Thursday, May 5, 2011

Reduce maintenance Enhance Customer Service - Indian Rail

Indian rail is the world's largest Rail network. It carries around 13 millions passengers a day. Check out this article for some more interesting facts about Indian Railways. But this post is not discuss the facts and figures of Great Indian Railway system. I am more interested in finding a solution to reduce the traffic on the Indian Railway’s online ticket booking site.

At this site, you can not only book tickets but also avail various service like Checking Ticket Status, Filing TDR, Cancel Tickets etc. I don't have the numbers but considering the kind of passengers ferried by the Rail system, there must be a considerable traffic coming to irctc.co.in to check the ticket status.

My idea is to reduce this traffic of people hitting the site to check the ticket status.

I am in IT and very well aware of the direct proportion between the traffic on site and the need of incremental infrastructure, cost and maintenance.
One way is to redirect the traffic to other site of Indian rail which serves the purpose. There is another option of checking status by sending an SMS. The details of the services available on SMS are here. But everybody might not use this option extensively as each SMS costs and the cost is more than the usual tariff.

So how do we go about it? The more viable option I feel is irctc sending an SMS alert on its own about the ticket status periodically for all the waiting and RAC tickets. This should for sure reduce the number of people logging in to check the ticket status. The SMS packs are available at a dead cheap price much much lower than the cost of increased OPEX and CAPEX due to increased traffic.

The period during which an SMS is sent could be once a week before 30 days of journey and increasing the frequency to an SMS everyday in the last week before the journey day. The SMS job could run once a day after mid-night when the resource utilization is less.

This will not only reduce the site traffic but also for sure save customers time, let customers plan alternative options incase the Rail ticket is not confirmed and thus ultimately will improve what everybody organization aims for, “The Customer Satisfaction”.
Got an idea on similar lines? You are welcome to post it here. Would be really great if this post becomes a small contributor for making journey in Indian Rail a “Great Rail Experience”