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Designing a Better User Experience

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At Zoomcar we are continuously striving to make your rental experience effortless and delightful. In the ideal world, it should be easy to book a car, pick it up and return it. In fact, the experience should be so good that you rave about it to your friends, and come back to us when you need to book another car.

In this post, we’ll look at some of the things we do to uncover, evaluate and improve your experience. Let’s get started.

As done in the past to improve our company processes and customer experience, we brought together 25 people from across Zoomcar to map out the rental experience and look for opportunities to improve it. This group was made up of people from our product management, design, customer support and ground operation teams. They were chosen because they each bring a different perspective to the discussion.

The team explored the steps you commonly go through to plan a trip, book a ride with Zoomcar, pick up your car, drive, and return the car. They also looked at the touch points you reach out to for help, such as the fleet executives at the pickup site or the customer service agents in our support center. Then they put it all together in a four foot long map illustrating what you do, what you think, and how you feel during a trip. Here’s an excerpt.

This map is now the backbone for many of the discussions we have about the rental experience.  For instance, in our constant endeavor to improve the pick up service for our first time user, we’re looking at new ways to guide you through the experience using our mobile app.  It should be easy for you to find a site, find your car, inspect it and go.

As done in the past, our focus has been on empathy. Empathy is ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. In this case, we want to understand what your goals or needs are, how you approach them, and how you feel about the services we offer.

One of the best ways to develop empathy for a customer is to  ensure  building of great products but also talk with them. As a practice, we’ve always instructed every one of our product managers and designers to get out, once a month, every month. There are a number of ways we’ve done this.  For instance, they can:

  1. Go incognito and rent a Zoomcar.
  2. Work at a pickup site for the day. This is a great way to meet customers, observe the pickup process, and look for ways to improve it
  3. Work in our customer experience center. This is the best place to hear what customers really think about your service, straight from their own mouth.
  4. Shadow a customer through the entire journey. This isn’t quite as sinister as it sounds. In practice, we just phone a customer up after they book a car, and ask them a few questions about their trip. We meet with them when they pick up the car, and then we meet them again when they drop off the car.
  5. Re-enact a bad customer experience.
  6. Rent a car from one of our competitors.

Here’s a photograph of some of our customers at an airport pickup.

This initiative is so important that we track our progress, to ensure that there are no slackers. We also meet every 2 weeks to share our experiences.

So let’s look at how this can help us improve the Zoomcar experience.

One of our team recently rented a Zoomcar. During the pickup, he followed the checklist, and determined that he had to walk around  a couple of times in order to diligently inspect all of the components. Since then, we’ve reorganized the checklist so that you only have to walk around the car once.

On another occasion two members of the team went out to observe customer activity at one of our sites in Bangalore.  During this visit, we discovered that the network coverage in the area was limited.  We have worked towards improving the issue to make the entire process seamless for the customers.

These are just two of the discoveries that we’ve made. At a higher level, we usually work on a feedback loop. The insight we gain is funneled back into the team, and improvements are made on a continuous basis.

With that in mind, we ensure all our employees go out to understand customer pain points and get back into a room for a more detailed discussion and build a seamless experience. If you have any ideas about how we can do better, give us a shout. We’d love to talk.

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