ZipCar on Distinguishing Your Brand with a ‘Customer Experience Map’

Our culture is more and more becoming a culture of borrowers, as opposed to owners. Think about it – you can sleep at someone’s apartment for a night and have it feel like home (AirBnB), you can have movies delivered to your house and send them back whenever you like (NetFlix) and you can even wear haute couture for a night without paying an eighth of what owning an Hermes Birkin bag would cost to own (Rent the Runway).

One of the best examples of this in recent times is Zipcar and its catapulting success in metropolitan areas. It’s especially appealing to us poor souls who live in places where the cost of parking is intensely prohibitive but the appeal of driving your own car to get out for a day is strong.

In the below presentation from the Next Generation Customer Experience conference, Lesley Mottla, Vice President, Product & Experience, Zipcar, discusses the importance of carefully designing your customer experience map in order to distinguish your brand from competitors. What does that mean, exactly? Mottla describes the idea of complex businesses – those that have different customer segments and have an inherently complex product.

“Our customers are actually part of our operational service system,” said Mottla. “So when you join the service, you kind of accept a social contract that you’ll clean up after yourself when you leave the car, you’ll fill the car up with gas if it’s out of fuel. We give you the fuel card to do that. You won’t smoke in the car; you’ll leave it in the spot where you got it for the next guy. The fact that we’re also relying on our customers as part of our operation adds a lot of complexity as well, because as you know, different people have different values and perceptions around rules. Some people follow the rules; some people don’t follow rules.”

To hear more about how Zipcar navigates this complex experience map, and for Mottla’s seven steps to designing one of your own, watch the video below. Or, if you’re more of a reader, read the full transcript of her presentation here.