Great customer service is our watch word at RideArena, and we try to ensure that while we treat the car owners who bring their vehicles to us to manage with the utmost respect, we also ensure that our drivers take the same attitude to their driving.
A pleasant consequence of this is that our drivers have repeat customers; riders who call our drivers for offline trips. Of course, this fetches more money for the drivers since they would not have to pay Uber or Taxify the 25% (or 15%) of the total rate. There is always a sense of accomplishment that comes to us when we see our drivers share these experiences with us. Our drivers pick up foreigners from the airport at Ikeja, Lagos and they marvel at how different these drivers are compared to others they encounter.
We have decided to share some of these tips with others because we realize that the country’s image is lifted when more people realize that great customer service can be a lifestyle, not just something reserved for those who we expect to do us a favour. We share 7 out of the many simple strategies we teach our drivers to ensure they stand out in the Uber/Taxify (Bolt) business.
- Safety First Always
I have boarded many Uber cars where the driver answered calls almost throughout the duration of the journey. Even worse, most of them picked the call with one of their hands, driving with just the other.
It’s wrong, and I’m shocked when they act surprised at my reprimand.
Never answer calls without a hands-off device when on the wheels. Even better, don’t answer at all. Driving is about concentration. If you lose concentration for even half a second, you can jeopardize your life and that of your passenger.
I’m sure I don’t have to mention that drinking is NEVER allowed while driving. It’s forbidden!
2. Drive Only The Passenger
I have to say that it’s sad that this has to be said. Why would anyone have his friend in the vehicle while picking up the passenger? The passenger has paid for comfort and privacy, and you are jeopardizing that by having someone else other than the passenger in the vehicle.
Having a friend in the vehicle as you pick up passengers is a big no-no. It might make you feel safer as a driver, but it will have the opposite effect on your passenger. What if he thinks that it’s a ploy for him to be robbed?
It would be worse for you if your customer mentions the additional passenger in his or her review. Uber can and will probably deactivate your account consequently. If you want to give free lifts to your friends and family, save it till after your shift.
3. Stock your Car with Bottled Water
Imagine waiting for a vehicle under the hot Nigerian sun and the first thing you are greeted with when your car arrives is a bottle of drinkable (chilled?) water. What a way to make a great impression! Sometimes, no feeling in the world compares.
When you provide a chilled bottle of water to a passenger who was standing in the sun while waiting for you, you’ll certainly be increasing your chances at that five-star rating. You will also be increasing your chance of having a repeat customer.
As a bonus, if you pick up most of your passengers during the wee hours of Saturdays or Sundays (i.e., when the bars begin to close and drunken partygoers scramble for a ride), water helps them sober up and prevents them from throwing up in your car. You wouldn’t want to spend a chunk of your Uber earnings on cleaning vomit off your car’s carpets, would you?
4. Dress Well
For many people, driving for Uber is the first time they’re making money without having a boss tell them what to do. There isn’t really any formal training, so drivers end up dressing the way they feel.
Yet, the way you dress could have an impact on your rating as a driver. Many people’s first impressions of a person are their appearance.
Even though you are allowed, wearing a sleeveless and Jeans on a Slippers does not look the best. Someone that looks like they just rolled out of bed with nappy hair and dressed in singlet may not look appealing to every passenger that jumps in your vehicle.
This doesn’t mean you have to dress in a suit and tie, but being well-groomed will leave a better impression than ragged clothes.
Passengers are paying higher prices for the ride than their usual alternatives, and it often means they appreciate well-dressed drivers more. Studies show that the better dressed you are the better the rating you can get to.
5. Chargers are Important
Let’s be honest to ourselves: In our age and time, phone chargers have become a basic need that is next to food, shelter and clothing (😁) . Therefore, when you offer a traveller a charger on your vehicle WITHOUT her asking, you are in her good book forever (just kidding, or may be not…).
These things are a godsend for people on the go since they probably don’t have time to fully charge their mobile phones. Sure, you may have to invest a bit in durable chargers for each kind of smartphone (to be fair, there are only two major ones), but that’s nothing compared to the number of rave reviews you’ll probably get once they’re in play.
You can also print up signs indicating the availability of iPhone and Android phone chargers in your car and post them up on the back of the driver’s seat. Something that says, “Welcome to my car! iPhone and Android chargers are available for your use, so please feel free to ask me about them at any time”.
This alone makes you a superstar driver!
6. Clean Fresh-Smelling Car
Because a car is an enclosed space, smells like perfume, food brought in from outside, and well, body odor from the sheer number of passengers getting picked up throughout the day can quickly make the air musty. You can guard against this by keeping some paper towels, spray cleaner, and air fresheners in your glove compartment. Lower your windows to release the pent-up odors and then give your car a quick rubdown with your cleaning materials between passengers.
You should know that drivers don’t care for a clean smell-smelling car, and doing this makes you stand out…by a mile.
7. Always, always be polite
Sometimes, you can forego all of the other things on this list (well, except for the safe driving bit) if you’ve got impeccable manners as a driver.
Always greet passengers with a smile and a “Good morning/afternoon/evening, ma’am/sir.” Whenever you can, open the car door for them and assist them with their packages or things. Asking if they have a preferred route to their destination is also highly appreciated by many passengers, so be sure to do so.
The bottomline is to put the passenger at ease once they get into your vehicle, and to keep things that way until you’ve safely delivered them to their destination.
So there you have it! 7 out of the many simple strategies we teach our drivers to ensure they stand out in the Uber/Taxify (Bolt) business.
At RideArena, we manage vehicles on the Uber/Bolt platforms for investors/car owners and provide employment for would-be drivers.
Under our management, we remit between N20,000 — N30,000 weekly, depending on the vehicle type, without you having to putting them through the hassles of driving or dealing with obnoxious drivers.
If you’d like to know more about our services, click HERE.