Driving for a rideshare company like Lyft or Uber gives people a ton of freedom. You're an independent contractor, which allows you to make a lot of your own decisions. The freedom is great. It's the reason a lot of us sign up to drive for Lyft/Uber.
The new level of freedom that comes with the job is something that previous job experiences don't always prepare us for. We get to make big decisions every day that determine the success, or lack thereof, of our business.
That leaves a lot of questions out there. After all, the rideshare industry is still relatively new. It's just not possible for companies like Lyft and Uber to train every single driver that they bring on board and simultaneously grow at such a fast rate.
So we've reached out to some experienced rideshare drivers with an entrepreneurial mind set. They've developed their own strategies and tactics to become more efficient, effective and profitable as rideshare drivers. Here's their expert advice in video format:
If you're new to Uber or Lyft, take a look at this video before you ever give a ride. The video, by The Rideshare Guy, is titled "My Number One Piece of Advice for New Uber Drivers" but it applies to Lyft drivers as well. Essentially, you want to take a ride as a passenger so that you understand the ride experience from their perspective. Here are a few takeaways:
- Learn when passengers are notified of your arrival
- Know that passengers are likely tracking your car's movement as soon as the ride is accepted
- Let passengers get settled in your car before asking any questions, don't bombard them with questions
A common concern for new rideshare drivers is keeping their driver rating high. Whether you drive for Uber or Lyft, having a high rating is important for keeping your job and minimizing ride cancellations.
This video explains the number one tip for getting high ratings - being likeable. You can keep your car clean, drive solid routes, and offer bottled water. But if your passengers don't like you they won't give you a good rating. Here are a few tips for being likeable that are covered in the video.
- Make eye contact and ask passengers how they're doing
- Ask the passenger their preferred route
- Match the passengers energy level
- Start with an icebreaker - any more engagement depends on how responsive they are to the icebreaker
If you're new to Lyft or Uber, check out this video for a few basic tips that can make starting out as a rideshare driver much easier. Here are a few of the key tips:
- Give your first few rides when it's not busy (passengers will be in a better mood)
- Have a phone mount. This makes driving safer and using the apps easier.
- Keep your car clean.
- Ask you passengers for advice, see what they look for out of a ride.
There are a few common mistakes that a lot of new Lyft and Uber drivers end up making. If you're a new rideshare driver, this video offers some great advice on what not to do. Here are a few things to avoid:
- Starting the ride before the passenger gets in the car.
- If the passenger takes more than 5 minutes to show up once you arrive, you can cancel and receive a cancellation fee.
- If you cancel a ride, don't accept the same passenger you just cancelled on for the next ride. The passenger will likely be mad about the original cancellation and give you a poor rating (this happens often because ride requests are location based).
Whether you're just starting out or you've given hundreds of rides, here's a video with a few more tips that can save you time and boost your rating as a Lyft/Uber driver.
- Make a good first impression - be friendly and smile.
- Pick your driving times well - between 6-10 am is usually prime time in busy cities.
- Bring a book. If you drive during non busy hours, pick a spot to read at and let the rides come to you.
- Accelerate and break slowly - passengers appreciate a smooth ride.
- Play jazz music for your passengers (they react very well to this genre compared with others).