The ONE reason Uber will survive in the long run
India is a battleground today. Between two of the taxi giants who are fighting tooth and nail to gain the market share leadership in India. It is a battle of equals, or is it?
While they both have investors pouring money into them- and they are waging a battle of epic proportions, both on the technology front and the infrastructure front.
Think about it.. The way the industry has changed in less than a year –
· App – The Uber app is an experience. But the others are not too much behind. Though they may lack the finesse or the sleekness of the Uber App, their apps are fairly nice and usable as well.
· Building a franchisee of cabs– Instead of investing millions in buying cars and then making them run- as would have been the case otherwise, they have created a new opportunity for these drivers who used to struggle to make ends meet.
· Created an ecosystem of budding entrepreneurs from these drivers, who now, make as much money or more money, than the professionals they ferry around.
But having been on all these cabs over the last few months, I believe, Uber, is going to succeed in the long run.
The reason? Not the technology or the infrastructure they have built. Only this!
The Customer Experience.
The company has thought through every single step. Both from an App perspective, as well as the entire experience the customer goes through in his journey with Uber.
· “Remaking” of the Indian Taxi drivers– This is one of the most difficult challenges to overcome. How do you take people who drive taxis for a living, most of whom have never been through a complete education- and train them to be nice to customers. To be friendly and wish them when the get into the car. Uber has managed to make that happen. Not all drivers, but a better part of them – and that is one of the biggest changes required. Their regular trainings (this I heard from the drivers themselves), is looked forward to by the drivers- and is making an impact. Many speak in English, are more polished, and more importantly, keep their cars fresh and clean.
· The Customer Support team– they blow you away. For a company that is managing so much of business, the speed at which the customer support team responds has been outstanding. And it is usually with a Resolution – instead of asking for more clarifications. And if money has to be refunded, there is no doubt in their mind, and they seem to have been given the authority to take the decisions locally – which allows for instant closure- and delight the customers.
The customer experience has been awesome and something that most companies struggle to provide in their early days. Let alone, sustain it.
If Uber is able to sustain this over a longer period of time, they will be able to carve out a significant niche for themselves.
Of course assuming there is profitability in their business model 🙂