Co-authored by Ryan Showalter and John Kille
At TreviPay, we practice a user-centric approach to problem solving and feature building for our products. We pride ourselves in learning directly from customers and clients, learning their goals, needs and even pains, in using our products and services to grow their businesses. We use a variety of research methods, such as surveys, interviews and usability testing, to learn directly from the users of our products and services in order to make improvements. Our main goal of any user-centric research project is to listen, learn and create an action plan to improve our products and services.
Ethnography is a qualitative method for collecting data through observations and interviews, which is used to draw insights about the culture and individuals within the culture. Although Zoom interviews and surveys prove useful when understanding behaviors and attitudes, traveling to see customers and learning within their own environment allows us to uncover a richer story.
Recently, members of TreviPay’s product, user experience and account management groups teamed up to discover more insights about dealer behaviors, culture and interaction with our software. Our main objective was to understand the GM dealers’ goals, needs and pains, as well as learn how these factors aligned with our understanding of our dealers.
Being up close and inside one of our client’s dealerships, we learned the team was using part of our platform a bit differently than we predicted. As culture changes, users adapt and make items work for them, which may alter how they use our software. We also saw the team struggling in using part of our search feature, which verified a future adaptation that the team was already planning. This enlightenment, which only comes from ethnographic research and being with the dealership team members in their own environment, allowed us to understand more deeply.
Our next step will be to create a short survey that is based on our initial learnings and send it to other dealerships on the GM program to learn their perspective. Our goal will be to verify that discoveries from the Michigan-based GM dealers reflect other dealerships on the GM Fleet program within the U.S. These insights will ultimately help us to improve our TreviPay products and services overall for our other clients as we continue to listen and learn.