TrueCar

How TrueCar gained a better understanding of electric vehicle shoppers with Lyssna’s Interviews.

Summary

Discover how TrueCar overcame the challenges of understanding electric vehicle shoppers and improved the car-buying journey. Uncover their strategic use of Lyssna's Interviews feature to gain valuable user insights and optimize their offerings.

TrueCar is a third-party automotive introducer that facilitates the connection between potential car buyers and dealerships within its network. Unlike traditional dealerships, TrueCar doesn’t own its own inventory. Instead, it provides a platform where users can access competitive pricing data for vehicles they’re interested in, allowing them to make informed decisions about their car purchases.

TrueCar case study

In an industry where there are diverse customer segments to consider throughout the product and customer experience, TrueCar’s Senior Director of Product Design, Justin Nowlen, has the pivotal role to “manage a small but mighty team of UX designers that run the full gamut. We don't have a separate UI department. We are UX, UI, and testing all wrapped into one.”

Seeking a tool that complements their comprehensive approach, Justin and his one-stop-shop product design team enthusiastically adopted Lyssna's Interviews feature, which was in beta at the time.

Challenge

Justin shares that a significant challenge that his team are currently trying to solve for the business is “better understanding electric vehicle (EV) shoppers.” He highlights the disparity in EV adoption between the USA and European countries.

The US market has not seen the same uptake of EV cars as in other countries. Justin observes "consumers consider issues around the public infrastructure, understanding the technology, and how applicable that technology is to their home charging situation.“

There’s also the immediate deterrent of a price delta and the complexities surrounding government incentives and credits that complicate consumer decision making, contributing to a surplus problem in the US market.

TrueCar case study

“My primary interest in testing in Lyssna is to understand at what point people introduce themselves to TrueCar – have they already decided what they want to buy or would they be possibly open to considering a vehicle fuel type other than traditional gas?” 

To gain a deeper understanding of their users and provide a better experience during the EV journey, Justin and his team leveraged their research skills with the aid of Lyssna.

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Solution

User interviews seemed like the most suitable methodology to help the TrueCar team understand its users and how to educate them to consider adding EV to their selection set when comparing vehicles.

TrueCar had previously used Usertesting.com and Suzy, but found these solutions either too narrow or too wide for their needs. Lyssna's Interviews feature emerged as the ideal solution. 

“What we need is something that allows us to get up and running very fast, have direct conversations over a trusted tool; a trusted interface that allows us to gain insights and take actions in the same week. Neither competitive product allowed us to do that as swiftly as Lyssna.”

Justin Nowlen

Senior Director of Product Design at TrueCar

TrueCar case study

Justin, who had been a Lyssna customer previously, found comfort in the tool's familiarity, user-friendly interface, and rapid recruitment capabilities, solidifying the platform as the preferred choice.

The TrueCar product and design team found the implementation of Lyssna's Interviews feature seamless. After setting up the first test, recruiting users from Lyssna’s Panel, Justin quickly started screening potential candidates for interviews.

TrueCar case study

“This was the first time I was using it, so I thought it was going to take days. Within a couple of hours of the first day, I started seeing people pop up in my queue, which was very encouraging. Then after about three to four days, I had a solid selection of people to speak to.”

“Because I told Lyssna the block of time that I would make myself available for such interviews, it was all instantly booked on my calendar.”

Justin Nowlen

Senior Director of Product Design at TrueCar

TruceCar case study

Justin added, “I didn't have to go through the rigor of stepping outside of my normal and trusted toolset to another proprietary tool that would cause confusion for myself and my interviewee- it's all the tools I'm used to using every day.”

“Everything was integrated and it felt natural. When the Interviews did show up, it was refreshingly expected.”

Justin Nowlen

Senior Director of Product Design at TrueCar


The integration of Lyssna's platform with their existing toolset ensured a natural experience. Justin continues, “Additionally, I was appreciative of the automated email counterpart that kept me abreast of upcoming interviews, interviews that were happening in 15 minutes, and then of course, the follow up rating for each interview that happened.”

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Results

Justin and the product design team noticed a fascinating aspect of the consumer’s attention as they navigated through the car search experience. He explains, "We have become more aware of the laser-like focus of our users’ eye."

This was noticed when examining the use of high-contrast banners. Despite expectations that this type of banner would grab attention, it wasn’t always the case. During the interviews, participants often ignored additional information, focusing on what mattered most to them — the specific vehicles matching their selection set.

“There were things that we thought were really additive to someone's understanding of the selection presented, and it was ignored,” shares Justin. 

During the interviews, TrueCar asked participants to share their screens. This allowed for a free-flowing process, so Justin and his team could understand users' criteria and preferences organically. They were able to go beyond verbal communication and observe ‌users' mouse movements. 

“The bedrock of any in-depth interview capability is the audience, and the audience that I was introduced to were on time, succinct, and handled direction fluidly. Most importantly, they were able to think out loud.”


To observe how users approach electric vehicles in a mixed selection, Justin introduced them to TrueCar, then noted their natural flow as they navigated the website.

Justin adds, “They were able to move through and click on things. I asked them to help me understand what they were seeing and have them explain TrueCar to me.

The process was not handheld as much as it has been perhaps in other platforms- it was free-flowing. There are times where you really need someone to satisfy a certain criteria and other times where I'm just more interested in their approach.”

Justin emphasized his interest in users' approaches — what they see, feel, notice, and what catches their eye. The interviews provided a deeper understanding of users' needs and preferences, helping TrueCar tailor its offerings to better match user expectations.

If you’re looking to consolidate your research toolkit, cut costs, enjoy an intuitive UI/UX, and access a high-quality panel on demand, then try Interviews today. 

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