Unless you’re totally new to rideshare driving, we don’t have to tell you how important it is to keep your driver rating high. Each and every passenger you have gets the opportunity to rate you, and most of them will.
You typically have to keep ratings at a certain minimum, which is a good reason to keep reading so you can discover how to improve your ratings. Here’s what we’ll cover:
- the importance of the driver rating
- basic care and courtesy points
- scoring the five-star drive
- drive at the top of your game
The importance of driver ratings
Ratings for rideshare drivers are more than just a point of pride. Your driver rating determines where you are in the “pecking order.” Highly rated drivers get first priority from their app’s algorithm when it comes to assigning rides. They also get more perks and higher rankings in programs such as Uber Pro and Lyft Rewards for drivers.
While it’s almost impossible to have a perfect rating, you’re expected to meet minimum requirements. Companies state these rather clearly, and they enforce them quite diligently.
Uber drivers must maintain a rating of 4.6 or higher, while Lyft drivers are encouraged to maintain a rating of 4.8 or better. Low ratings will be flagged by the company, and drivers may be asked to take measures to bring them up—or face deactivation.
The days of passengers being grateful simply because you showed up are over. In 2022 and beyond, you have to hustle if you want to stand out and give your passengers memorable experiences that will yield high driver ratings.
Basic care and courtesy points
Everyone gets low ratings from time to time. Crabby customers, or those with unreasonable demands, tend to give drivers fewer stars than they might deserve. There are some situations you won’t be able to change, but there are also many ways to cover your bases and make it hard for passengers to give you anything less than a Lyft or Uber five-star rating. Here are some basic, common sense issues to consider.
- Cleanliness: Even if you get your vehicle washed every few days and vacuum it regularly, a lot of stuff can accumulate in your backseat over the course of a shift. Make it a point to check for gum wrappers, ticket stubs, store receipts, and lost articles after each ride. Wipe down those muddy shoe marks and greasy handprints, too.
- Car maintenance: No one wants their Lyft or Uber car to have a breakdown or run out of fuel. Keep your car in working order. It’s an investment you can’t afford to skimp on.
- Courtesy: Always greet your passengers warmly, confirming their names and that they’re in the right car. Treat them with respect, even when you have to establish boundaries with those who are impaired or unruly.
- Navigation: As a driver, you know your GPS is going to show you a good route to your destination. However, your passenger might have a different idea about what the “best” way might be. Ask if there’s a route they’d prefer and be willing to take their suggestion if they ask you to do so.
- Safety: Drive like you have your own child (or grandma) in your back seat. Obey traffic laws and speed limits, drive defensively, and do not indulge in road rage. Also, remind riders to wear their safety belts.
- Comfort: Ask your customer if they’d like a temperature change, shift in musical choice, or volume adjustment, and do your best to comply with their wishes.
- Conversation: Let the passenger take the lead on how much, if any, conversation you’ll have. There may be times when you don’t feel like talking, but if you carry on friendly convos with your pax, you’ll make a better impression. If any of your customers would rather have a quiet ride, make sure you give it to them.
- Appearance: No one expects you to be dressed to the nines, but you should be decently clothed in clean, respectable duds, with other signs of good grooming eminently evident.”
- Aroma awareness: Your car will pick up smells from your passengers, from food they’re carrying to their post-workout scent, and whatever they might have been smoking. Carry an effective air freshener, and use it regularly to prevent your car from committing olfactory offenses.
- Proactive measures: If you know you’re going to get a low rating from a customer who has been unreasonable, be proactive. Remember, you can rate your passengers, too. In extreme cases, it pays to contact your company and describe your customer’s unruly behavior before they get a chance to complain about you.
If you stick to these basics, you’ll have a hard time slipping below those company minimums, and you’ll know how to be a good Uber driver or Lyft rideshare hero. But if you’re interested in making your ratings soar, there’s more you can do.
Scoring the five-star drive
Drivers call the overall five-star rating the “Holy Grail” because it’s so difficult to achieve. You may not get all the way to a 5.0, but you can raise your ratings to a 4.95 or higher with some of these extra measures:
- Take a positive attitude: While this sounds so obvious, it might be the hardest thing for a driver to maintain. Your people skills are the key to being a successful Uber driver or Lyft superstar. Develop a thick skin and a big heart, and you’ll give customers great things to say about you.
- Provide amenities: When you’re in the backseat of a rideshare car, isn’t it nice when the driver offers you water, mints, hand sanitizer, or other little essentials? Your passengers will delight in being treated to the little things that make their rides more pleasant.
- Offer basic conveniences: Phone chargers, a flashlight, and recommendations for good places to go should always be available to your riders. You might want to have pen and paper handy for those who want to jot down notes, too. Having these little things on hand can be an effective Uber and Lyft rating driver.
- Open doors for passengers: When you can, it’s always nice to make it easy for your passenger to enter the car. This is especially true for those who might have problems getting around or who need crutches or a walker. Make passengers feel valued from the moment they approach your vehicle, and they will remember you.
- Help with luggage and shopping bags: Always offer to help people load their extras into your car. Since it’s your vehicle, you have the most experience with effectively stashing things, and your kind and insightful hand is bound to earn you extra rating points.
- Provide entertainment: Consider installing a backseat tablet such as Play Octopus, so your customers have something to do while they’re waiting in traffic after a big event, or want to keep themselves busy on a long-range ride.
- Furnish personal care items: If you’re a nighttime driver that hits the bar scene, sick bags are very important to have on hand. A simple first aid kit could also save the day if a passenger has a minor cut or needs some Neosporin. Avoid doling out meds, though, including the over the counter kind. You never know what someone might accuse you of giving them, even if it was just a baby aspirin. Cough drops are pretty safe, and people appreciate them year round. Just make sure they’re in their original wrappings.
- Gently suggest a good rating: There’s a fine line between encouraging high ratings and sounding as though you’re begging for them, so tread lightly here. It doesn’t hurt to remind your customers how important it is for you to know you did a good job, and to point out how they can do that for you. You can read more about these and other ways to get good ratings, and tips, in this Gridwise blog post.
Drive at the top of your game
Getting and keeping good ratings depends on your ability to be the best driver you can be. You need to know what’s going on in your area and the best ways to get around traffic. Keep yourself equipped with deals and discounts that make your driving gig easier. Make sure you’re tracking the miles you drive – including the miles with passengers in the back seat – with Gridwise’s free mileage tracker.
Drivers also use Gridwise to:
- see event information, including starting and let-out times
- get airport details, such as the number of flights departing and arriving
- track earnings and expenses
- find deals and discounts on everything from gas to car maintenance, healthcare, and insurance.
Top-rated drivers always drive with Gridwise to keep them at the top of the gig driving game.