An Open Letter To Uber’s CEO.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick issued a “profound apology” last week in response to an undercover viral video which showed him berating one of his drivers.In a self-penned statement, he stated that he must “fundamentally change as a leader and grow up”. We’ve penned an open letter to Kalanick, offering some words of wisdom.
Dear Mr. Kalanick,
As experts in the areas of customer loyalty and experience, here at The Monachie Project we can’t help but share a little friendly advice in light of your recent challenges. We think these lessons will be valuable to you, your employees and drivers, and your loyal customers (we’re one of them!)
We’re often asked by clients how they can influence customer loyalty, and encourage their staff to get on board and invest in building great customer relationships. We’re all aware that it’s loyal customers who often generate the most revenue, so we need to continuously engage our customers to help them become more loyal.
But there’s something that’s often overlooked when it comes to loyalty. Business leaders should ask themselves the following question:
“Do you treat your employees like your best customers?”
Here’s what we mean.
While you sit hidden away in your office or boardroom – who’s interacting with your customers? When you think about it, if you want your employees on the front line to invest in the success of your organisation, you need them to buy into the leadership’s vision, goals, and core objectives.
We all need to treat those relationships with the same level of gravitas we give to our customers.
Now, Mr Kalanick, you’ve said time and time again – Uber technically doesn’t employ drivers or buy cars. But we all know that until cars start driving themselves, without drivers and without cars, Uber simply wouldn’t exist.
After watching that recent video, we think there are three key areas of improvement and a few simple questions you can ask yourself:
1. We might harp on about the importance of knowing your ideal customers, but how well do you know your drivers?
Are you really aware of their challenges, struggles, and what keeps them up at night? Are you aware of their expectations? Do you know what their day-to-day experience is like?
It wasn’t fair from you to tell the man in the video that nobody wants to “accept responsibility for their own problems.”
The driver was engaging you in a valid discussion, but it got ugly really quickly. That comment was incredibly disrespectful and demeaning, particularly to someone who contributes to the fattening of your wallet. Empathy always wins whether you’re dealing with customers, vendors, or employees.
2. Are you continually nurturing your drivers in the same way you nurture your best customers?
Are they being heard and given the ability to contribute? Are their opinions valued and considered, or acted upon?
3. Do you know the different strengths and weaknesses of those on the front lines?
It can often be useful for bosses to carry out what’s known as the Undercover Boss exercise (which you’ve already done, but it’s worth sharing again, with some tips on how to do it properly)
Experience the company as your customers do –from start to finish. If you need to, get outside help for this – hey, perhaps we can help you here? Discover if your team is working together. Are there drivers who need encouragement, additional training, accountability, or outside help? What are you doing to help them? Are you drivers trying to usurp your business model by selling their own private services? If so, that’s like a slow cancer eating away the company from the inside.
We’ve seen the video. Given the fact you’re riding in the car, I believe you’re already doing this. But riding in the car is a lot different than purchasing a black car and driving for 10-15 hours a day.
If you want to achieve great results, then you need to pay attention to your most valuable relationships. Your team needs to be constantly engaged and understand they’re being heard.
As a leader, you need to model the type of behaviour and service you expect from your drivers. Most people think customer loyalty and customer retention is something that we do to keep the customer after the sale is made, and that’s flat out wrong.
The Monachie Project
Customer loyalty starts long before you’ve ever made the sale, and everyone plays a role. Everyone!
Business leaders – don’t take matters into your own hands if you don’t understand what you’re doing! Talk to the experts; give us a call! To find out how The Monachie Project can help you to understand the psychology behind customer loyalty in more detail, get in touch with us today.