uber, lyft, rideshare, St. Louis, driving, driver, riders, personal, passenger, passengers, vehicle, time, review, five, star, service, customers, politics, planning, seat belt, rating, ratings, 5 star, care, question, questions, answers

Smiley St. Louis Rideshare: What Can I do to Improve my Driver Rating?

Hi! Smiley here. Today, I want to talk about something very important to remaining in good standing on Uber or Lyft: Ratings. Ratings are getting a lot of attention these days, and both drivers and riders have a lot of questions about them. We’re planning to cover a lot of ratings-related materials in this post, but if we missed something or you have a question about ratings, please leave us a comment, and we’ll address those as soon as we can.

Why should a Rideshare Driver or Rider  care about ratings?

Why should you care about ratings? Well, if your rating falls below a certain threshold, you are in danger of loosing your rideshare driver account. 

“The rating system works like this: You start off as a five-star driver,” Don, a San Francisco Lyft driver told BuzzFeed News. “If you drop below a 4.6, then your career becomes a question. Uber or Lyft will reach out to you and let you know that you are on review probation. And if you continue to drop, then you’re going to lose your job. They’ll deactivate you.”

Read the full post here: That Four-Star Rating You Left Could Cost Your Uber Driver Her Job

There are other factors that can get your account deactivated, but ratings are the most common cause. Given the importance of those five little stars, let’s look at what ratings are and what you can do to maintain them.

You are Judged by your Rideshare Ratings

uber, lyft, rideshare, St. Louis, driving, driver, riders, personal, passenger, passengers, vehicle, time, review, five, star, service, customers, politics, planning, seat belt, rating, ratings, 5 star, care, question, questions, answers

First of all, ratings are how other rideshare drivers and riders are able to gauge the kind of rider or driver you are. Rider ratings are what tell a driver what to expect from a rider, and driver ratings are what tell a rider what to expect from a driver. Will the rider trash the car, or will they leave the vehicle as nice as they found it? Will the driver drive like they’re driving on the Rainbow Road in Mario Kart for the first time, or will they accelerate, brake, and turn smoothly? Everybody has a bad day once in a while, but ratings give a fairly consistent picture of what one can expect from one’s rider or driver.

Uber Rider Read: I’d Like to Know my Rating

 Not Just a Rideshare Driver, A Sales Rep!

Michael often says that as a professional driver, he is also a salesman. While it may seem strange for him to think that he’s a salesman, it really isn’t. Whenever you offer any sort of service in exchange for money, you are selling your time and ability; in short, you are selling yourself. What do you think when you hear “salesman?” Do you think a salesman a washed-up, middle-aged man living in a van down by the river, trying to scam someone into buying a lemon? If you do, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, bad salesmen have turned the title “salesman” into something of a pejorative. Fortunately, you don’t have to refer to yourself as a salesman to be a 5 Star Rideshare Driver.

5 Star Rideshare Drivers Not “Just Drivers,” They are  Service Professionals 

In reality, the sales rep is the service professional with whom a customer interacts. Part of a sales rep’s job is to fulfill a customer’s need; the other part of the job is to give information to the customer. Some of you are probably sitting out there thinking, “I’m just a driver—I drive people from Point A to Point B without getting lost at C, and that’s it!” While that’s part of it, but there’s much more to it besides driving. If you’re stuck in the mindset that all you are is a driver, you’ll get frustrated and burn out quickly. If you want to stay an owner-operator who contracts with Uber and/or Lyft, you’ll need to take on the mindset of a sales rep. That mindset starts before you even get that first customer.

The Mindset of a 5 Star Rideshare Drivers

What goes into that mindset? I’m glad you asked. The best way to get into that mindset is to consider the appearance of your vehicle and yourself. Do you clean your vehicle every day? Do you dress in a presentable way? Do you smile and give your passengers a hand when they get into your vehicle? Do you make your passengers feel welcome? If you have any emotional baggage or anything else that creates a negative atmosphere in your vehicle, your passengers will be able to pick up on it, and it will affect your ratings.

People may not always remember what you say, but they’ll never forget how you make them feel.

People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel. By 2003 a message was circulating that implausibly reassigned several remarks from the 1991 book by H. Jackson Brown Jr. to Maya Angelou

Read Entire Post Here: They May Forget What You Said, But They Will Never Forget How You Made Them Feel

A 5 Star Rideshare Driver is a Sales Rep. Now What?

uber, lyft, rideshare, St. Louis, driving, driver, riders, personal, passenger, passengers, vehicle, time, review, five, star, service, customers, politics, planning, seat belt, rating, ratings, 5 star, care, question, questions, answersNow that you understand you’re a sales rep, how do we put that in the practice? When you get a ping, it’s important to respond right away after you accept it. Even if a ping is only a few minutes away, it’s important not to lollygag. When you lollygag, you’re not just wasting your customers’ time—you’re wasting your time! You’re in the business of making money, and to make that money, you’re in the business of serving the customer. Once you accept the trip, the driver must be ready to drive and get to your passenger within the window of time that the rideshare app has given to your passenger.

A 5 Star Rideshare Driver is Not Just On Time and Under Budget, But Goes Above and Beyond

After you arrive at your passenger’s location, what do you do? Do you sit in your vehicle and passively wait for the customer to find you, or do you exit your vehicle and open the door for your passengers? Do you verify who your passengers are by identifying yourself and asking for their names? Do you offer the customer anything extra, such as water or mints? Do you start the trip after the passengers get in and verify their destination?

A 5 Star Rideshare Driver has Integrity

There are some drivers out there who start the trips before they even get their passengers in their vehicle because they mistakenly believe they’ll earn extra money by doing so. Starting a ride before verifying the destination and number of passengers leaves a driver vulnerable to getting bad ratings if something causes the trip to terminate early, such as open containers of alcohol, attempting to put too many passengers into a vehicle, or any sort of passenger behavior that makes the passenger a danger to themselves or others.

A 5 Star Rideshare Driver is Rider Centric

Once you’re in the vehicle and all of your passengers seated and wearing seat belts? Have you have verified the address and started the trip? Next, ask if the passengers are comfortable. Remember: everything is passenger-centric, so don’t forget to ask if the temperature and the music are comfortable for them. If your passengers are uncomfortable, they will be dwelling on their discomfort, and it will affect your ratings.

A 5 Star Rideshare Driver avoids Politics, Religion and Other “Personal” Issues

After you make sure your passengers are comfortable, do you sit quietly or do you to chat with them? If you chat to build rapport, be careful to stay away from politics and religion. As the saying goes, “Unless your business is politics, leave politics out of your business.” While you may get some passengers that share your political ideology, those who do not share it could rate you low because of it (or even demand that Uber deactivate you!), so it’s best not to discuss it. Another topic that could get you in hot water is getting too personal with the passengers. Some passengers have complained about getting hit on by their drivers. More recently, model Tess Holliday stated that she was going to boycott Uber because the last driver she had made some inappropriate comments about her weight and health and asked her some inappropriate questions. Don’t be like those drivers! The best topics to discuss with your passengers are the weather, local sports teams, upcoming events, and other incidental topics that unite and not divide.

Read More: Tess Holliday opens up about Uber boycott after being ‘fat shamed’ by driver

Read Smiley Sharing Editorial: A Rebuttal, Tess Holliday and Her Uber Boycott

A 5 Star Rideshare Driver Closes The Deal

uber, lyft, rideshare, St. Louis, driving, driver, riders, personal, passenger, passengers, vehicle, time, review, five, star, service, customers, politics, planning, seat belt, rating, ratings, 5 star, care, question, questions, answersAs the rideshare trip draws to a close, Michael likes to share with his passengers that he considers all of his riders five-star riders; as long as they do not do any damage to his vehicle, or are a threat to themselves, or others. Out of 1000 trips, only three passengers have not received five stars from Michael. Because he is proactive in giving his passengers a five-star experience on every trip, Michael tells his passengers, “If I’ve been a five-star driver for you please let the app know. It’s important because it enables me to continue to drive for Uber, which is how, as Michael says,  “I provide for my family and get through grad school.” It may seem odd to ask for five stars, but it’s important to remind your passengers that your ability to continue to offer excellent service depends on how they rate you. Once you’ve figured out how to word your request in a way that feels natural and comfortable to you, be sure to make it towards the end of each ride.

A 5 Star Rideshare Driver gets Better Everyday

No doubt there will be pushback against this—some have said that requesting a five-star rating sounds like pandering; others have said that they don’t believe they’re salesmen or business owners. They claim that they’re just drivers, and their only duty is to get people from Point A to Point B with no frills. That’s all right for them, but for those who do want to continue driving on this platform, there are certain things we can do that work in our favor, regardless of whether or not the rideshare rating system is rigged. We can either debate about the ethics and morality of the system in which we find ourselves, or we can worth within while at the same time working towards a better system for riders and drivers alike. Here’s to future five-star rides!

Who is Driving You? Read About; Michael S. Mason and the Team,Smiley Sharing Staff: About Us

 Take Me With You!

I hope you know that with me you’re never riding alone and that I may bring a smile to your face. 🙂

Ready to Drive?  Ready to Rideshare? Want to Support Smiley Sharing? Consider: Smiley Supporting

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