All Zipcars already have GPS system. Therefore, it is possible the personnel in the operation department of Zipcar can communicate to customers through GPS system. For example, Zipcar can check whether the car can be returned as planned. One hour before the return time, a customer receives GPS message from Zipcar that notifies the return time and asks to confirm whether the car can be returned on time. In case the customer cannot return the car within scheduled time, Zipcar can arrange another car promptly for the next customer. Even though the customers agrees to return the car on time, Zipcar still monitor regularly that the car is heading towards to the return place as the car equipped with GPS system. This is to make sure everything is under control. If the car is not likely to be able to arrive on time, Zipcar also can arrange a back-up plan accordingly. When a customer cannot reply to the message, Zipcar also can prepare for late returning by any chance.
Zipcar introduces a plan which can allow customers to waive their late return penalty by paying additional $20 on top of their usage fees. Customers who are difficult to estimate accurate return time or do not want to be stressed by tight schedule can buy this. Uncertain schedule plans and waive their late return penalty. When customers make a reservation on the website, they will see a check box for the uncertain schedule plan and simply check when they want to buy the plan. Uncertain schedule plans can be purchased per reservation basis so customers can only buy the plan when they likely need a buffering time on their schedule. However, when customers buy the plan, the company does not know when this customer will return the car. Therefore, it is still better for Zipcar if customers can set their schedule. $20 is lower than the late returning penalty ($50) but more expensive then reserving an extra hour; therefore, the system still encourages customers to set their schedule rather than just waiving the penalty. In the meantime, customers are still obliged to pay the usage fees for the extended duration.
This alternative gives incentives as well as recognition to customers who have been participating cooperatively in terms of returning cars on time. Zipcar will issue a gold membership card (transponder) for customers who have been returning cars within schedule for every reservation. The records of each customer’s return will be evaluated on quarterly base and those customers who have shown a good record for the quarter will be notified and received a gold membership card. This is not just a card but it gives various incentives to gold members. Gold card members will get 10% discount for further usage fees for the next quarter. As well as, Gold card members can claim one-time free car upgrade service per month. If they keep the good records, they can also keep prestige from Zipcar.
Zip car case
INFLUENCING CONSUMER BEHAVIOR
CAR • Public transport eg. Buses, • Insurance trains, metros • Maintenance • Taxis • Registrations Cheaper but Convenient inflexible and but expensive a hassle Zipcar brings together the goods of public transport and private vehicles
CAR Zipster: Is a slang word used for members of zipcar. The word ‘Zipster’ also gives a sense of belonging to the customer towards the company.
CAR • Anita Karr – Is a zipster who lives in Cambridge – Booked a VW Jetta Jericho which she had to pick up at 4 PM at Charles hotel – Has to pick her sister up at 4.30 PM for her debut performance at Rhode Island at 6 PM • Sal Fishman – Is another zipster who has hired the WV Jetta Jericho for his interview – He picked up the car at 1 PM and was supposed to drop the car back at 3.30 PM at Charles hotel from where Anita Karr was supposed to take the car. – Fishman’s interview went for a lot longer than he planned and he is not able to drop the car back in time • Now, Fishman is in a dilemma whether to return the car or extend the reservation
CAR Customer Vehicle convenience availability Managing operation Affordability process
CAR • GPS return time notification system – All Zipcars have GPS – Check whether the car can be returned as planned – One hour before send SMS to the customer and notifies return time , asks to confirm about the car return – After confirmation of customer also continue monitoring the car – Arrange a back up plan
CAR • Uncertain schedule plans: – Special program whose return time is uncertain – Pay an extra amount for this scheme
CAR • Gold Card Memberships – Give incentive and recognition to the customer who returns car on time – Issue Gold membership card based on quarterly record of on time return – Give some discount /car upgrade services – Provide best/extra services – Arrange some program for these customers eg. Dinner party etc.
CAR • Late return Penalty – Charge fine from the customer or – Lock the car and unlock when person calls and informs about his extension of reservation – If customer is defaulting consecutively then cancel membership
CAR • Reinforce Customer education (6 rules) – Mailers/E-mails/SMS – Membership card comes with customer kit which contains all the important numbers for Zipcar, FAQ, Emergency numbers and the six rules – Motivate customers to book for extra half an hour – Customer Citizenship concept “Zipster”
CAR • Criteria 1: – The alternative should meet the key success factors of car-sharing business. – The alternative should be able to provide customer convenience. – The alternative should ensure vehicle availability. – The alternative should be able to manage the company’s operation process by influencing customer behaviour.
CAR • Criteria 2: – The alternative should be cost effective. – The car-sharing market is growing and more competitors are entering into the market. As Zipcar currently merged Flexcar, it has more resources and distribution channels. It is important for the company to make use of those existing resources without spending unnecessary expenditures.
CAR • Criteria 3: – The alternative should support the company’s long term sustainability. – The alternative should be able to influence the company in long-term perspective with fewer side effects. Zipcar has been growing rapidly and the company now needs to make its business firmly ground in the market including building a long-term customer relationship.
CAR • GPS return time notification system – Convenient remind services – Weak to force customers change their behaviour – Sending message may interrupt customers and give their unhappy experience with Zipcar – Affect a long-term customer relationship in negative way – Appropriate infrastructure for this pre- notification system, additional costs are needed.
CAR • Uncertain • Cost effective for the company
CAR • Customer can be encouraged to return cars on time and feel motivated because of the benefits they are getting in return • Prestige given to individuals through a metaphor gold membership can encourage customers to respect the schedule • Supports the company long term sustainability • Still uncertainty of late returning and the option needs additional costs
CAR • May create dissatisfaction among the customers • Customers switch to other competitors • Fear of penalty in the mind of customers might cause them to return the car on time
CAR • Help in building the organization culture • Reduce customer dissatisfaction • Build customer relationship with the company • Supports long run sustainability • May not affect the customers and company have to incur cost
CAR • No one thing works for everyone , so combination of normative and instrumental approach is required.
CAR • Maintain Buffer cars and drivers • Provide Superlative Service: – Upgrade the Car – Provide reimbursements
CAR • Fishman was not able to inform Zipcar • Anita Called Zipcar and enquired • Zipcar redirects her to nearest parking lot and upgraded her vehicle
CAR Reinforce Customer Education GPS Return Time notification System Two Way Texting System Gold Membership Program Late return Penalty Program