INTERVIEW

In Focus: Petter Moen, General Manager, ekar

3 months ago by

In an exclusive interview with CustomerService.ae, Petter Moen the General Manager at ekar, speaks about the key features they kept in mind for their customers while developing their business and ensuring their app is user-friendly. He also talks about the continuous efforts being made to ensure better customer experience.

In Focus: Petter Moen, General Manager, ekar

Q: Tell us a bit about your services and what makes ekar stand out from among the competition?

Petter: ekar is the Middle East’s first and largest car sharing platform, providing users on-demand access to a network of over 1,500 vehicles via its mobile app. ekar is car rental simplified, without the hassle of being bound to a single location such as a rental kiosk. Users can pick up and drop off the car at any location, while paying a fraction of the cost of a ride-hailing or a taxi service. The company’s flexible pricing structure means that users can choose to pay per minute, hour, day or week depending on the driver’s needs with prices starting as low as 60 fils per minute. Against the competition, we pride ourselves in two main areas: a good product which centres around the condition of our fleet and the functionality of our app, and good service.

Q: How do you ensure that your application is user-friendly and accessible to everyone?

Petter: Before we launched the app, we conducted several usability tests. We do this before launching any new updates as well as A/B test different layouts.

We also take customer feedback and satisfaction very seriously. When we receive feedback from customers about how to improve our app, we go back to the drawing board and do our best to solve the problem.

Q: What are some of the key features you considered while developing your application?

Petter: One of our key features is the ability to book cars in advance which was something our customers wanted. Another one would be the proximity detector feature which allows users to set a prompt to let them know if a vehicle type of their choice is available within a certain distance radius. When developing the app, we always try to make the user journey as simple as possible, reduce the number of clicks needed for a user to perform any action and allow a customer the ability to easily send feedback if possible.

Q: What platforms do you offer customer support on and is this available 24/7?

Petter: We have a hotline where customers can call 24/7. Customers can also reach out to us on our social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). We also have WhatsApp as this is used quite a lot and is especially important in the region.

Q:  How do you ensure you meet your customer’s expectations?

Petter: We are as honest in our communication and we ensure we communicate effectively to our audience on our various channels. It is paramount in managing customers’ expectations. We don’t overpromise and under-deliver. We also put measures in place in order to tailor expectations. For example, we have automated responses triggered on social media letting customers know their concern is heard and that we will get back to them shortly.

Q: What processes do you have in place to gather customer feedback and how do you deal with any negative feedback?

Petter: Negative feedback is also valuable feedback. No matter how hard we work to make sure we deliver a good experience to our customers, there are always some scenarios or situations which don’t go as we planned for. My experience is that the best way to approach this is to listen to understand and don’t listen to reply. Negative feedback is most often based on mismanaged expectations so for us to be able to put ourselves in the customer’s shoes is important for us to understand them better.

Q: How do you ensure customer loyalty? Do you offer any discounts or rewards?

Petter: Yes, we do offer discounts. We do not have a loyalty program yet but it will happen in the near future. We also try to partner with various other local brands and offer our customers discounts on their products/services as well.

Q: How often do you conduct training for your employees and what key skills do you focus on?

Petter: Customer service is critical. We encourage our staff to be enrolled in various e-learning courses every quarter to ensure they are well trained.

Q: What are some of your plans for improving customer experience in the future?

Petter: Marketing automation is one tactic in ensuring a great customer experience. We are in the midst of implementing programs and offers personalised to a customer and their previous booking behaviours. If an offer is extremely tailored it would be more relevant to a customer and engage with them more. NPS surveys is also another project we will be working on to implement in the near future.

About Petter Moen

Norwegian-born Petter Moen, GM of ekar, is responsible for seeing the group’s UAE expansion strategy with a strong focus on building partnerships with brands to collaborate in maximizing fleet size to enable ultimate mobility solutions in the UAE. Prior to joining ekar, Petter held senior management roles at Compare Asia Group, Souqalmal.com and most recently as Director of Operations at Sellanycar.com. He’s a motivational leader and communicator, capable of building cohesion and project engagement across all team levels and departments across different markets.