A wise old man once preached:
“It’s easy enough to settle the financial issues that come with running a business. What’s hard, unbelievable as it sounds, is keeping the general satisfaction level high. And by that, I mean the most important aspects of a business: the staff and the customers.”
And while the wise old man does get exceptionally lazy (even sleazy) at times, his words don’t get any truer. After all, there’s a reason why there’s the saying:
Customer is king.
Alas, it seems that Grab, following its acquisition of former rival company Uber, seems to understand this notion with their latest move.
After facing growing criticism from not its rival companies, but its own riders and drivers, Grab has taken steps to bridge the ever-increasing gap between both groups.
In an attempt to improve customer experience, the ride-hailing service giant has announced an intention to grant 100 reward points to customers whose rides are cancelled.
The points, which are categorised under Grab’s GrabRewards programme, are exchangeable for discounts on rides, or deals at its partner merchants. In elaboration, users with 2,200 points may choose to redeem S$5 off a Grab ride, for example.
This programme will start from 8 Oct, and last till 31 Dec across all services save for the GrabHitch carpooling service.
Additionally, an automatic re-booking feature, which helps riders locate a new driver after a cancellation, was previously launched in July (oh yes that is soooooo needed).
Grab has also launched a test to let riders change their drop-off point halfway through a trip. Prices will be updated based on the new drop-off point, and drivers will be notified of the change immediately.
Why This Rules
Chances are, if you’ve taken a Grab ride, you might have been matched with a driver who’s “dropping off a passenger”.
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And if that happens, good luck: there’s a possibility that the driver has auto-accepted your ride, and after seeing that you’re going to Mars, he’ll cancel on you.
In other words, you’ve just waited five minutes to be cancelled.
Now, with this reward system, at least you know your wait isn’t in vain.
But it’s not just the customer
Because apparently, the driver is king too.
Following feedback that drivers tend to cancel trips because of a distance to pick-up points, Grab has introduced an S$3 “spot bonus” to drivers who “travel more than 3km to pick up a rider”.
“The spot bonus, along with other initiatives, has already seen cancellation rates go down by 20 per cent since we launched (it) a month ago,” Grab Singapore head Lim Kell Jay told TODAY.
Also, the company’s running a “grand jackpot” campaign which rewards all GrabCar and GrabTaxi drivers who clock at least 10 rides (with five-star ratings) and do not cancel any rides from 15 to 21 Oct. Successful drivers will get to share a grand prize pool of S$25,000.
Is it enough incentive though?
The rewards might be there, but the pressing question continues:
Is it enough?
According to Grab users, it might just not be enough.
Postgraduate student Eva Tan, 24, said that it was “not really attractive, as 100 points is meagre”.
Copywriter Emilia Tan, 23, expressed that the reward makes no difference, seeing how there have been changes to the GrabRewards programme, and that users now need more points than before to redeem prizes.
However, there has been a positive reception to the ‘change in drop-off point’ function, which catered especially well to family emergencies.
Grab drivers, however, do not seem to be convinced. Driver Vanessa Tiffany, 43, felt that $3 is not enough to cover driver’s costs, especially during traffic cock-ups.
“There’s no point going all the way just because of S$3,” she said.
Additionally, drivers now get S$150 for completing 100 trips a week. This pales in comparison to the S$600 they get last year for completing the same number of trips.
“Only the incentives will give (drivers) peace of mind,” she said.
Of course, we’ve got to understand that it’ll never be enough.
Go-Jek Coming By this Month
Lest you’re not aware, this month is going to be lit.
At least in the ride-hailing industry.
Go-Jek might be launched this month, and given that they are valued at USD$5 billion, they could well be the competitor that could shake the industry.
Now, let’s wait and see.
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