One of the growing issues in ridesharing today is driver rating, and this is a significant factor. As a passenger, you never want to experience a rude and bad driver. Both instances leave you with a bad feeling, and you hope to never drive with that person again. The same goes with ridesharing; you don’t want to lose customers because your car is not in good shape, your driving is not good, your attitude is sour.
This article will review some of the basic tenets required to increase your overall driving rating.
First of all, market research. Go and be a passenger, invite an Uber drive and checklist the following:
- Were they prompt?
- How did they greet you?
- Was the car clean and fresh inside?
- Did they ask you for directions or use a GPS navigation app?
- What was extra comfort offered?
- How interactive were they?
- Did they listen to your requests or ignore you?
One of the biggest mistakes many rideshare drivers make is the distinction they think exists between them and taxi drivers. As far as a passenger is concerned, there is no difference. The fact that you might be a leading professor or banking giant doesn’t change the fact that you are their driver! Remember, your job is not just to drive a person from point A to point B, but to offer a service and driving experience. Otherwise, the passenger would pick a taxi rather than an Uber or Lyft.
First of all, let’s split the experience into three sections, and these are all from the passenger’s point of view since your rating is set by them based on how they perceive you.
Navigation might seem easy, sure, you grew up in the area, you know all the shortcuts and quick get-aways. You might even know traffic patterns, but lets put on a show for the passenger and show them how professional you are and how serious you take their safety.
- Phone dash mounted; will make it easier for you to drive and to see and control the applications.
- Navigation apps such as Google or Waze, even if you know the way, key in the address and drive via the shown route, the psychological effect is huge. If you want to deviate because you see something that Waze doesn’t, explain that to your passenger and key in your change. In any event, just to show them the difference.
- Safe driving, listen to all the navigational orders and also maintain all traffic and road rules. Hesitate when uncertain, take no risks and don’t accelerate like a madman. Nothing is worse than holding onto your seat praying to get out as fast as possible.
- Turn down the sound or off, you don’t want the app to take over the silence or sounds of the entertainment system.
- Give explanations about where you are, let them know you are knowledgeable about the city and all its surroundings. Study up on local attractions, shopping, and culture; sometimes your knowledge will tip the scale.
- Drive safely, don’t speed and accelerate slowly for smoother riding.
- Show confidence, talk but not too much, ask about small things like weather and the day, don’t interrogate.
- If it’s a long drive, ask if they want entertainment and if they want to stop along the way for refreshments.
- Make sure you have invested in various appliances and comfort items so that the trip will be smooth even with situations (sick, toilet stops, etc.)
- Always make sure the care is clean outside and inside, with a fresh smell. There is nothing worse than a shabby, smelly car.
- Always be courteous and polite.
- Be patient, even with the most annoying passenger, unless they step out of line, then deal with it legally, use police if necessary but never become abusive or violent.
- Upholstered seats, make sure they are attractive, comfortable and clean. If you have time in between trips, vacuum or brush your car seats before every trip.
- In-car entertainment, make sure you have a constant selection of films or music and make sure you maintain them up-to-date.
- Working air-conditioning or heating: the worst feeling is a hot car in summer and a cold one in winter, unless your passenger is ill, then open a window for G-d’s sake!
- Blankets or Pillows should be an option available for long trips or kids.
- Child seat/Booster is not a must but would be helpful in some instances.
- Towels, always useful for drying wet things, like clothes, spillages, hands.
- Reading matter, sure there is in-car entertainment, but sometimes people just like to read or look at the pictures.
- If a passenger wants to smoke, offer them a place to stop at for smoke, but never let smoke permeate your car. It sticks and is offensive to most people.
Your rating won’t go up immediately. All reviews enter a system and are weighted over 500 trips in Uber and 100 in Lyft. So be patient, and continuously try to improve the experience, that’s the only way to improve your rating.
Even when ratings do change, most of the time you don’t get feedback from Uber or Lyft, so you never know what was wrong. All you can do is occasionally take a trip as a passenger and compare it to your service. Continually strive to improve, improve your driving skills, your road knowledge your general knowledge and your car.
Just remember this, only investing in your car and contents, spending a lot of money on gadgets and fancy schmancy stuff will not improve the experience. Investing in yourself, in how you interact with the customer is vital and must come at the same time as you invest in your business.