I’ve been spending a good amount of time in Barcelona lately and my favorite, eco-friendly way to get around town is on a scooter. Specifically, I’ve been using Barcelona’s top two electric scooter-sharing services, Yugo and eCooltra. At surface level, they offer seemingly identical services at similar price points — modern, good-looking, 50cc electric scooters that have zero noise and zero emissions. But, get up and running on both services and you’ll notice that the customer experience Yugo created currently exceeds that of eCooltra.
Why does this matter? Ease of use equals time. If you have to get somewhere, the last thing you want to burn time doing is fumbling through a difficult-to-use app, scooters that don’t start and ride start/stop processes that aren’t intuitive. The faster it is to get up and running, the more inclined a rider is to use a particular service over another. Yugo has this down to a science. Once approved on the service, it takes two clicks to find, reserve and start riding a scooter. In contrast, eCooltra’s experience requires multiple clicks, specific handling of the scooter before it can start and helmet storage in two different parts of the scooter. All of this costs the rider time.
At their core, both of these companies are technology companies. After a frustrating day using both services I tweeted my complaints and praise at both companies. I heard back from only one — eCooltra. I told them that their customer experience was inferior. I explained how Yugo did a better job and why that made a difference to me. The CMO contacted me privately on Twitter to get more details, which I happily provided. She assured me that many of my concerns were being solved in the latest app release due out shortly. She thanked me for my feedback and to compensate me for my time and frustration with the service offered me 30 free minutes of use.
This is a perfect example of sensing and responding. With software consuming the world, both of these startups have a tremendous opportunity to communicate and integrate into their users’ communities. They can sense my usage of the service — both the digital and the physical components — but they can also sense my feedback, especially when it’s posted publicly on social media. The key question for both of these companies is, “What will you do with all this information?” In eCooltra’s case, they responded — and quickly. They reached out through the channel I chose, asked for my feedback, addressed it and compensated me for my time. They learned from me how to improve their customer experience and are putting that information into the next iteration of their service.
This is a specific example from two competing services in Spain. However, the sense-and-respond idea is something every company can do. How are you listening to what your customers are saying about your service? Are you in tune with what they’re actually doing with your products? And, perhaps, most importantly, what are you going to do with all that information? An ignored customer dealing with a frustrating customer experience will flee for your competition. An engaged customer who feels like their feedback is going to make the experience better will become a loyal customer.