Uber drivers are, above all else, service providers, and that means that as ambassadors of our own businesses we should put our best face on and provide the passenger with a journey that meets their expectations.
Why? Well 2 main reasons:
1) We partner with our rideshare companies under the expectation that we are representing our partner companies to the best of our ability. If we start to incur poor passenger ratings, we will likely find our passengers will reject us and request another driver, or that the ride share company will sever ties with us.
2) There is no argument about the fact that satisfied passengers are more likely to tip… and that affects your income.
So, here are my tips for drivers who want to provide a first class service to their passengers:1) Take a few rides as a passenger – take note of the service you are getting. What did you like, what did you not like.
2) Keep clean – not just your vehicle… take care of yourself too. I try to make sure that I am wearing a collared shirt and slacks when driving, with polished shoes. I receive comments, almost every day, from passengers who are impressed by the professionalism I portray in my dress and grooming habits.
3) Little things go a long way – keep a box of Kleenex handy, provide chargers for your passengers, keep an aux cord handy (in case they would prefer to listen to their own music).
4) First impressions count – where safely possible, get out of your car and hold the door open for your passenger as they get in. By the time you get back in the driver’s seat, the passenger will have their seatbelt fastened. As I get back behind the wheel I ask a few simple questions: “Are you comfortable?” “Is the AC cool enough?” “Is this radio station ok for you?”
5) Defer to the passenger’s preferences – “I would usually take the freeway to your destination, is that OK, or do you have a preferred route?”
6) Have a handful of stock conversation starters at hand - but be aware of the passenger’s reaction. Some passengers like to talk, others do not… and you will find your tip, and your rating, affected by the passenger’s impression of you. No-one likes a driver who cannot maintain a conversation, but the conversation should not be overbearing to a passenger. If you get the impression that the passenger is not talkative, then keep conversation professional and unobtrusive.
7) Don’t let the passenger put their own bags in your car - open the trunk and load the bags yourself.
8) At the end of the trip open the car door for your passenger. If they have bags, let them know that you will take them out of the trunk. This is important for two reasons, it shows the passenger that your customer service continues to the very end of their interaction with you, but also gives them a vital couple of seconds to arrange that tip. Take the luggage to the passenger on the sidewalk, extend the handles, and wish them a good day. If the passenger revealed a detail during conversation, try to end the trip with reference to that. For example, I had a passenger who was travelling to see his brother. They had not spoken for some time and the passenger was nervous. When I dropped him off, I brought his luggage to him, extended my hand for a handshake, and simply said “Have a great flight, I am sure that Jim (I remembered his brother’s name) will be really pleased to see you”.
9) Left items - Before the passenger moves too far away from the car, cast an eye around to look for items left behind.
10) Prep for the next passenger – make sure the car smells clean, use a lint roller to give the seats and carpets a quick once over.