Outstanding Service

Last time we talked about the Surprising level of service. If you truly surprise your customer (in a good way), you will have made a long lasting impression on them, and they will be truly grateful. This is how you get big tips. If you look back at your recent tips, the largest ones were probably from you surprising your customer in some way or another.

And now onto the best level of service there is, Outstanding service. This can only be achieved when you deliver a desired level or better in the majority of the touch points. Just remember, you cannot ever go below the expectations. Your customer will get out of your car, and then immediately realize that they just had the best drive they have ever had.

Here is an example ride:

  1. You communicate that you are on your way (Desired)

  2. You arrive on time (Expected)

  3. You get out of the car/open a door/help with bags (Desired)

  4. Your car is clean (Expected)

  5. Your car smells pleasant (Desired)

  6. You offer up the radio (Desired)

  7. You throw one of the surprising amenities at them (Surprising)

  8. You ask if there is anything you can do to make their ride more comfortable (Desired)

  9. You drive politely (Expected)

  10. You drop off right out front (Expected)

  11. You thank them for the ride, and have a closing spiel (Desired)

You see how almost every touch point along the way was ‘Desired’ or better. This creates a comfortable environment, where you customer doesn’t even realize they are receiving outstanding service until it ends. Then it hits them like a ton of bricks and they can’t get into the app and tip you fast enough.

Every drive should end with a tip. But no, you are not entitled to a tip, you have to earn it. Create an environment where your customer just has to tip you and they will.

How can you earn your next tip?

Is Your Profile Up to Date?

Imagine you are a rider and you just got paired with a driver. What is the first thing you do? You look at their profile of course. As a driver this is something we gloss over, and then do not revisit ever again. If you are reading this, make a point to review your profile and consider making some changes.

You can view your profile by tapping on your picture in the top right corner, then on your picture in the center that says “profile” under it.

Anything you want to change? Tap the pencil in the top right. You can edit:

  1. Short Description: You only get 50 characters, so make them count. Great news is you can put whatever you want in here. You can use it to set expectations. Mine says “A comfortable ride is my #1 priority!” Or you can put a link to your social media. You can even put referral links in here if you want. Just don’t expect much success.

  2. Languages: Self explanatory, what languages can you speak? You pick from a list of languages. You can also add your own, and you have 50 characters to put something in here. If you speak one language, maybe put something creative in here.

  3. Where You’re From: Where you’re from can be your ancestry, where you grew up, or where you live now. You get 50 characters, so put in here what you want that might spark interest and conversation.

  4. Background Wallpaper: In the top right corner is an icon of a photo. Tap it and you can change your background image.

    For The next three things you can customize, be very strategic with what you write. Your goal is to get your customer to know you a little more and be encouraged to tip you. You have 350 characters to tell your story.

  5. Fun Fact: Put something in here that you are passionate about, and could talk about non-stop should a customer ask you about. Is it a hobby, a skill or something you are incredibly good at.

  6. Other Experience: Have another job, what is it? Don’t have another job, talk about a previous job or how you occupy your time.

  7. Why I Drive: The real reason we drive is to pay bills, put food on the table or to create a little savings. Feel free to put that down or use a little creative license. You can be specific too. “Earn some extra cash to pay down debt… go to school… to send my kids to school… to buy my next beer”. Anything to get a positive reaction from your customer. My only caution is to be truthful. Honesty will show off better. If you have some time, check out our blog post “How Long Have You Been Driving for Uber?” It is a similar topic that might help.

What ever you do, go through your profile now and see if you can be presenting yourself in a better way. You will see an improvement in your tips and rating. Good luck!

Script Your Pickup

Starting off the pickup and the ride in a positive way is the key to a successful ride. Part of doing this is helping manage the customer's expectations. Have you ever been a rider before? What happens after you request a ride? You get assigned to a driver and you watch their car move like a hawk. If it stops moving or is going the wrong direction, you stress out.

Prevent any early on problems by writing up a script and saving it to your notes. Then just fill in the missing data. Here’s some suggestions:

  1. “Hi, this is Mike your Uber Driver. I'm on my way. GPS says i’ll be there in X minutes.”

  2. (When you are 2 minutes out send this): “Be there in 2 minutes.” This will actually speed up pickup time. Use voice commands for safety.

  3. (Say you have now waited 2 minutes. Either call or text them): “Hey, i’m outside <address> and ready when you are. Let me know if I can help with anything.” Obviously, if you wait 5 minutes with no contact, cancel the drive and collect your fee.

  4. (If there is any unexplained traffic on the way, you should acknowledge it. Otherwise you’ll be met with an upset customer): “It looks like I have hit some unexpected traffic. I will be there ASAP.” This will give your customer the opportunity to cancel, but they won’t. And they’ll appreciate the update.

What scripts do you use in your day to day?

Using Social Media

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Social media can be your friend. Yes, the same social media where everyone you know tries to show off their new toy or the latest vacation spot, or argue politics with a total stranger.

For our purposes, social media can help your customers get to know you better in the limited time they are in your car. Why do you want them to get to know you? You can passively tell them about your life, the job as a rideshare driver, share positive messages and help set better expectations with your customers.

Here’s How:

  1. First, set up a Facebook or Instagram page for yourself. This should not be your standard personal page, it should be dedicated to rideshare. “Uber Driver Mike” or something easy to say and get to.

  2. Seed the page with content. Do this before you even invite anyone to it. No one will look at and follow your page if there isn’t any content they like.

  3. The seed content should be positive things: good stories, photos with customers, photos of places you have been and motivational quotes and ideas. Get about "2 weeks” worth of content.

  4. Now start advertising. Put a sign in the back seat or tell every customer to go to your page. More people than you think will actually do this right away. People are curious and also are looking for things to kill time during the drive.

  5. Start adding more community focused content. Once you reach a few hundred followers, you officially have a community. You are a local celebrity. Start taking pictures with the customers of your milestones (100, 1000, 2000, 3000 ride, etc). With their permission, post it to your page. You can also start posting polls and get feedback directly from your community. Do a drive with a celebrity? Ask for a photo and post it to your page.

If this is something that interests you, start today. Do a little research and find other rideshare drivers that have dedicated pages. See what you like on their page and don’t like and start building. Be patient with the results, as it will take time. But before you know it, you will have a group of dedicated followers. At the very least, your customers will see your page while in the car with you, and if they get to know you just a little bit, they are more likely to tip.

If you have any questions on how to get this started, were happy to help. Shoot us an email.

Ode to Ozium

I don’t think drivers fully appreciate and understand how important a pleasant smelling car is. I know my customers value it about as much as a positive attitude. A pleasant smelling car can hide deficiencies elsewhere, and adds to the surprising wow factor. Most cars either smell neutral or smell bad, so having a car that smells nice is quite the surprise.

Most drivers do not even realize their car smells badly because they spend so much time in it, and get used to the odor. The best test is to breath outdoor air for about 5 minutes. Then get into the back seat and take a deep breath. What does it smell like? That’s the first impression your customers are getting.

A pleasant smelling car starts the ride off nicely, often elicits a comment (“Your car smells nice”), and is often talked about after the ride (“My drivers car smelled like vanilla!”). While it can cure a lot of small problems, a nice smelling car will not cure a bad attitude, cover up a dirty car or fix an extremely late pickup.

So here is our Ode to Ozium, the air freshener that neutralizes the smell of your car, introduces a faint citrus smell, and allows you introduce you own signature scent. Here’s our 5 recommendations on how to use Ozium.

  1. Before you start your day, spray some ozium in your car and shut all the doors (you shouldn’t stay in the car during this). I recommend (5) 1 second sprays over top each seat. Spray the floor if there is any odor coming from there. Let it marinate in there for about 5-10 minutes. When you open the door the car should smell clean and fresh.

  2. Now to introduce your signature scent. We recommend spa scents like lavender, jasmine or lemon. There is a reason spas use those scents, because they are calming. Why not calm your customer as well. Don’t like any of those? Try other spa scents like orange or vanilla. Just be careful what you pick, crazy scents can make you as well as your customer nauseous. A little goes a long way.

  3. Throughout the day, test the smell of your car. Get out of the car to stretch your legs. Spend about 2 minutes outside the car. Now get in the back seat and take a deep breath. What does it smell like? Reapply ozium as necessary.

  4. Reapply ozium after any of these occurrences: You eat in your car, you smoke (inside or outside the car), you have a particularly smelly customer.

  5. Deliver Uber eats in-between drives? Spray one spray over your shoulder right after every delivery.

Pro Tip: Hide your air freshener so it isn’t in plain sight. Under the driver and passenger seat is a good option. Just don’t hang it from the rear view mirror! The traditional tree air fresheners typically dry out and lose their scent quickly, especially in the summer months, so we recommend replacing them every 1-2 weeks. Want something that lasts longer? Look into scented oils that you can soak and place like the tree air freshener.


New Partnership - Play Octopus

Octo Says

What does Octo say? Octo says, sign up for your free Play Octopus tablet! Seriously, it’s free, all you have to do is sign up, and in a couple days your free tablet arrives in the mail. In case you have not been properly introduced, Play Octopus is a company dedicated to helping over 5,000 rideshare drivers get the best tips and best reviews they possibly can. Plus you earn cash just for driving. We all know that running your rideshare business is taxing on your body, mind and especially your wallet. Play Octopus is here to help you out.

So, what is the Play Octopus tablet?

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At the core, the tablet features three games your customers can play: Trivia, Octo Says, and Photo Hunt. All three games are addictingly fun, and we have noticed that customers get laser focused in the games. The ride goes quicker for them, they have fun and before they know it, you are dropping them off to their destination.

Trivia is a rapid fire, easy trivia game where you try to get as many answers correct as you can, as quickly as you can. Octo Says is just like the old ‘Simon’ game from the 70’s and 80’s. Think fast and memorize the order of the colors to press. Lastly, Photo Hunt is your standard “Spot the difference” game, where you are shown two similar photos and you have to find the differences.

All these games are fun, pass the time for your customers, and they can also win money. That’s right, they can win up to $25 if they have the best score in any of the games on a given day.

So what’s the catch?

For you, there really is no catch, just some guidelines. First, you need to complete a minimum of 100 rides a month. Why 100? The tablet plays local advertisements in between each game, and 100 rides is the minimum they need to offer the tablet for free. That’s it! The more you drive they more you earn. One of the ads they show is a reminder to tip your driver, which is a nice gesture to help educate your customers and earn more tips.

What else is in it for you?

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For SHRPR subscribers only: Sign up with the link below or use the code SHRPR and you will get $15 when you start driving with the tablet – It’s that easy.

The more you drive, the more you earn. You can earn up to $100 per month just for having the tablet running in your backseat.

Refer a friend and you can earn $25 each friend. There is no limit to how many people you can refer.

Sign up by going to https://account.playoctopus.com/join/referred_by/SHRPR or use the code SHRPR when signing up.


What Market is Play Octopus In?

Coming Soon

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Take Pride and Just Be Nice

In a world where some drivers offer water, gum and other amenities and other drivers try to overcompensate for their bad attitude and skills, there are just two simple things that will get you to earn more tips.

Take pride in what you do and just be nice

It seems so simple, but rarely thought about or followed.

Take Pride
The great thing about this advice is that it is so general but if you keep thinking about it throughout the day it will become very specific.

Customer just got out and left a stain? Take a photo and then clean it up. Don’t just leave it.

Car is filthy from driving through mud? Get it washed. Don’t just leave it.

Customer had a ton of bags? Get out and help them. Don’t just leave them.

Take pride in your work, and it will show. Your customers will appreciate it and will reward you for it. If you don’t believe that, then you are in the wrong industry.

Just Be Nice
Your customers are human just like you. They have good days, they have bad days, and they have horrific days. No sense in both people in the car being mean to each other. Just be nice, and be the only smile that person sees in their day. Besides the fact that being nice will lead to tips, it’s also the right thing to do.

But being nice goes well beyond just smiling, and speaking nicely. It is also being nice in your actions. Ask them what radio station they like, or what type of music they like. See if they are comfortable with the temperature. Ask “Is there anything I can do to make your ride more comfortable?” Try it and watch it work.


Its funny how people talk about all these amenities, and really all you need to do is take pride and be nice to deliver a great experience. Want to surprise a great customer and deliver a truly outstanding experience? Think about these 10 things that will surprise your customer.

The Shrpr Clip Show

Happy (almost) 4th of July!

I love this holiday because its not usually a holiday you are expected to be with family all day, and so it is the perfect excuse to get out there an earn.

In 90’s television fashion, when there is a holiday, there is a clip show to watch. These were usually throw away shows to give the writers and others time off to spend with their families. Some shows were good at it, others were terrible. Hope we can live up to it!

Here’s the top 5 Shrpr “clips” you should read again:

  1. The 5 Car Cleanliness Basics: These are good, easy ways to make sure you take those blinders off and really ‘see’ you car the way your customer does.

  2. Communicate Well and Get Your Drive off to the Right Start: Couple suggestions on how to communicate to your customer if you are going to be late to the pick up or if you arrive and they aren’t there. This will surprise them and lead to more tips.

  3. Handling Conflict: Here are 5 suggestions on how to handle conflict with your customer. Be safe out there.

  4. 8 Things You Should Have In Your Trunk: Every driver should invest in having these things in their trunk, and you will be glad you did.

  5. New Years Eve Driving Tips: While the 4th of July doesn’t compare to New Year’s Eve in terms of volume or rowdiness, there will be plenty of drinking going on, and those people will be calling you. Prepare yourself and you can have one of the most profitable nights of the year.

Good luck, be safe, and try to shut down early and enjoy this terrific holiday.

Avoid Common Scams

We often come from the light that customers just want good service and a safe ride, and for that they will reward you. It is a great outlook to have, because positivity breeds positivity, and that hopefully leads to a kinder interaction with your customer.

It would be naive to think that some customers are not trying to scam the system, just like there are drivers who try to scam the system. Here are the top scams we have come across:

  1. Wrong Passenger. This is the easiest to catch. Instead of saying “Hey are you Jimmy?”… say “Hey, I’m Mike, may I have your name?”. This works because the person whose phone called for the ride never leaves their location. Can say they were never picked up.

  2. Wrong Passenger 2. So my friend orders me an Uber. I know his name so I answer you correctly. You let me in and start the ride. My friend then calls you saying “Where are you?” to document that he isn’t in the vehicle. He will then contest the charge, meanwhile you just drove me for free. You should cancel the ride, ask the customer to get out in a safe place and then report the fraud.

  3. Street Hails. This happens in Uber pick up areas, where it is easy for a customer to see you are an Uber driver and are available. Maybe they say something like: “I lost my phone, but I’ll pay you cash…” As enticing as it is, its too risky for you. Recommend they take a cab instead. There are no protections for you if you pick up a hailed ride and in fact it is illegal.

  4. Wrong Pin Placement. If you arrive at the location and they aren’t there, they might have placed their pin in the wrong location to avoid surge pricing. If they call you and say “I’m actually at this address”, do not go to them. Either have them update the pin or wait the 5 minutes and cancel.

  5. Dumping Jobs: This usually happens with cabs, but we’ve seen it happen to rideshare as well. Bar has a very inebriated customer. Someone from the staff requests the Uber for them using the drunk persons account. As you pull up, someone from the staff comes out and says “The customer is on their way out.” This is the trap so you don’t see the drunk customer. The bar staff will ask if you will unlock the door. Seconds later they will help/carry/whatever the drunk person and put them in your car. Guess what? They are your problem now. Keep your doors locked, and do not unlock them until you see your customer, can identify them and realize they are not a stumbling drunk (or are).

  6. Anchors. An anchor is a person, bag or belonging that is intended to anchor you to a location. This happens most on airport runs where a person will toss a bag in your trunk and then disappear back into the house to finish up getting ready to leave or say their goodbyes. Generally I don’t have a problem with waiting a couple minutes, we’re all human. But there have been a couple times where it got over 5 minutes and I have had to approach the house to hustle them along.

  7. Roadside Assistance: Don’t be surprised if you get called for a pickup right on the highway. Cancel this immediately. They would like you to jump their car (you are liable) or use your jack to replace a tire (you are liable). If you want to be a good Samaritan, awesome. You can help them get AAA or some other roadside assistance.

Whats the most recent scam you encountered?

Customers Love Stories

Your customers love stories, and the easiest way to build a rapport with them, and secure that tip is to entertain them. It also humanizes the job you are doing and gives them a glimpse of your day to day. Most of us are bad story tellers, and a bad story comes off as annoying, lame, creepy, whatever. Here’s some tips on how to tell a great story:

  1. Don’t tell the story, describe it. When you give a play-by-play of the story, you are giving an outsiders view of what happened. Instead, describe what is happening as if you are living it again. Set up the scene from your eyes, share your emotions, smile when you should, frown when you should. By describing the story, your audience will feel like they are there and will be engrossed.

  2. Focus on the senses. Draw your audience in by helping them see, hear, smell, taste and touch the important parts of your story. This is another way to draw them in.

  3. Write it down and practice. Get all the key parts onto paper, and then practice telling the story. Do not memorize the story, or you will sound robotic and no emotion will come through. Remember, you are the expert of your story, so tell it from the heart.

So what should your stories be about? Think about the questions your customers ask you. Why not answer with an entertaining story. Stories can be 30 seconds long or 5 minutes long. If they are told right and entertaining, the time doesn’t matter.

Here’s some ideas:

  1. Your worst rideshare experience - Keep it light

  2. Your best rideshare experience - Help condition your customer what you think is a good rideshare experience

  3. An anecdote from your other job, or previous career

  4. A funny story about your kids, pets or family

Timing is key with all story telling. Let your customer drive the conversation and tell a story if there is an opening. If you jump into a story about your kids unprompted and as soon as your customer gets into the car, they will be wondering why you are telling this story.

Think, practice and then try it out. See how it works.