noam wrote:Just to be clear - the routing server performance IS being worked on. We are working on better distribution and scaling of the server. We don't have an ETA on it but it obviously keeps us up at night (literally)
it's not only the routing server performance. For months now I get no learning from the routing. Every time during the day Waze is trying to calculate the silly route to drive to KLCC in Kuala Lumpur, which isn't my daily and I only drive there once in a while. Yet, I drive almost daily to work and back home using probably 3-4 different routes depending on traffic. Guess what, Waze routing server is only giving me one route if I enter either work or home as target and it's in many cases not the fastest one.
I've checked the routes, they're all connected but it seems the learning has stopped. Probably due to the infrastructure as well.
But what is a routing software worth if it doesn't route? Still your no 1 problem is that you guys have retention rate similar to Zynga, hardly users stay longer than a couple of days, you're lucky if the stay more than 1 month.
That's what needs to be addressed as otherwise your potential prospects are all burned by a bad user experience in the first place. And I know quite a bit about that as I'm responsible for our 12+ million paying users here at the no 2 Telco in Malaysia, in my role as SVP of Customer Value Management. If we wouldn't had developed a proper welcome program, followed by a proper cross/upsell our clients would be fleeing in the same way as it happens with new Wazers. Where is your customer lifecycle program? How are you guiding the user from lifestage to lifestage? Where's your prediction of attrition from the user, do you react to changes and decline in daily usage? No, nothing (probably as you don't have anybody who a) has a clue about that and b) you didn't even know that it's important.
A large percentage of them is leaving as they don't find anything on the map, not their destination nor their current position. That's due to the map not well deployed. That's due because your company doesn't place enough emphasis on supporting new users by creating a welcome program. How do you react to the fact that a new user is starting at a location where there is no map yet? Where's your tutorial to react to this event and turn maybe the bulldozer on for him? How do you communicate at all to new users, to react to different events? Just giving them points for their first update request send isn't good enough. You have to react automatically to it with the right explanation/tutorial. Go and play any Zynga game on Facebook and you will understand how perfectly they take care of their new joiners and keep them connected to their game. What do you do?
Then your gamification approach isn't working for two reasons. One is the most obvious one, no points or not getting what is promised (+100 points) as the user fulfills his part (like first week you drive 2 days) is a complete turn-off point and as mentioned by dohartman is another main reason for leaving after just coming on board. The second thing is that incentifying with extrinsic motivators only works for a certain period of time (see Foursquare as the perfect example how quickly Badges and Leaderboard/Points wear off) and even leading to less usage/fun which is called overjustification. So you need to find a way that the intrinsic motivation (like for me building something that is potentially saving gasoline by being able to avoid jams and taking the fastest route, therefore saving our planet and some lives along the way as no jams means also less accidents) is replacing the extrinsic motivation to climb up your leaderboard. The intrinsic motivation is the pleasure of beating the obstacles on our way to home/work by using Waze to avoid the jams, being faster, being smarter than those not using it. Yet, you're not communicating to the user on that intrinsic motivation to connect him further to Waze (like "Congratulations, by using this route suggested by Waze rather than your standard route you arrived 5 minutes earlier!").
Lastly, focusing on crowdsourcing is a great idea but it's worth nothing if your users don't get it (hardly any of the new users understand that they are responsible for building the map) and if you're not focusing as well on helping your superusers (like us in the Top 15 worldwide with all more than 150000 edits) to build up that map. The same rule applies like in many other internet based apps (like Twitter eg), 90% is passive, 10% is active and less than 1% is doing 90% of the work!
But yet we're bothered on each of those 150000 edits with the software being buggy and not supporting us in how we spend our free, unpaid time! We still have to switch between the old Cartouche (for seeing update requests) and the new Papyrus as we eg clear stray roads left by bad GPS reception (as deleting them is much faster on Papyrus vs the one after the other deleting on Cartouche). Same for working on update requests, finding errors in the road segments.
Not even speaking about not giving us any proper communication tool to interact with the endusers, on their update request. Hence 90% of them is useless as there is no comment and we have no time to spent 5-10 minutes figuring out why something was reported (and often wrongly classified as eg missing bridge). I setup a Facebook page on "Waze in Malaysia" which has 177 engaged users but getting them there is a nightmare as your tool is missing the communication part between users (and don't tell me to use the PM system here, it's a nightmare as well).
You see Noam, there's a lot more that can be done, a lot more that can be done better but after now more than 2 years it's time to get your act together. Upgrading the infrastructure is actually hygiene, not even worth to talk about and it should work (but we accept some glitches as it's a free service). You have more than 4 million email addresses from former users (assuming all of them registered), that's the perfect basis to start your Customer Lifecycle Program!
Hope this lengthy post is helping making Waze better, I haven't fully given up on you guys after my rant a couple weeks ago but I almost stopped all work. I've overcome some of my frustration and I'm willing to help again in my sparse free time, as it somehow relaxes me from the stress at work to work on map edits (another intrinsic motivation BTW). I just don't know how long my patience lasts.
Country Manager for Malaysia and Singapore (and Brunei it seems)