How Long Have You Been Driving for Uber?

What is the question I am asked most from my customers, Alex? Or the other one — how do I like driving for Uber/Lyft? Funny, people would never think to ask their taxi driver this question.

That might seem like a subtle difference to you, but I think it is a huge difference. It means your customers are truly interested in you, your life, how you like your job, what else you do, what are you hobbies, and hows your family. Your customer will not ask you this question if they do not want to talk to you and dive deeper into the conversation. Think of other service industries, do they ever get the opportunity to answer this question?

The Uber/Lyft drivers we have talked to hate being asked this question. Look on Twitter, Facebook, or forums and you will see people making fun of the customers who ask this question. Its all one big joke to them.

But what if this question was your entry to humanize yourself, in a completely digital transaction? What if this was your way to tell your story a little, show that you work hard, care, have goals and want to be happy? What if I told you that your answer to this question directly relates to what rating you will get and how much (if any) tip you will get? Do I have your attention?

Here’s 5 things you should consider in your answer

  1. Always be positive — Always be truthful. Your customer will likely be able to sniff out some sob story as not genuine. Be truthful about your situation, your life, your successes and your challenges. If you are trying to tug on their heart strings, you will likely make your customer uncomfortable, which does not lead to tips.

  2. If you are going through a recent breakup, divorce or catastrophic event in your life, it is best to leave that out of the car. We’ve heard stories where drivers have said “My greedy ex took my other car”, or “I’m fighting for custody of my kids from my crazy ex”, or “I just put my dog down last week”. These do tell your story, but often come across as TMI. A conversation can go from great to ruined quickly if your customer feels uncomfortable.

  3. Instead talk about the positives of your life and family. “I drive for Uber because I can drop my son off at school and work while he is at school, and then be able to pick him up after,” or “I get to make my own hours, so I pick up a couple hours before my full time job” or “I really want to follow this dream and I am driving for Uber until I can do that.”

  4. Talk about the challenges of your life, but put a positive spin on it. Now is not the time to make your stance against Uber/Lyft as a company. Or how poorly we are paid and treated. The customer wants to feel good about the conversation, not sad or mad at Uber. You might think “I want them to be mad at Uber and put pressure on them to pay us more.” Well, they might just stop taking Uber, and then were all out of a job.

    Try something like this: “I’ve been with Uber for 2 years and I drive to help pay my bills. Working up to buy a new car” or, “I drive for Lyft because I’m new to town, and I really enjoy meeting new people” or, “I’m in between jobs, but I am a hard worker, so I grind every day.”

  5. Consider using social media, like Facebook or Twitter, to help tell your story. Just create a separate Uber/Lyft account for yourself, and put your handle on a sign in your back seat. During the drive, you are guaranteed people will check you out. If they like what they see, you are sure to get more tips. But if you post polarizing things like a meme about how women tip better than men, you just alienated half your customers. Keep it positive, on point and about you for the best results.

Think about your answer to these questions. Think about it for a while. Write it down. Change some words. Rewrite it. Memorize it. And then the next time you are asked this question put on the performance of your life. It could be the difference between 4 stars and 5 stars, and might even earn you a big tip.

Whats your favorite answer to these questions? Lets hear about it.