Big changes taking place during Uber’s “180 Days of Change”
Uber, as a result of its “180 Days of Change” program, has decided to make some changes when it comes to the driver experience. The company introduced the “180 Days of Change” campaign in June when it finally decided to add tipping to its app, something that the drivers had been asking for years. This was considered as the first step in the line of upcoming changes that Uber is trying to make in an attempt to reduce driver turnover and increase the quality of driver experience. Slowly slowly, Uber is rolling out more features such as trip type preferences, long trip notifications and more driver destinations. The campaign is already yielding positive results, with riders embracing the new tipping feature.
Rachel Holt, Uber’s US and Canada manager, said that they are expecting to hit $50 million in tips for drivers by the end of the week. She continued by saying that the company launched the tipping feature on a trial basis in just 3 cities 2 months ago while the feature got available all over the US just last month thus making its success in such a short period of time even more exciting and satisfying .
The success of the tipping feature
The $50 million in tips is a big deal. Lyft has been using this feature for many years now and just recently hit the $250 million mark. Apart from the tipping option, Uber also introduced the 24/7 phone service feature for its drivers. So far more than 200.000 drivers have used the driver support line where, on average, have to wait for 30 seconds for an agent to be available. 85% of the drivers said that are very satisfied and happy with the experience.
By making these changes, Uber is trying to add more flexibility to the driver experience. For someone who is not super familiar with what the driver experience entails, all these might look mysterious.However, they are pretty straightforward since they are putting emphasis on the freedom drivers need when managing their day. Aaron Schildkrout, Uber’s head of driver product, pointed out that drivers have been choosing to work for Uber because it allows them to work on their own terms without a boss; work that is always available when they want it and that can adapt to their lives. He concluded by saying that this is the exact reason why Uber is paying so much attention to flexibility.
Emphasis on flexibility
Until recently drivers were only able to set a destination just twice a day. However, from now on drivers have the option to set up to 6 on a single day, which can be scheduled for wherever the driver wants to go, without having to set them last minute. Destinations offer the benefit that Uber will only offer up rides from and to the particular destination, enabling drivers to optimize their route back home or wherever they might want to go instead of having to stop accepting rides to get to where they want to be.
The next step that Uber introduced was offering the driver the opportunity to accept only the trips the driver wants by selecting the ones he/she prefers from the available trip options. For example, this could be UberX or Uber Select or Deliveries or any combination of all the available options. The Uber app will use a circular meter describing how the drivers’ choice will affect the available ride pool regarding demand. This is a great feature since it allows drivers to choose Deliveries if they don’t feel like talking to people or they don’t want to deal with UberPool.
The final feature Uber added is long trip notifications. In the past drivers didn’t have the option to know how long the trip was going to be since only after the beginning of the trip would they be able to see the final destination.That was Uber’s attempt to prevent destination discrimination. Even though long trip notifications will still not show the end destination, they will inform the driver whether the trip is expected to last longer than 45 minutes. Holt said that even though most drivers prefer long trips since they get the chance to earn more money, they also want the ability to plan a bathroom break or refuel the car. As a result this new feature can be proven very helpful to them.
There are many more steps to be taken since Uber’s campaign has been in existence for 60 days out of the 180 days planned originally.