Revolutionising the car wash industry in the Middle East: How user research helped CAFU connect with customers and elevate their offering.
In today’s business world where everyone’s fighting for their audience’s attention, knowing exactly what customers want is vital for making it through the noise. This is especially true when you launch in a market like the Middle East.
Whether it’s weather conditions, social norms or local regulations (spoiler – it’s all three!), identifying and adapting to cultural nuances is a must if you want to achieve success. And the Middle East is no different.
Here’s how we helped an on-demand car wash business reach – and connect with – their audience in the region.
CAFU approached us with big plans to shake up the already saturated car wash industry in the UAE with a revolutionary new service that comes to you. But to do that effectively, they needed to really understand what their customers needed from the service if they were going to branch out from traditional car cleaning options at petrol stations and malls.
That’s where we came in.
To convince customers to try a new way of car washing, CAFU needed to present their brand in a way that both addressed reservations and engaged their audience. To do that, they had to understand their customers – but didn’t have access to their essential insights.
It wasn’t just about knowing who they are, but answering more pressing questions like: “What do they want and need?”, “What are their car wash habits and behaviours?”, “What would make them choose CAFU over a traditional petrol station car wash?”
So we went straight to the source for those all-important answers.
Uncovering authentic insights meant working directly with CAFU’s prospective and current customers, and our blend of field research, focus groups and quantitative survey allowed us to do just that.
Here’s how the project went.
We observed and chatted with thirteen locals and expats to really get to the bottom of what mattered most to them when it came to car washing services.
The results? We uncovered two main customer groups for CAFU – knowledge the team never would’ve known without hearing from customers themselves.
The insights about these two target customer profiles helped CAFU shift their perspective on their service offering.
The second part of our project was focused on our UserQ-powered survey.
We found hundreds of prospective CAFU customers from the UAE and were able to exactly work out what culturally-specific factors the CAFU team needed to be aware of, as well as why this service is so needed.
Here were a few of our findings:
Our desk research also uncovered that upholding a certain image is important, both to people and the city – you can actually get a fine for having a dirty car in Dubai.
Each of these user research methodologies came together to create a comprehensive overview of the context CAFU were operating in, and uncover previously locked up insights – giving the CAFU team the key to an impactful, laser-focused brand offering.
What was that, you ask?
Well, the team at CAFU took three main themes – affordability, service quality and convenience – and give them an opportunity to adapt their service to reflect values that mattered most to their customers. That meant focusing on elevating quality at every stage of the customer experience, from cleaning standards to customer service to address customers’ reservations and pain points.
Plus, from a brand perspective, our research was able to effectively and accurately identify what was important to CAFU’s customers, therefore what needed to be front and centre in their messaging.
This project really showcased the power of user research in action, because not only did we help CAFU pinpoint exactly what their customers wanted from them, but we enabled them to validate their future plans for the business too.
“We got so many insights on what we need to do to improve, but also for future features that we want to introduce into CAFU car wash.”
Ugyen Tsezomla Lama , CAFU [position].
With the support they needed to make sure they were not just reaching, but connecting with their audience, the team at CAFU were able to elevate their offering and use our insights to take their services to the next level.
Whether you’re looking to launch in the MENA region or already have a business up and running and want to better understand your audience, we’d love to work with you.
Find out more about what we can achieve together by getting in touch here.