any strategic initiative.”

Customer Challenges

Phase 1: To provide insights into consumer needs and online behavior in order to assess the potential added value of a new online community platform for SBB’s customer base.

Phase 2: Strategic planning, customer journey design and technical evaluation for the realization of such a platform.

LPC Approach

Lardi & Partner Consulting (LPC) were engaged to develop a business case around the needs analysis for a new online community. At first, an assessment of business drivers was made to develop a good understanding of the potential added benefits that an online community could provide for SBB’s strategic objectives.

LPC also conducted a customer segment analysis to determine demographic and behavioral variables of SBB’s customer base to assess how they would potentially use the online community. The research also included a comparison against peer online communities from other public railway systems across Europe.

Based on these findings, an estimate of the number of possible users and anticipated ROI was made, which showed promising results.

LPC then defined the operational concept for the community, including differ user roles, functionalities, content types and sources.


A customer journey map was created and six use cases of how the platform would function (e.g. registration, communication between users etc.) and design mock-ups were developed.

Further, LPC identified the key benefits for the target customers and an activation and promotion plan for the community was developed.

Based on the findings and recommendations of LPC’s work, the online community project was approved.

Lardi & Partner Consulting then started the technical evaluation and selection of a vendor who could produce the platform. LPC supported the project team by providing the usage and capacity estimations and by developed the gamification concepts to keep the community engaged and active on the platform. LPC also designed the multi-language approach to account for all four official Swiss languages. Finally, LPC reviewed technical requirements produced by the project team to ensure that they aligned with SBB’s strategic objectives and the earlier identified consumer needs.

Outcome Achieved


The potential added value of a new online customer platform for SBB’s strategic objectives was identified by LPC’s research. Functionalities of the user community have been designed based on the customer journey map and an external vendor for the technical implementation has been selected. The online platform is currently being developed by this external vendor and will soon be launched.

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