After the success of our inaugural Field Trip in Argentina in April 2018, Busbud decided to repeat the experience and send a few of our team members to spend time on the ground in our key markets. This time, we chose two of Canada’s closest historical partners in Europe, as well two of the most dynamic intercity bus markets in Europe: France and The United Kingdom!
Seven Busbud team members from different functions (engineering, partnerships, marketing and customer experience) started their visit on September 16th. On the agenda: meetings with bus operator partners, bus station visits, interviews with bus travellers, and some quality time with colleagues to share new ideas about how we can continue to evolve the Busbud product in the future and make it even more relevant for the European market in particular.
Productive exchanges with our partners
In just a few days, we had the opportunity to spend time and exchange with the leaders of many of our main European partners, including Ouibus, Eurolines, National Express, Trainline and Loco2. First, these conversations were helpful not only to strengthen our relationships with our partners, but also to think about how we can improve the way we work together.
Second, our team members had the opportunity to interact in real life with our partner’s counterparts for each business function, with each meeting providing us insights on how to better collaborate. Being in the field, close to the action and to all our bus transportation actors gave us the opportunity to spend time with our colleagues. This helped unlock creative ideas, brainstorm potential product enhancements and reinforce our team spirit.
Finally, we also had the opportunity to discuss the future of the bus industry, the European bus market in particular, some of the challenges that our partners are facing, the next steps for Busbud, and potential areas of collaboration where Busbud could be a really helpful ally.
Connecting with travellers at bus stations
We also took some time to visit some local bus stations, such as Gallieni and Bercy in Paris, and Victoria Station in London. This was a great opportunity for our team to get a “behind-the-scenes” look and learn more about bus station operations, as well as connect with some Busbud travellers who were in transit to their next destination.
Overall, this trip allowed us to much better understand the needs of bus travellers in France and the UK. What are they expecting from the bus companies in the next few years? How can Busbud continue to enhance the customer experience for European bus travellers? What does the future of bus transportation look like? Our conversations during the week with local and international travellers alike have helped us greatly to find some answers to these important questions.
After a week of partners meetings and discussions with bus travellers, we came back to Montreal with a lot of valuable knowledge to share with the entire team. We are now even more conscious of our challenges and opportunities in these two key markets. This is an important step at the local level that helps Busbud be better globally.