For those who avoid cabs in case of chatty drivers, help is here in the form of a quiet mode for Uber. The mode has launched in the US, allowing people who prefer not to chat with their drivers to alert them to this via the app ahead of time, reducing frustration and awkwardness. We explore the insights behind this and why the transport company is introducing a quiet mode for customers.
With the preference selected in the app, drivers can feel at ease knowing their customer’s preferences, as Uber product manager Aydin Ghajar has said that “the reaction of Uber Black drivers was overwhelmingly positive because they want to deliver a great experience to their rider… but they don’t necessarily know what the rider wants”. By reducing the ambiguity, riders who prefer not to chat with cab drivers are made more comfortable, and the drivers can relax knowing that they are providing the ideal service for that particular customer. Some drivers have even requested the mode be made available to them too, so that they can politely inform clients that they prefer not to talk during the ride.
In the context of cities which are increasingly failing to provide adequate public transport options, many start-ups such as Safr have taken the opportunity to offer more niche transport options to cater to the needs of different types of travellers. Whilst Safr offers female-driven rides to people who are anxious about being driven by men, Dubai’s taxi corporation is offering free rides to disabled people in order to make taxi travel and a life outside the home more accessible. Uber’s new quiet mode poses an opportunity for brands to reassess how their employees interact with clients to optimise service for every potential customer.
Kezia Sullivan Kezia Sullivan is a Junior Behavioural Analyst at Canvas 8, with an MSc in Social Cognition, Research and Applications from UCL. She’s previously worked as an event organiser and freelance writer, and in her free time enjoys riding horses and rock climbing.