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What You Can Learn From the Uber Difference

Posted on 9.30.2015

Uber has taken the transportation industry by storm – becoming many passengers’ preferred way to get from Point A to Point B. This is especially true when it comes to “older” millennials with disposable income. 

But what makes Uber such a hit? For starters, it’s catering (or in some ways propelling) the sharing economy – where resources (like cars, houses or office spaces) are shared. People are comfortable with hopping in a stranger’s car because they know that the driver has been thoroughly vetted by Uber. Despite some major incidents (which the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association is quite happy to report on a dedicated website), Uber is disrupting the transportation industry because of its intuitive app, easy mobile payments and dependability, among other reasons. 

For example, Uber users easily set their pick-up location within the app, as well as what type of car they’d prefer (e.g. if one is going to get their car from the dealership, a Uber X might be fine for them, but if it’s a night on the town, they may splurge by requesting a black car):


Uber users also receive notifications when their driver is arriving, as well as the driver’s name and vehicle type:

The Uber difference is that every pain point of the taxi experience has all been eliminated. Frustrations over taxi drivers not excepting credit or debit cards, complaints over requesting a taxi that never showed up or being haggled on fares by the driver, have been mitigated by Uber. For the unfamiliar, Uber stores a person’s credit card and charges it without any monetary exchange with the driver. 

This is part of the Uber difference. While tips are accepted, Uber drivers don't expect them and they want to maintain high ratings, so they may ask passengers to leave them a five-star review, so drivers are not kicked out of the system if their ratings slip under a certain amount.  

While technology is certainly part of the Uber difference, it's "coolness" factor plays an integral role. After all, when a company starts getting "verb" status (e.g. "Let's Uber it"), it's tough to compete with. What other companies can learn from the Uber difference is that if they aren't mitigating their customer's pain points with their products or services, someone else will. In the case of the taxi industry, that someone was Uber.

What do you think of Uber? How is it better (or worse) than taxi experiences you’ve encountered?




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