Thursday, July 03, 2014

Clients are unaware that ratings impact drivers

Drivers have many conversations with clients about ridesharing. They may discuss how drivers are paid, how fares are calculated, what are hot spots to drive, how often they drive, hours worked, and other aspects of this innovative transportation. What they find interesting is that clients are misinformed about the rating system.

Clients tell me that someone needs to inform them on what could happen if a driver is given a bad rating. Several clients shared they would never give a lower rating if this would get a driver deactivated. Passengers who rate "1" star have no idea this low rating can lower a driver's score. If this score falls below the minimum rating, a driver could get deactivated. 

Riders want to learn the rating system. If drivers are expected to maintain a high score, then they want to know what this score represents. Whereas a few riders on news websites have submitted a "1" on purpose and hoped the driver would get deactivated, there has to be a system set in place to wash out bad ratings over time. 

Riders have given "1" star ratings because a driver talked to them and they didn't want to have a conversation. This low rating and feedback occurred on the Lyft platform. Why was this rider able to rate the passenger a "1" star without following-up with the driver? Lyft is infamous for allowing their drunk riders to rate low. Their drivers have gotten Community Review Flags from these ratings. 

It would be effective to send riders/clients a newsletter to inform them of this rating system. Drivers are worried that multiple low star ratings will eventually sink them. These drivers give their clients "5" star ratings, but then receive 1-3 star ratings.

Riders have a sense of entitlement with this star rating system; they understand the importance of this rating system and know how to use it in their favor. As a result of this, ridesharing drivers are put in an inferior position to impress or get into a mess. Riders who dislike a driver may submit a "1" star rating to avoid riding with them again. 

On the Lyft system, a "1" star rating will avoid matching the two parties in the distant future. On the SideCar system, a rider can block a driver and vice versa. At UberX, a "1" star rating will reduce a driver's overall score. 

For the most part, most clients are unaware that low ratings can get a driver deactivated. This driver likely depends on this ridesharing service to survive. Don't give a "1" star rating because you are having a bad day and you want to take this out on your driver. Don't give a low rating for a driver missing a turn. If a GPS issue on the app positions you a few miles away, it is not the driver's fault. This is an app issue that causes pickup address issues. Give bad ratings for drivers who drive reckless, speed, are rude, inconsiderate, and do other things that are identified as negative. 

The rating system is critical. If a driver fails to maintain the minimum rating, they will get deactivated. Do you feel happy knowing that you got a good driver deactivated for being drunk and obnoxious? Would you give a driver a "1" star for talking to you? For requesting an e-mail to possibly connect you with a job position? Drivers receive low ratings for all types of reasons. Ride app companies expect their drivers to maintain high rating scores or they can get booted out of the system. Please be fair. 

Happy Ridesharing!