Go to top of page

Webinar Recap: Empathy to Impact - Driving Innovation into Australia’s Toll Roads

An understanding of customer translated to the creation of simple digital solutions for Transurban

Published on
September 8, 2020

At CEC, we believe one of the richest sources of innovation are customers who understand and interact with brands day-to-day. Transurban’s mentality is no different. With an inherent innovation gene and world-class tolling and road technology and infrastructure, Transurban shifted to focus on the customer, with outstanding results. Ken Raley, from CEC, caught up with Sue Johnson, Transurban Queensland Group Executive, to discuss how a deep understanding of their customers translated to the creation of simple digital solutions for all road users.

When Sue joined Transurban in 2001, the brand was just one asset in one market, but had still developed groundbreaking tolling and road technology. In coming into her role as Group General Manager of Customer in 2014, Sue brought with her a quest of delivering a ‘best-in-world’ service by looking to champion the customer. Since starting with Transurban, Sue has seen the organisation grow to over 20 assets across Australia, Canada, and the U.S.

With a large customer base and the backing of executives and the board, Transurban had an opportunity to solidify their market leadership by building their solutions around the customer. Partnering with CEC, Transurban laid the foundation for the work with in-depth empathic research - seeking to understand their customers’ entire journeys, rather than isolated touchpoints with the brand.

“What are those decisions in everyday life that our customers are making when it comes to travelling on roads that our assets can provide? To me, that depth of understanding was one of the key elements.”

Transurban’s existing digital tolling systems and infrastructure had made the experience for regular users relatively seamless, though this experience was not always shared by occasional toll road users. Transurban set about establishing what these users found worked well, and what they thought needed improvement.

“It wasn’t for us to determine what customers wanted, it was for customers to tell us.”

The result was exploring the concept of a “Future Toll Experience”, resulting in Transurban’s highly successful LinktGO app, “the Uber for toll roads”. An easy-to-use mobile application which extended the reach of Transurban’s seamless digital tolling to customers it had previously been inaccessible for. Sue attributes LinktGO’s success to the way that customers were actively engaged in all stages of development, and whose feedback helped win the support from the executive team.

The work brought with it a shift in culture at Transurban as well. While Transurban still has a strong focus on engineering and infrastructure, the choice to design solutions to user needs was adopted company-wide, giving rise to their ongoing Voice of Customer project. Now researchers and board meetings alike listen to customer voice recordings, often bringing hard truths to the forefront.

“Culture was one of the most significant elements of our change as an organisation. Today it connects through everything that we do. We constantly listen to what customers want and design and update our products and services to meet their needs and demands. Not to assume, to listen, and act on that feedback you get. It’s embedded in all of our business processes.”

Transurban’s service and culture revolves around their customers and their needs, and an attitude of making sure the customer is understood.

Watch the recap below.

Speak with an expert

CEC Team
Email me

Share this with your network