The Customer Is NOT Always Right Part 2: What I Love About Uber Is Not What You Think

Uber, Airbnb and their contemporaries have been lauded for their ingenuity, and multi-billion dollar success. I use them both.

They are the harbingers of what’s coming, a revolution of old to new world business. We’re seeing this in other industries – Tesla for automobiles, SpaceX for space travel – not just a change or a cool alternative, these businesses are transforming the entire way the industry works, ultimately innovating the others completely out of business.

And as a side note, this is a huge opportunity for all of us.

What I like about Uber and Airbnb, however is perhaps not what makes most of the news stories.

After every ride with Uber a screen pops up asking you to rate your driver from one to five stars. Of course we see public reviews of products and services on Google, Yelp, Amazon, etc. all the time.

What we haven’t seen before is, the Uber driver gets to rate you! Your conduct as a customer is ranked by the driver from one to five stars and every other driver gets to see it. Aha. 

They’re not alone. After your stay in an airbnb dwelling you are ranked by the owner and they write comments on their experience with you.

I LOVE this! Soon-to-be-gone are the days of being a snotty customer, treating service providers like slaves. It’s not in every business yet but I predict this will soon spread to other businesses.

The internet, smartphones and apps have laid the groundwork for you to be  held accountable, known for your conduct as a consumer, good, bad or otherwise.

The message for all of us, business and consumer alike is simple and necessary: Grow up.

It’s not hard, it’s just the Golden Rule: Treat people the way you want to be treated. 

Larry Winget summed up all of Customer Service perfectly: “Be nice.” 

Who knew? 

I would extend this to include Customer Conduct as well.

As I wrote last week, for years we’ve been breeding a society of snotty, “entitled” consumers and this must end.

If you are a business owner or service provider I invite you to look for ways you can use technology to help usher in this new era, a fair rating of your experience with each customer, privacy respected of course.

I am certainly not against customers, nor am I for businesses taking advantage of this.

I am for accountability, on both sides. I’m against placating bad behavior just to get someone’s business.

One caveat for both sides. We need to develop a way to at least respond to, if not alter or remove dishonest or bogus reviews because they do and will happen.

I welcome the coming evolution toward greater accountability. If you’re an emotionally mature person or business this will be a great opportunity.

Mike in his hometown in Virginia. (Photo by Scott Peacock)
Mike in his hometown in Virginia. (Photo by Scott Peacock)

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Live Truly, Truly Live,


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