Recent reviews and ratings of drivers of Uber or Lyft show that there has been a lot of downsides due to their lack of proper communication skills and professional behavior. Having a cool car or decorating your car with fancy stuff is not enough to be a good rideshare driver. To really create a good impression of you in the minds of your riders, you also should know how to attract their attention and create a good impact, so that they give you better tips and higher ratings. To do so, like in any profession, you should be a good conversationalist. Not only should you be fluent in your language, but also you should know when and where to say the right thing, and thus create a good rapport between you and your customer.
Initiate a good conversation
It is often difficult to start a good conversation; often, you do not know what topic to talk about, or how to present your thoughts to the listener. You could start by asking simple questions to your rider, such as how the weather is, or how his day has been. Also, present your opinions on simple topics such as the traffic, the weather or some current affairs, and notice his feedback on your comments. Try to perceive his emotional state from his way of talking. If you are aware of his mood, it will be easy for you to get into a nice conversation with your rider.
Set the mood of your conversation
It is often true that the first impression is the last impression. Your passenger's perception of you starts building right from the first words you say, or even from the first smile with which you greet him. The greeting is very important to create a friendly connection with the rider. Use an amiable tone and be appreciative of him. How your rider treats, you will be a reflection of how you treat him.
Let your passenger have his space
It might happen so that your passenger prefers to be left alone, maybe because he does not like to talk much, or perhaps because he is busy with some other work on his journey. If this is the case, you must let him have his space. This will not only allow your passenger have what he wants, but also will give you a break from the practice. Sometimes, silence is better than unnecessary conversation.
Maintain a friendly conversation
Make sure that you are very polite with your passenger. It might happen so that you disagree with something he says; but you must remember that your mission is to give him a good service on his ride, not to win a debate. So unless it is essential, do not contradict your passenger. Also, make sure that unless it is imperative, do not interrupt your passenger; it maintains a good relationship between you two.
You must also remember to distinguish your personal and professional life. It is quite possible that some days you are not feeling alright emotionally. Maybe you are angry or depressed with your job, or perhaps you have some difficulties with your relationships. Whatever might be the case, they should not affect your professional life. Give yourself a pleasant and refreshing walk, have some good food if you need to, talk to your friends for a while, and make sure you are feeling positive. It is better to take a break from your job for a few moments than continue with your bad service, and thus ultimately cause harm to your professional life.
Take a note of your passenger's emotional state
As a professional, you must be aware of your customer's emotional state. He might be irritated or angry due to some aspects of your surroundings. You must know how to deal with situations like these. Politely ask him if he would want anything to feel better. Also, you could try opening the windows of your car as it is often noted that ventilating your vehicle gives a calm feeling to the passengers. You must let your customer know that you are one-hundred percent at his service.
Learn more by taking risks
At some situations, if you have something inside that you want to share, go for it. With experiences, you learn more about people. Sharing your inner thoughts could create a friendly atmosphere with the passenger. Just make sure you do not say something that could be offensive to anyone.
Always have a positive attitude. Use affirmative sentences to greet your passengers. But if you see that they don't react the same way, then you know that he might be stressed out about something. At those moments listen to what he says; it could help you understand people more. But of course, make sure that his negativity does not affect your state of mind.
Find out similarities with your passenger
A good way to interact with your rider is to talk about topics of similar interest. For instance, he might be interested in rideshare driver stories and experiences. Having a conversation on such issues will not only make him feel more comforted but also make your job more interesting.
Avoid awkward conversations
Never have conversations that can be crude or unpleasant to your customer. Avoid sexual comments or comments based on his appearance. It might be something you are cool with, but you passenger might take it as an insult. So it's better to put a border on the topics you could talk about. Also, humor is not well perceived by all audience and might be misinterpreted. So it is better to avoid it.
The more you observe your experience and expertise will increase. Initially, you might have to remember the points mentioned above, but with time you will find yourself fluent at conversing with your passengers, without having to calculate what to say when.