The Pareto principle, more commonly known as the '80/20 rule', could not ring truer than in the carsharing space. As the principle goes, you can expect 80% of your revenue to come from 20% of your patrons. This 20% will refer their colleagues, they'll engage with your brand online, and they’ll bolster your bottom line with regular bookings. These individuals clearly find your service sticky – so how do you replicate said 'stickiness' for the remaining 80%. You didn’t just bring these members into your service to fill a CRM tool, did you?
Herein lies the opportunities available to you, fellow operator. While increasing the stickiness of your mobility solution is a far-reaching proposition, below you'll find some high-level insights to keep your members in the driver’s seat.
Mobility solution needs extend to all walks of life, and utilizing the same asset to take advantage of these needs will boost revenue while keeping operating costs relatively static. You may acquire a member who uses your service for grocery shopping, yet their mobility needs don't end when they load their pantry. They likely make the occasional out-of-town trip with a rental car, or take taxis to client meetings downtown. Catering to the broader ‘transportation portfolio’ will keep members in your ecosystem and build habitual use of your service.
The simplest implementation of this strategy is to address B2B opportunities. Offer discounted rates to corporations based on employee count. Target businesses with regular travel needs, such as those in the real estate or consulting industries. Partner with commercial property developers and position your service as a mobility solution for their tenants. Consumer-focused sharing services will typically see utilization spikes on evenings and weekends - rather than having your fleet sit idle during business hours, put it to work like the rest of us.
The same logic holds true for your physical assets - offer one vehicle model, maybe two, that can address multiple trip modes. There's a reason why Car2Go is shying away from the Smart ForTwo in favor of 4-door Benz's - urbanites need to carry the occasional piece of furniture, and they may travel with more than one friend. That, and the fact they can charge a premium for them. Unique hardware options can extend your service utility as well. Find a specific piece of hardware that will encourage outlier trips, and market it to no end. Evo's fleet-wide roof racks are a perfect example. The Canada-based carshare’s Prius Cs are already perfect for city-based trips, and the simple addition of bike/ski roof racks extends their utility to outdoor aspirations as well.
Finally, consider extending the functionality of your service by combining round-trip and free-floating functionality into one platform. Each service model addresses its own set of needs, and combining the two will position your service as a mobility swiss-army knife. Transport Systems Catapult, the UK’s technology and innovation centre for Intelligent Mobility Solution, has found that, of their citizen’s 61bn journeys each year, commuting accounts for 21%, and short round trips account for 7%. Each is a sizeable opportunity, and reducing friction between trip type will allow your service to capture more of these journeys.
While satisfying multiple use cases is a great step in the right direction, it’s all for not if the user experience is lacking. Whether it be in the physical or digital realms, an intuitive customer journey will encourage habitual consideration of your service.
A simple onboarding process is a requisite in today’s fast-paced world, and there’s no quicker path to member attrition than making the first trip an uphill battle. According to RightNow, an Oracle-owned CRM company, 89 percent of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience – so getting it right the first time is imperative. Based on the mobility solution platform they are working with, some operators offer instant registration and approval. This is accomplished through API-driven ID verification/processing via 3rd party vendors. Instant registration will allow your newly-found member to address an immediate need and will set the stage for a positive customer journey.
First trip aside, the quickest path to adding a user to your 20% is to reach the elusive “Trip #2” as quickly as possible. emov, in Madrid, acquired 100,000 members in less than 100 days – an astounding feat, but not much use if those members only took their first trips on promo rates before going idle. The company boasted over 9 million kilometers driven in their first year of operation – that’s 16,000kms per vehicle, clearly indicating the company’s success in reaching Trip #2, #3, and #4. Encourage members to take that second trip with a targeted marketing campaign. In-app notifications make it easy to get in front of new members with a limited-time promo code, and facilitating this alert and redemption within the app means a member isn’t left copy-pasting from an email to redeem their code. Additionally, reducing the number of steps between opening your app and hopping in a car will break down those barriers to habit-forming trips. Consider your app’s UX and how quickly a member can find and book their vehicle.
As all good marketing strategies call for, building loyal customers means reaching them in the right place, at the right time. Luckily enough, mobility operators are presented with a perfect suite of tools to take advantage of this marketer’s mantra. Consider this: operators are afforded with robust customer data, such as age, home address, trip frequency, trip length, etc. Combine these data points with service-based data like geographic hotspots and utilization by hour/day, and you can get a strong indication of effective partnerships and campaigns that will encourage repeat trips. In addition, operators have direct contact with members through push notifications, and benefit from organic OOH through their branded vehicle fleet. This combination of insights and assets should be a marketer’s dream come true. With automation and targeting, you can speak to the masses whilst making each interaction a personalized loyalty-building experience.
On a local level, an effective community partnership can become a boon for repeat engagement. When sourcing potential partners, consider three basic guidelines.