Zipcar: Influencing Customer Behavior

In: Business and Management

Submitted By ramiimu
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Zipcar: Influencing Customer Behavior
Zipcar is a car-sharing service. Members, had to pay annual fees to participate and were assessed usage fees, based on time and mileage, monthly, were provided common use of the service’s vehicles independently of one another. It was started in Boston in 1999 and present in 21 cities with a fleet of 400 cars. It has 30,000 members who are growing at a rate of 1500 per month. Members had to register online with an annual fee of $25 and a refundable amount of $100. Reservations can be done on call or online, a year in advance or a minute before. There are incentives to customers for proper maintenance of cars. Members had to return cars to designated parking locations.
As per its competitive positioning, the major competitors were rental agencies who provided similar services. Other competitors include taxi, cabs and public transport. But Zipcar had competitive advantage of providing flexible services to customers. Supplier power is moderate as Zipcar had its own cars and they don’t have to wait for third party. But buyer power is really strong as buyer may very easily choose for other alternatives like public transport or taxi.
When we see from the framework of nature of the service vs. who is the direct recipient of service. Zipcar would come under possessions and tangible actions i.e. possession-processing (service directed at physical possession) as customers had to do refueling and maintenance.
If we look at the type of variability in the zipcar service, it is EFFORT VARIABILITY. In effort variability, customers expend varying degrees of energy on tasks needed to receive service. It affects other customer’s experience if proper effort by previous customer was not put like in the Zipcar, returning of car on time. Effort variability has impact on service quality and cost, either directly or indirectly. Zipcar tried to…...

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