The Five Star Auto Driver

By September 2, 2013 Autos No Comments
Pic courtesy

Pic courtesy

Since five star evokes visions of opulent hotels and spendthrift customers, it behooves me to disenchant readers from that connotation. This post is about ratings. The five star auto rickshaw driver is one who scores a perfect five (on a 5-star rating scale) time and again.

Ratings are at the heart of the mGaadi service experience. Our brand promise to commuters is simple – rate every trip/driver and the pool of rated drivers grows rapidly and higher rated drivers increasingly get assigned to more trips. Voila! Commuter delight.

What’s in it for the drivers besides the promise of more customers? Our answer is a whole range of ratings-based incentives but that’s fodder for a different post.

Back to the auto rickshaw driver, what are the patterns of behavior that could yield him a five star rating?
For starters, here’s our shortlist of dos and donts.

  1. Agreeing to commuter’s destination and not asking for extra money (at the start of or during a trip).
  2. Presence of a functional and accurate meter
  3. Safe driving (no jumping signals or risky maneuvers)
  4. Polite interactions with commuter

Our product workflow has been designed such that when an mGaadi Driver arrives to pick up a commuter, he has already agreed to the destination and not demand extra money (point #1 above). The GPS tracking enables us to validate that the auto rickshaw meter is accurate (point #2 above). Upon trip completion, the commuter’s most important todo is to rate the driver/trip. If behaviors #3 and #4 are not satisfactory, the driver may not get a five star rating. The following behaviors are also likely to result in a lower rating.

  • Driving constantly talking on mobile phone.
  • Driver not having sufficient change.
  • Driver refusing to stop smoking even after commuter’s exhortation.
  • Limited cartographic knowledge leading to commuter angst and delay.
The mGaadi team believes that the five star auto driver is not a unicorn, at least in Namma Bengaluru. Based on several hundred conversations and interviews with commuters and drivers, we believe there are thousands of auto rickshaw drivers who dont demand extra money. How big is this segment of auto drivers? We don’t know yet but they are obviously a great match with the mGaadi philosophy and we are constantly seeking (and recruiting) them into our network.
This is where you (Bangalore commuter and resident) come in to the picture. We are going to start a Calling Bangalore’s Five Star Auto Drivers campaign and we need your help. Every time you have a satisfactory auto rickshaw commute (i.e. a driver scoring high on the above 4-point shortlist), we urge you to capture the driver’s name and mobile number and send to us – either as  a comment on this post, on our Facebook page or on our Twitter feed.

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