Smiley Sharing Uber St. Louis Ride-a-longs

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Smiley Ridesharing: Pretrip Mental Checks and 5 Star Service (PMCS)

Welcome to a day in the life of an Uber/ Rideshare driver. I’m Smiley the emoji pillow, and I’m riding with Michael, dashing grad student by day, and rideshare driver by whatever time he can work.

Before we get started with today’s shift, Michael is going to have lunch. Rebecca, Michael’s TC, reminded him that part of the balance of being a successful rideshare includes getting plenty of rest and eating properly. After lunch, we’ll head over to the Blue Iguana to make sure White Lightning, Michael’s vehicle, is clean inside and out and ready to do its part to provide each rider with a 5 star experience.

Smiley Sharing Uber St. Louis Ride-a-longs: First Trips

Our shift started with our first appointment pickup. The rider was a passenger who had previously ridden with us. While it’s always nice to meet new people, it’s also great to be able to spend time with familiar customers. During his conversation with Michael, the passenger requested that we write an article about how to set up a pick up. Since we are striving to create a website that is educational and positively entertaining regarding ridesharing and life, Michael told him that he would be happy to write it. The passenger even suggested that we refer to our articles for writers as Technical Manuals (TM).

Our next trip involved a passenger who had flown in for a dinner meeting and was flying home on the same day. The passenger talked about how her generation had grown up without cell phones, so it made them slower to adopt Uber as a viable transportation option. She suggested that we add some articles that help our passengers and potential passengers navigate the rider app and get fully comfortable using it.

Smiley Sharing Uber St. Louis Ride-a-longs: Overcoming Driver Anxiety

Any time you sit online for a long time without a ride request, it can be easy to succumb to anxiety. Did your app get shut off? Did your data plan get throttled? Do you need to stand on your head in the corner and gargle peanut better to summon your next ping?

Fortunately when they’re that ping does come those anxieties stop, and you can focus your energy on providing five-star service. It can take time to get back into the flow, but it will happen. We also suggest that you check regularly to ensure that your Uber app is up-to-date. If you don’t have the most recent version of the Uber app installed on your phone, you won’t get any pings.

On a sidenote for all your drivers out there, if you feel like you’re waiting too long to get a ping, it’s best to go ahead and take a break from the app. Go to the restroom, grab something to eat, call a loved one, relax—do whatever you need to do to be refreshed and ready for your next ping when you go online again.

Smiley Sharing Uber St. Louis Ride-a-longs: Rider Question & Answers

A rider asked a couple of questions about the Uber app, and we thought we would address them.

1. On a previous trip, the Uber driver had trouble finding me. Why did that happen?

The Uber driver probably trouble finding you because of where you were when you requested pickup. Did you enter a specific address, or did you use the pin function? When you use the pin function to request a pickup, the Uber app will direct the driver to the GPS location from which you requested the ride. Ergo, if you’re on the third story at the opposite end of the building from where you want to be picked up and use the pin function to indicate the pickup point, the driver will be waiting for you in the wrong place.

Smiley Sharing Uber St. Louis Ride-a-longs: Airports and Alcohol

2. Another question we get from many riders is this: Why can’t you pick up from the airport? We’ve attached an article below that addresses the reasons why Uber drivers can’t pick up passengers from the airport right now.  Our last passenger was frustrated to the point of tears because she couldn’t get an Uber from the airport. Michael encouraged her to visit Smiley Sharing’s Facebook page because he had shared an article about the status of the rideshare bill. She said that she would contact her local representative and share about it with her network. It was great to be able to provide a resource to a rider and help her recover from a chaotic day.

Creating Jobs with a New Transportation Option for Missourians

We are waiting on legislation to make its way through the Missouri government to allow us to pick people up from the airport. We encourage you to contact your state representatives in the Missouri House and Senate to encourage them to pass the bill. It will improve service and give customers even more options for safe and reliable transportation.

On another note, we’ve encountered passengers who get upset with Michael because he won’t let them bring open containers of alcohol into his vehicle. According to the Uber EULA (End User License Agreement), open containers are not allowed in Uber vehicles, even if there is no city, county, or state law prohibiting open containers of alcoholic beverages in vehicles.

Read: Uber EULA Here

Smiley Sharing Uber St. Louis Ride-a-longs: Additional Driver Tips and Tricks

Michael participates in a national Uber and Lyft Facebook group, and another driver asked, “How do you handle passengers who have multiple stops?”

The driver in question was upset because she missed out on a 50 mile trip because of it. If you find yourself in a similar situation, don’t worry about the trips you miss; instead, focus on the next trip and providing five-star service.

I’m sure you’ve heard recommendations to carry water and mints to offer your riders. Do you know when it might be appropriate or beneficial to offer them? We’ve found that it’s best to first offer mints to passengers who have been picked up from a restaurant. When we’re picking up passengers from a park, sporting event, or anything else that might have made them thirsty, we offer water first.

Smiley Sharing Uber St. Louis Ride-a-longs: The Longest Mile

Towards the end of the shift, Michael felt negativity creeping in. Sometimes there are passengers who treat rideshare drivers disrespectfully, much less tip, and providing five-star service to them can be a challenge, especially when a driver is already exhausted. Fortunately, Michael was self-aware enough to check himself and continue providing the five-star service he prides himself on. It’s important to check yourself—your biases, your negativity, your stressors—and being mindful about working it out so that you can continue providing five-star service to everyone.

If you’ve noticed these things and can’t work them out on your own, don’t be afraid to seek out help. Someone who can help you process your thoughts and feelings, be it a professional, significant other, or even a trusted friend, will make a lot of difference in your mood and the kind of service you provide. Being at your best is great for everyone, especially you!



 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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