What I learned from one night as an Uber driver

How Uber Drivers Can Offer A Great Customer Experience

It was the week before New Year’s Eve.  Call it a social experiment, call it blog fodder or call it a scheme for quick post-holiday cash.  I signed up to be an Uber driver.

The process was straightforward: register on Uber’s site by submitting your driver’s license, vehicle registration, car insurance and state inspection. Multiple, yes multiple, background checks later and I get the stamp of approval to take flight.

Passengers rate their drivers on a scale from one to five stars.  As a driver, you want to maintain an average above 4.6 to maintain good standing with Uber.  

My goal, obviously, was to deliver five-star service.  

Here are a few of Uber’s recommendations for how to be a Five-Star Driver:

  • Be on time.

  • Drive safely and know your driving area to take the most efficient and quickest route.

  • Keep a clean, fresh vehicle in great mechanical condition.

  • Dress well.

  • Offer water to your passengers. (During the holidays, a friend mentioned an Uber driver offering candy canes to his riders. Love a little something extra.)

  • Have a phone changers available for your riders.

  • Ask your riders for their music preference (Uber recently partnered with Spotify for this nifty feature).
  • Open the door for your riders. 

So how did my drive fare?  

Before New Year’s Eve, I received text updates saying THIS was the busiest night of the year.  I took my car through the car wash, vacuumed my interior, got a lovely air freshener, a few bottles of water for my riders and was ready to roll.

By 10 p.m. I had given two rides. One questioned my choice of talk radio and asked if I knew about Beyonce. (DO I KNOW ABOUT BEYONCE?)  After a quiet two hours in an area saturated with other drivers and free cab rides (a Richmond offering from a local law firm), I recouped my car wash money and called it a night.

The good news: I’m five stars baby!  Watch the full video from Uber “How To Be A Five-Star Driver” below.

Kevin Clay