The story

Stagecoach made a public commitment to improve the customer experience for South West Train passengers.

The digital booking and buying system was too complex and confusing, causing customers to turn their backs on the website and call the helpline instead. Given that Stagecoach operates one of the busiest networks in UK with more than 230 million journeys every year, it was time for an overhaul.

The challenge

To live up to that commitment, we had to put the best interests of the customers first.

When trying to buy a train ticket online, a passenger is usually confronted with a frustrating experience, and no certainty that their ticket offers the best value. Our challenge was a single-minded one: make buying a ticket for a train journey simple and intuitive while delivering genuine price transparency.

The approach

South West Trains committed to building its own proprietary central booking engine.

It was Zone’s task to bring this system directly to the customers. With a 40-strong multi-disciplinary agile team we defined and built an entirely new customer journey in collaboration with SWT’s own teams, integrating it with their multiple back-end systems and rolling it out to market.

The product

A brand new web, iOS and Android customer experience to drive ticket sales.

The final output was a customer-centric, multi-platform solution. A single easy-to-use interface through which customers could buy the cheapest tickets, easily access travel information and plan their journeys. Like going to a ticket office, but on the internet.



workstreams delivered to an immovable deadline within six months


of ticket transactions are successful


calls to helpdesk