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Investigating the carpooling experience to build an effective communication strategy

We examined user behavior while traveling via carpooling to assist in reshaping BlaBlaCar's communication strategy.

The goal

BlaBlaCar, a leader in carpooling services, sought assistance in crafting its new communication strategy for Spain to tailor the message to the diverse profiles of both existing and potential platform users.
The Marketing team at BlaBlaCar Spain aimed to engage with users to gather insights and actionable findings on two critical fronts:

  1. Understand why consumers choose (or opt not to choose) its services.
  2. Uncover the customer journey, from trip planning to reaching their destination. This exploration was intended to pinpoint key areas of satisfaction and concern regarding BlaBlaCar's service.

The methodology

We began by meticulously developing a research proposal tailored to our client's requirements. This included defining the methodologies for UX research and the documentation to be provided, while also establishing clear expectations regarding the research outcome.

Our plan involved conducting a series of group sessions lasting up to two and a half hours. This approach allowed us to include a large number of participants and design a customized methodology that would enable us to utilize various research tools with users:

  1. Focus Group: We designed a guide featuring essential questions to gain insights into participants' travel habits and their perception of BlaBlaCar.
  2. Survey: To mitigate potential biases that can arise during group interviews, we had participants respond to specific key questions individually in writing before sharing their answers with others.
  3. Customer Experience Mapping and Problem Prioritization (Divergent-Convergent): Using insights from the first two phases, we created a map of participants' travel experiences and identified the primary points of frustration and satisfaction during their journeys. In a subsequent phase, we initiated a discussion based on the map we had generated and the most significant positive and negative aspects of their experiences. This approach allowed us to pinpoint areas for improvement in BlaBlaCar's communication and define new messages to help users address their concerns and begin using the service.

These sessions were conducted at our UX lab in Madrid, with the BlaBlaCar team able to observe the studies live from the observation room.

We chose to perform interviews with the users on remote mode, mainly due to COVID-19 sanitary crisis. Despite the situation, the goals and deadlines of the project were met. Meanwhile, we completed the information with State official data to deeply understand the employment market reality. Moreover, the sanitary emergency in Spain has dramatically affected all areas of life and specifically caused employment loss and a reduction of job opportunities. However, our researchers the understood the particularities of this momentum and focused mostly on the data, behavior and perceptions prior to the crisis and possible future trends in employment.

The results

After analyzing the data, we submitted a comprehensive report that included the primary findings along with session videos in both Spanish and English.

The insights provided answers to the research questions that BlaBlaCar had posed:

  • What are your travel habits?
  • What are the most crucial factors in travel and transportation choices?
  • Does the trip's destination or origin influence your choice of transportation?
  • What are your needs and challenges when planning a trip?
  • What are your needs and challenges during a trip?

Armed with this information, BlaBlaCar was able to redefine its campaign messages by gaining a deeper understanding of its customers, drivers, and passengers, and by identifying their specific needs and characteristics.

Focus groups
Customer experience mapping
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TeaCup Lab is a user experience consultancy agency founded in Madrid in 2016. We specialize in User Research & User testing for global brands.
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