The 6 levels of service are the keys to understand where you stand with your service offering, and what you can focus on to improve it. It is your ride, you have total control of the in-car experience, whether it is the cleanliness of your car, the aroma of your car, any amenities you offer and all the way down to how you talk to your customer. You have total control of this. If you are not receiving tips, stop blaming your customers and start looking at what you are doing.
You will not receive tips for just driving your customer from Point A to Point B. I wish this was the case, but that culture doesn’t exist yet. So you have to take action to create value for your customer in order to earn those tips.
An expected level of service is just that, what your customer expects. Here’s five things your customers expect in every ride:
Clean car: This is a must and the expectation. This means it is clean both inside and out, smells neutral and is free of any damage to the seats, seat belts, etc.
Polite interaction: Your customer expects you to greet them (hopefully with a smile), and not make them feel like they are a burden to you. Being polite also includes recognizing when your customer wants to talk with you and when they do not. Polite does not mean you have to be over the top friendly. It couldn’t hurt, but that’s not the expectation.
Help with bags: Even if you can’t physically help with the bags because of an injury or disability, at least act like you can. Get out, pop the trunk and guide your customer to where they should put the bags. Don’t say “Trunk’s open” out the drivers window.
Safe driving: This is often overlooked as important, because the culture of cab drivers is that safe driving doesn’t matter. It is just about getting from Point A to Point B quickly. In the world of ratings, safe driving is king. Your customer expects you to drive politely. That is not slamming the brakes, or gas, making hard turns, excessive speeding and tailgating. Check your road rage at the door, and don’t even react to that car that cut you off. It will pay off in better ratings.
Pick up and drop off where they want: Drop off is easy. Hey, “drop me off on this corner, over there, in front of the restaurant”. Pick up is the tricky part and confusion is often unavoidable. Maybe they requested the Uber on the other side of the building, or in a place where cars cannot get to. Maybe they are drunk and aren’t doing a good job keeping track of time. Either way, if it is a location I am not familiar with, I send them a message asking if there is anything I need to be aware of. Something like “Hey, this is Mike your Uber driver. I’m on my way. Anything I need to know about where to pick you up?”
Bonus: While waiting to be picked up, your customers expect your vehicle to be moving inside the app. Uber doesn’t do a perfect job updating the customers map on the app, but it is close enough. If they don’t see your car moving, you can expect a message like “You on your way?”. If that happens, you are toast before you even started.
Ok, so I met the expectations, give me tips. As I said before, that just isn’t the culture yet. In order to earn tips you need to do just a little bit more. Next week we will talk about one step above this, giving your customers something they desire.