Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Steph's Advice to Fix Uber

Dear Uber,


Here we are. You've finally canned Travis Kalanick, what took you so long? You used to be cool but that was like, four years ago. For the past couple of years it just feels like you've been coasting off of your success from the past. How much longer can that go on? I guess if I was being showered with VC gold I would be hanging onto those old victories too. But you're a tech company, you provide a service to consumers, haven't you learned anything from your neighbors at Apple and Google about delighting customers? I'm sorry but you need to try harder. Your vision needs to be much much bigger, and it needs to include people outside of the C suite or Uber won't last.

If I may give some advice to your product, UX, and marketing teams it would be this:

Build up your brand

I know, I know, you think you did this already. But you didn't. I have never seen a single ad from Uber encouraging me to ride. No TV ads, no radio, no print ads, not even internet ads. Really? Not even a feel good ad like Apple puts out? Try harder.

Listen to your customer

I know you have ratings and reviews that's good. What are you doing with that data? Maybe to riders it feels like this information goes into a black hole. I bet if you ask people you'll uncover a landslide of great improvements. Try that.

Be a service, not an app

The simple act of pressing a button and getting a ride is a great start. But in order to grow, to get more customers using Uber more often you need to delight people. And human beings main point of contact with Uber is not the app, it's the cars, and the drivers. This is you're "Netflix Moment", Uber. Your challenge is to grow your business beyond the app. YOU need your own "Orange Is The New Black". Netflix started producing content, not just delivering content. Now, people are happy and not just subscribers, actors, producers, artists are making money too. It's a win-win that leads to even more profit. You need to start taking the ride experience to a whole other level and you're not going to achieve that with a load of contractors and some borrowed cars. YOU need to own your cars. YOU need to treat your good drivers as well as your corporate employees. You could do a lot right there.

You have great data on people, use it

I know you know this already but it seems like you're doing nothing with the data. With this information you can find patterns to expand ridership. With your data you know who your best drivers are and you can reward them. With this information you could have several drivers operating a single Uber owned vehicle equitably. You can turn efficiency gains into customer delight!

Hopefully a change in leadership will shift the focus away from being a "hot tech company" to a service that people can't get enough of.... With growth and revenues to follow.

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