CX Speak

Übercool Customer Experience lessons from Uber

Written by Sonal Jaiswal | Evangelist, Customer Guru

Uber needs little introduction. The American app based ride-hailing company has come a long way in a short time. Founded in 2009 by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, Uber is now available across more than 60 countries and 350 cities across the world and is valued at $62.5 billion, jumping over iconic car-makers such as General Motors, Honda and Ford Motors! Isn’t that an amazing feat for a company that is just 6 years old?! The rise of Uber is meteoric but it couldn’t have been possible without Uber’s acute focus on customer experience. No doubt, the technology that Uber uses is par excellence however, its customer-centricity is what makes it so popular.

Here are a few things that we believe Uber has done right in terms of improving customer experience and thus fostering loyalty and satisfaction amongst its customers.

Acted on a customer need

All of us have faced the harrowing times when we had to rush somewhere and we never found a cab. Many-a-times, cab drivers refused to the drives. Even if we got into a cab, the drive was agonisingly unsatisfactory in which we had to deal with rude and surly drivers, and ill-maintained, malodorous and unhygienic cabs. Cabbies could also take the longer routes, making things even worse for us. But the agony did not end there. You still had to pay. And digging for the exact amount of money and tendering the exact change were problems.

Uber was the panacea for all these problems. It resolved all of these issues that a customer faced and did so with a great degree of effectiveness.

Leveraged technology to the maximum

One look at the Uber app and you know it is a class apart. Uber has used technology in the best way possible to make things extremely convenient and easy for the customer. One tap, you set the location and your cab comes to the pick-up point. Meanwhile, using the app, you can track the arrival of the driver and check how long he would take to reach you. You also get to see the driver’s picture and the vehicle details.

As per its official website, Uber uses technology that anonymizes phone numbers to keep contact details confidential. So when riders and drivers need to call or text each other, personal information stays private. Another fabulous use of technology that Uber has put into place is the way any rider can share his/her arrival time with friends and folks to let them know that he/she is on the way.

Makes its employees feel empowered and cared for

Uber is one of those few companies that takes a two way feedback. Yes, customers are asked to rate the driver, who is generally called a partner, and the ride. However, the driver is asked to rate the customer too. A poor rating for the customer could result in the customer not getting a ride.

Now, this encourages the customers to understand the impact of their behaviour. In a way, this reverse feedback ensures that Uber works with the best of the customers – customers who are looking to be brand ambassadors of Uber. At the same time, it also makes the Uber partners feel valued and empowered. Consequently, this two way feedback system ensures that both, the partners and the riders have a 5-star experience!

Uber is also known to be extremely flexible in its work policies and driver-partners have the freedom to make their own schedules, enhancing work-life balance. A lot of driver-partners are known to have other careers and they drive to take care of their extra spending.

Takes feedback, from both riders and drivers, very seriously

Uber does not just take feedback, it also acts on it. According to businessinsider.in, a less than 4.6 rating for a driver can have serious consequences for the driver, including his accounts being deactivated. What’s amazing is that Uber recommends how drivers can get a 5-star rating. Among other recommendations, it asks its partners to keep the vehicle clean, to dress appropriately, to open the doors, to offer to carry bags and to take the best route possible.

Keeps innovating

Uber is one of those companies that has not rested on past laurels. It keeps introducing newer and better features to the app. You have different options to pick and choose from – Uber economy, Uber business and Uber Carpool. There is Uber for Business is a travel management platform that helps get your team wherever they need to go. According to Fortune.com, over 50,000 companies enrolled in Uber for Business in its first year of operation. Additionally, UberEVENTS allows event organizers and party planners to purchase guest passes for their event attendees.

Takes care of the little things

There are a few things Uber does that really stand out. From pickup to drop off, every trip around the world is insured—protecting riders, drivers, and everyone else on the road. Also, when you want to make a call to your driver to check on where he is, you are never billed for the call!

Are there other things that Uber has done differently from its competitors? Do let us know your thoughts!

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