Blablacar: The dark side of a collaborative marketing website

A post by Anaïs KAJJAJ, MSc student in Digital Marketing @KEDGE Business School.

As a traditional customer I am lazy when it comes to purchasing online. I don’t want to spend hours on a website; everything must be quick and easy to use, straight to the point. Blablacar clearly understands it, but according to me has some issues concerning trust in the customer experience.

It is easier than ever to travel with their service. I, as a Blablacar user, feel pleased when going on the website or the application. Everything is made to make you feel comfortable. It is all about flat design, just indicating where you are, where you want to go and when… then a list of nice people just shows up in front of you! The price, the reviews, the number of available seats is clearly indicated; you even have a picture of the driver to help you feel more confident. The purchasing process is also very intuitive with a single step, you can even create your account by logging in with your Facebook account. Then, you have access to the phone number of the driver, and you can organize the trip with him through your mobile. It’s hard to make it simpler.

But even if I’m glad to have such an easy access to the service, I don’t feel really at ease when going through the website. Indeed, even if you have an access to good reviews in the front page, when looking for a driver, sometimes it kind of looks like a jungle.

KAJJAJ 1

Really bad reviews, driver letting people down 2 minutes before the meeting, rude driver and passenger… These kinds of information can have a really bad impact when trying to purchase online. It’s like there is no real moderation or control, anyone can subscribe, and you actually are the one moderating and controlling the driver, by having a bad experience with them and then writing a bad review.  You just have to trust the person and pray that he/she is as nice as he/she looks on their profile picture, because Blablacar takes no part in it. And be prepared when paying, because even if the price is fair most of the time, you still have to pay compensation to Blablacar… And you don’t even know why.

In my opinion, trust is the basis of the creation of a relationship with a brand, even more so if there is a risk for your own security. It is the difficulty companies like Blablacar have to deal with in collaborative economy. I as a customer already lived a bad experience with a Blablacar driver, and I feel sad about it because the service itself is practical and very innovative. I would love to have your opinion about it and share our own experiences!

Anaïs KAJJAJ

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