Livework newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter and don't miss a thing ;)

Accelerating the adoption of a car sharing service

Launching a new service requires a focus on adoption. Launching a whole new category of service needs it in spades. Livework helped Streetcar become the fastest growing car club in Europe.

We did this by designing the customer experience from awareness and joining to use and issue resolution. We identified the key barriers to adoption and systematically reduced them to enable Streetcar to scale membership.

How can you drive adoption of a service no one knew existed?

Streetcar launched in London in 2004. At that time car clubs and carsharing were an unknown proposition to 99.9% of the population. Car clubs promised to radically redefine car use in cities where the average car is idle for 90% of the time. But this requires a major change in consumer behaviour, one from ownership to membership.

With an ambitious business plan and demanding investors – but no marketing budget – Streetcar needed to crack the adoption nut. Asking people to change their habits is hard – especially around something so important and emotive. We knew that to be a success the experience had to be as compelling as that of taking home a brand new car.

Start at the start. Create an intuitive first journey.

On launch, Streetcar founders met each new customer in the street to sign them up and show them how to use the service. This was not a viable future. They needed to find a scalable way to do this without losing the customer along the way. How could Streetcar sign up new customers and keep them engaged?

We understand how impactful that the first experience was for customers and how much it influenced whether they became a valuable member or not. This began with their first becoming aware of Streetcar and ended with them successfully making their first trip.

Breaking down this journey into smaller steps and ensuring that customers understood how Streetcar worked enabled us to give this journey the highest possible chance of success. We wanted customers to know how to unlock the car, find the keys, and drive away before they even make their first booking. To do this we turned the four step process into a mantra that was repeated many times in marketing material, new members info, and in the booking process. Once someone arrived at a car for the first time they knew what to do. Even better – they felt cool about it and told all their friends. This was the future!

Livework went on to support streetcar to design every journey and touchpoint – from mobile App to extending a booking – to ensure that the experience was excellent and customers kept coming back.

Streetcar became the fastest growing car club in Europe.

Due to a customer experience that is both seamless and consistently high quality, Streetcar became the fastest growing car club in Europe with members in 600 locations in 6 cities. Streetcar was acquired by Zipcar in 2010 and car clubs are now a viable mass market alternative to car ownership.

Car clubs save members as much as 75% on the cost of owning a car, whilst still making a higher return for the business per car than classic rental firms. In addition, each car club car replaces at least six privately owned cars on the street. Car clubs reduce CO2 emissions by reducing car use amongst customers who drive less as a result.

Let's talk!
Ben Reason Founding Partner

I am a founding partner of Livework having set-up the company in 2001. My focus on keeping Livework at the forefront of service design practice and ensuring we continue to create value for our clients.

I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.