Customer Service and Care: What Uber Uganda Can Learn From Safe Boda
My first, and probably best experience, with Uber was in Nairobi, Kenya. The experience was so good that when I heard the news about Uber joining the Ugandan market, I was ecstatic. And Uber did launch in Uganda.
Late night outs were no longer a hassle because Uber had our back. Prices were affordable, service was reliable. Life was good.
This was around February this year.
Meanwhile, Safe Boda had been snatching my heart from late last year. This was about the time ‘the new Safe Boda app’ was launched. Having used the Safe Boda app before, I was curious about what they meant by new. And so I did what any sane human being would do, I downloaded the Safe Boda app. AGAIN.
The first time I used the new Safe Boda app, I understood why they called it that. The experience was completely different from what I had encountered before. Being the pessimist that I am, I waited for the other shoe to drop. It didn’t, not in the way I expected anyway.
Safe Boda has a star rating system where customers can rate their riders – there was a time that I had a terrible ride, so I rated the rider with 2 stars. An employee from Safe Boda called me to find out why I rated the rider 2 stars.
This is just one example, of many, of Safe Boda’s exceptional customer care.
A few months down the road, and I can’t use an Uber alone. What this basically means is I am that person that is always begging people to escort me home. Some days I am lucky and the person covers the bill, and most days I have to pay a double fare for myself and the Good Samaritan that takes me home.
I wasn’t in the room when Uber was started (obviously), but I don’t think this is what they were going for.
Obviously, there is a good chance that I am biased which is why I looked around for anyone else an Uber disservice might have happened to.
I also looked for evidence to support my theory that Uber can learn a thing or two from Safe Boda.
It is with this, that I came to the conclusion that Uber can learn a thing or two from Safe Boda’s Customer Service and Care;
Response to customers: I haven’t specified to response rate, because there a number of factors that go into that which are probably above my pay grade. As a customer however, I think responding to a customer’s complaint is important. On more than one occasion, I have been left to figure/sort out my Uber issue on my own which is rude to say the least. I have also seen people have to remind Uber Uganda to respond to their queries. Why, for example, is this happening? In 2017?
Train the drivers well: Complaints about Uber Uganda drivers are pretty much the order of the day. I almost once got beaten by a driver because I didn’t have change. Surely, having change is not my job as a customer. The way that Uber Uganda drivers behave is so unprofesh, it’s unbelievable. When I use Safe Boda, it is clear that the riders have been well trained – on how to behave with customers, how to get change (turns out it doesn’t call for any violence whatsoever), among others.
Make it easy for customers to get in touch with you: There is an option to get in touch with a Safe Boda employee (not rider) on the app. They are also easily available on social media, so I will take the time to tweet them because I know that I will get a response.
Give us some promos bambi: As customer, I feel appreciated if I am rewarded. This is not compulsory, and I will continue using your service as long as it is good regardless. If your service is however lacking, this will help you. When I say promos, I don’t mean first free rides. SERIOUSLY Uber, y’all need to move past the first time user free ride discount promotion!
On average, I think I get about 10,000/- credit (minimum) from Safe Boda promotion – the most recent being a promo for the Kampala City Festival. As if these promos are not already great, they are not tied to anything. No terms and conditions; open your app, put in the promo code and you the credit is yours. As a regular, I am almost certain that there will be a Safe Boda promo this weekend since I spotted an event that they are sponsoring. Banange, thank you in advance.
I have a meeting this evening, and it might end late. Since Safe Boda closes a bit early, I will order my Safe Boda at around 8:30PM. When the rider arrives, I will ask him to start the ride, as I finish up my meeting. No matter how long the wait, he will not complain. And he will take me home safely. And really, that’s all a girl wants.
P.S: I searched Uber Uganda, and Safe Boda on Twitter for the experiences.