I haven’t met someone who doesn’t like Uber. Drivers included. Every time I take a ride with Uber I chat up the driver to see how they like it. They love it. They rave about it. They feel liberated. They feel in control. They feel modernized. And they love getting paid faster (and more – Uber takes a smaller cut than a traditional limo/car company).
But what I really love about Uber is how they’ve smartly focused the full experience on the ride, not the ride plus a transaction.
This is a fundamental shift – and a stellar example of designing the whole customer experience.
Cabs and traditional limo rides have always ended with a transaction. They pick you up, but before they drop you off you have to transact. You give them money, or give them a card, you wait, they give you change or charge your card, you have to think about tip, and then you get out. It’s like a retail store, except that I’m not going in to buy something, I just want a ride. That whole process hasn’t been rethought for decades.
Since you store a credit card on file with Uber, and since the Uber rate includes the tip, you just get in the car and get out of the car. The transaction happens, but it doesn’t happen in front of you. It’s not a condition, it’s not a step, it just happens behind the scenes, automatically, so you don’t have to bother. You call for a ride, you get a ride. That’s Uber.
Yes, there’s a downside – you don’t know how much the ride is when you pay for it. But no matter what it is, you’d be paying anyway (you can’t choose not to pay after you get to your destination). This is just about where the transaction happens – in your way or out of your way. Uber bet it’s best out of your way. I think that was the right bet. It was a risk, but they took it and they made the experience better.