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Building trust with new customers through collaboration

December 17, 2015
Author: Eve-Marie Morgo

Founder & CEO Frederic Mazzella of BlaBla Car is providing some intriguing and thought provoking stats around the opportunity for car sharing.

The model used by BlaBla Car, where drivers are rated by their passengers and vice versa, is an excellent method of fostering customer care. Why? Because it's down to the individual, it's down to the way you provide a service one to one, it can’t get more intimate than this.

This is why it works so well, both parties have a need, and to get from A to B actually has a secondary role to the need of getting somewhere to join friends and family, to go on holiday, to get to the start of term for university, a wedding perhaps... the list is endless. But what BlaBla Car has created is the feeling of well being, that you will get looked after and in fact enjoy the ride so to speak.

We experimented it over the summer with a trip from Nice, France to Barcelona using 3 modes of transport, car sharing, train and bus or coach. On the trip we observed different types of traveller tribes and also a different kind of intimacy. The car sharing was way more fun, the train comfortable and relaxing and the bus quite a long and arduous journey. But each one suited the need at that particular time for that particular person or group.

Albert Cañigueral a world specialist of collaborative economy, the founder of ConsumoColaborativo.com and a spanish connector to OuiShare, illustrates how a rail company can benefit from the collaborative economy: e.g. a partnership with a local transport company such as Zipcar, develop its own carpooling application, rethinking what to do with empty spaces in stations (maybe a coworking?) or using open data and APIs to foster open innovation processes.

Frederic also talked about DREAMS, not just about the dream of your visit but the building blocks to create trust. Word of mouth is known as the number one sales method that works 99% of the time, their sharing platform builds that trust.

It’s a great lesson to learn, in that the more we take care of each other in a service orientated offer, which includes the traveller, the better we will both be in the long run. Here are some of the figures and stats that show why the BlaBla Car model is so successful.

1. Can we still afford idle private car seats?

  • 76% city to city travels are by car
  • 17% by train
  • Bus 6%
  • Air 1%.

Pie chart for chosen modes of transport 2015

60% of their members who offer their cars end up using the service as a passenger (in less than 3 years of membership). Did you know that owning a car is EUR 5-6k per annum (all costs including insurance, parking fees etc.). In France this equals EUR 200Bn per annum (10% of GDP).

2. In terms of car usage today

  • 96% of time, cars are parked
  • 0.5% in traffic jams
  • 0.8% looking for a place to park
  • 2.7% getting from A-B
  • 3 quarters of time driver is alone in the car
  • Using resource less than 1% of time = EUR 2850Bn per annum globally

Pie chart showing what we do with our cars

3. Sharing has 3 positive impacts:

  • Environment friendly
    • 1.7 people per car on average (2.8 people for BlaBla car)
    • In last 2 years saved 500,000 tons of oil (enough to light Los Angeles for 1 Year)
  • Better social behaviour (brings people together)
    • Takes the boredom out of travel & meet new people (61% state that ridesharing represents a socially friendly company)
  • Creates world trust
    • Building blocks to achieve trust (DREAMS)
      • Declared (name, picture, rules in the car, preferences etc.)
      • Rated (after the event you rate the driver)
      • Engaged (Passenger pays in advance)
      • Activity (Can see how active drivers are)
      • Moderated (BlaBla platform e.g. assistance to the community)
      • Social (Link profile to Facebook/Linked-in
    • General views on trust based on BlaBla survey (Scale of 1-5)
      • Strangers 1
      • Facebook 2.5
      • Neighbours 3.1
      • Colleagues 3.6
      • Friends/family 4.7
      • BlaBla Car 4.3
    • Brings more safety
      • People stay more alert and awake in a shared ride
      • 75% respect the rules of the road by having passengers on-board.
      • 86% say that ratings are the most important factor in choosing a driver
      • 70% encouraged to be safer drivers by having passengers in the car.
  • In 19 countries
    • Can grow fast as they are a digital company
    • 20million members

The main reasons people use car sharing? They join for saving (80% more savings), sharing (97% more enjoyable sharing experience) and freedom (54% more mobile).

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