The Importance of Driver Ratings
Both Uber and Lyft have rating systems in place as a way to help ensure safety and comfort for its community of drivers and passengers.
Uber changed the data it displays to its driver partners on the RATINGS screen in its app. The change puts 5-star ratings front and center. Drivers can also see their current rating, percentage of requests accepted, and percentage of trips cancelled.
Today's lesson focuses on driver ratings and strategies for maintaining a high rating on Uber and Lyft.
Ratings Overview for New Drivers
If you’re new to rideshare and not familiar with the rating system, it’s pretty simple: At the end of every ride on Uber or Lyft, both you and your passenger are asked to rate each other on a scale of 1-5 stars, 5 being the best.
Your overall rating is the average of your last 100 ratings (for Lyft) or 500 ratings (for Uber), or however many you’ve received so far. Passengers are only able to rate you after a ride is completed, so canceled rides or missed requests won’t affect your rating.
As a driver, your rating must be above 4.6 to remain in good standing with either service.
Focusing on the Basics
There’s a lot of debate in the driver community about whether offering “extras” like bottled water and candy help ratings. Overall, most drivers feel these additions aren’t necessary to maintain a high rating.
Getting the basics right is the best way to keep your rating high. Just remember, RAMP:
Ride in a reliable, clean vehicle
Make nice with passengers
Practice safe driving habits
Do these things and you'll likely have no issues with your rating. Now, let’s take a closer look at each piece of this puzzle and give you some tips for success.
Using A Reliable, Clean Vehicle
Having a vehicle that works properly is the most important aspect of keeping your passengers happy (and probably a reason you chose Animo!). Our vehicles are all newer models and they undergo regular maintenance inspections. We also equip all vehicles with a phone holder for everyone’s safety.
Animo vehicles are cleaned weekly, however, because our vehicles are shared by multiple drivers, you may need to pitch in from time to time with some light cleaning of your own.
A few easy things you can do to make sure your Animo car is as clean as possible:
Check the interior of the vehicle. Pick up any wrappers or trash that may have been left behind by other drivers. Make sure you discard in a trash can. (Please don’t litter on the ground, even if it’s not yours!)
Bring an old rag in your bag. This will allow you to quickly wipe down the vehicle if it’s dusty or remove any big smudges or fingerprints.
Windex to go? If fingerprints drive you crazy, you could also fill a travel-size spray bottle with Windex and bring that and a rag with you. A few quick sprays are all you should need to get rid of prints.
Freshen the air. We’re not huge fans of most air fresheners. The scent can be overpowering and bother to certain passengers. For a more subtle scent, we really like the Febreze Car Vent-Clip air freshener. Drop one in your bag and clip it on during your shift for a pleasant, clean scent while you drive.
Becoming a GPS Pro
Navigation issues are the single biggest reason for less-than-stellar driver ratings!
Getting comfortable with your GPS app is probably the single biggest thing you can do to become a better rideshare driver. Spend some time learning the advanced features of your app, including how to reroute and check for one-way streets.
Pro Tip: Before you begin driving, quickly show your passenger their destination on your phone, and ask them to confirm it is correct. The extra couple seconds can save a lot of time and hassle later, and passengers usually appreciate that you’re being thorough.
It comes down to personal preference, but here are a few things to consider when deciding which navigation app to use (Google Maps and Waze are the most popular), based on feedback from the driver community:
Good for everyday use because of its superior GPS capabilities
Good when navigating in unfamiliar locations because of features like lane guidance.
Often preferred because it uses less data and less battery than Waze.
Best for helping navigate traffic and avoid traffic cams.
More cluttered design, but can be fixed with settings.
Some passengers don’t like the “fastest route” feature because it can make the trip distance longer & increase fares. Your best bet is to tell the passengers about the route Waze recommends and ask them which they prefer you take.
Being Polite & Courteous
Whether you’re outgoing, shy, or somewhere in between, you can put passengers at ease by being polite and friendly.
A simple “hello” and a smile as your passenger enters the vehicle can go a long way to making them feel comfortable and at ease in your Animo car. Greeting your passenger by name can also be a great way to make a positive first impression.
From there, you decide if the passenger wants to chat. If they immediately bury their face in their phone, it usually means they don’t want to talk.
Pro Tip: Test the waters by starting with a safe topic like the weather, sports or basic small talk, such as “do you have any weekend plans,” or “how long have you lived here."
Meeting new people with interesting stories to tell is one thing many rideshare drivers enjoy most, and can be a great way to get more 5-star ratings. If you’d rather not make small talk, that’s fine too, just be polite and courteous.
As a rideshare driver, your ultimate priority is to get your passengers to their destination safely.
Practicing safe driving habits is essential. Be especially aware of two of the most common causes of collision -minimizing distracted driving and keeping a safe following distance.
Review our safe driving tips for a refresher on safe driving habits.
The good news? Only a small percent of drivers are in danger of being deactivated for having an average rating that’s too low. By focusing on the basics, it’s very likely you’ll be able to stay in good standing.
If you’re working to improve your driver rating, remember to be patient, it can take time to see your average climb.
For new drivers, our best advice is RAMP up right away, so you won't have to worry about bringing low ratings up!
Was this write up useful? Do you have any favorite tips for keeping your rating high? What do you think about offering extras - does it impact your rating?
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