Tuesday, January 17, 2006

How the Swiss Make Carsharing Reservations

This is an interesting graph from Switzerland, shown at several carsharing conferences in Europe recently, shows how Mobility Carsharing Switzerland members made their reservations during the past few years.

Almost 10% of trips are now "instant" reservation made from the car itself via the on-board computer interface! (This includes trip extensions and early returns.) Since the Internet reservation volume was relatively flat in 2004, it would appear that in the past members were using the telephone to make reservations via the Call Center (the biggest decline) and Interactive Voice System (telephone touch tone) to schedule immediate trips.

Mobility Switzerland enabled their first version of the "bord computer" in 2000 (top) to allow trip scheduling and the current generation which folds down from the rear view mirror, designed by Convadis (bottom), with this capability (click on "Produkte" for info about the Convadis system).

By the way, Switzerland charges for making or changing reservations from the car -0.60 Swiss Franc - presumably covering the cost of the additional data communications. They charge 1.75 Swiss Franc per minute to talk to the Call Center, so it's surprising to me how many reservations are still being made via the Call Center. Old habits die hard, I suppose.

If you'd like to see how Mobility explains to its German-speaking customers how to make a reservation, click on the LINK below (you can change the language to French, but not English).