July 13, 2018

Unifying data to improve customer experience

Harnessing data from multiple sources, Via’s growth team reduced rider wait time and created a brand fueled by customer satisfaction.

Via is an on-demand transit company that’s changing the way people get around cities. Using Via, a ride booked on your smartphone costs little more than the bus. Currently live in NYC, Chicago and Washington, DC, Via is backed by some of the world’s top investors and aggressively expanding.

Challenge

Via needed to do more than just convince riders and drivers to try a new app; they needed to convince them to change habits. Simply offering a lower cost ride (compared to conventional taxis or on-demand services) wouldn’t be enough. For Via’s value proposition to be successful, and for it to stick, they needed to offer an exceptional product and service experience at every level.

Solution

Via’s growth team conducted customer research and found that rider wait times were among the primary factors that influenced rider experience. To increase customer satisfaction, the growth and driver operations teams collaborated to leverage rider app location data to reduce wait time.

The first step in this process was identifying high-demand places and times. This analysis required an understanding of exactly where and when people were booking rides. Specifically, Via needed to collect rider app event data, like time and location, and connect that to operational data, which resided in seven different systems.

Typically, unifying this data would mean launching a weeks-long data engineering project; using mParticle, Via was able to connect data from all of their sources directly to Via’s Redshift cluster for exploration and modeling in a matter of minutes. With this unified dataset, a Via analyst was able to determine when and where customers were booking rides and alert drivers ahead of time.

The next step was to instrument real-time mechanisms for taking action on unforeseen surges in demand. Using mParticle to integrate between its app analytics, location data provider, and messaging platform, Via can now send real-time push notifications to drivers alerting them instantly to increases in demand.

mParticle brings our data into one place, so we can understand where users could benefit from an improved experience.

Adam Kitain

Senior Growth Associate

Results

Leveraging mParticle, Via’s growth team has built a product that sells itself, quite literally. In fact, more than 85% of Via’s growth is linked to referrals and word-of-mouth marketing.

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