Driver tips: how to increase and maintain a good driver rating

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Oh, those ratings. Rideshare and delivery companies use them to see how well drivers perform their duties based on what passengers, restaurants, and delivery customers have experienced when working with them.

Depending on whether you do rideshare, delivery, or both, ratings have an impact on your status with your company, and ultimately, your income. That’s why we’ve put together this post, in which we offer tips and tricks for keeping your ratings not only up to snuff, but through the roof – bringing you more perks, bonuses, and gratuities from your passengers and customers, too. 

Based on driver experience and our research, here’s what we found:

  • Driver ratings breakdown: the ins and outs of having a good or bad driver rating
  • The fast track to victory: knowing where to drive, and when
  • Tips for increasing your driver rating

Driver ratings breakdown: the ins and outs of having a good or bad driver rating

There are two ways to look at driver ratings. One is the bare minimum you must maintain to stay on your company’s platform; the other is how getting the highest ratings possible can bring you various kinds of perks. Some of them even offer you a chance to earn more money.

We’ll go through the four largest companies to describe their rating systems, discuss minimum standards, and highlight their rewards programs, including what they have to offer.

Lyft

Lyft uses the last 100 rides a driver has completed to calculate the driver’s rating. The company takes ratings very seriously, and expects all drivers to maintain an overall rating of 4.8 or better. If you haven’t had 100 rides yet, Lyft will calculate your rating using all the rides you have completed. 

You’ll get an email each week telling you what your Lyft driver rating is, and if it’s less than 4.8, you will receive a warning. If there is no immediate improvement, you could be deactivated. 

When you do keep up your rating, and you rack up points based on the amount of money you earn, you’ll get benefits from Lyft’s rewards program, such as: 

  • Enhanced in-app capabilities, like seeing how long a trip will be before accepting it;
  • Extra chances to use destination mode;
  • Savings on roadside assistance and auto service.

These graphics from the Lyft website provide a closer look at how it works:

Uber and Uber Eats

Uber requires that you keep your star rating above 4.6 for Uber X, and higher for the other tiers of driving. If you slip below these ratings, you’ll get a warning from Uber and could be deactivated. Uber uses the last 500 rides to calculate your overall star rating – which means the 2.0 you got for missing a turn six months ago will be in play longer than you might like. 

Fortunately, as long as you stay at that minimum rating, you’ll be able to benefit from Uber Pro, the platform’s rewards program. To accommodate rideshare and delivery drivers, Uber has two distinct rewards programs. Let’s begin by looking at the rideshare side.


You get points for every ride you complete. At peak periods and select times that Uber designates, one ride can be worth 3 points; at other times rides will be worth just 1 point. When they’re added up, you reach the different levels, as they’re shown in the following graphic from the Uber website.

Everybody starts out at the “blue” level. The more you drive, and the better your driver rating is, the more you’ll get from the program. As you can see, you must keep your cancellation rate at 3 percent or lower. To hold onto your level, your Uber driver acceptance rate and Uber Eats driver acceptance rate must be 85 percent or higher. Points are reset every three months, so to keep your level you also have to keep completing the number of points required.

Here are the benefits for each level:

Now, let’s look at Uber’s rewards program for delivery drivers, Uber Eats Pro. This program is for drivers who do Uber Eats deliveries but don’t do rideshare. (Uber rideshare drivers who also deliver can count delivery trips toward their Uber Pro status.) Uber Eats Pro is still rolling out, and is not yet available in all locations.

Uber Eats Pro also has four tiers, but they’re slightly different from Uber Pro. Uber Eats Pro tiers begin with Green, then move on to Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. Lunch deliveries earn 3 points, dinner deliveries earn 6, and all others count for 1 point. Your satisfaction rating from customers and restaurants must be 95 percent or better to qualify for the program. 

Because the program is so new, the full range of benefits hasn’t been disclosed. This graphic shows what the rewards will include, but doesn’t list all that might eventually be available:

You’ll earn points during fixed periods of one month each, and points reset to zero at the end of each month. But if you reach a certain level before the end of the month, you’ll get your benefits right away and keep them for the following month, too. 

DoorDash

DoorDash requires drivers to maintain a customer rating of 4.2 or higher; those who don’t will be deactivated. In addition to this, Dashers must maintain a completion rate of 80 percent. There is no minimum acceptance rate, but Dashers can also be deactivated for chronic lateness.

DoorDash is proactive about keeping its drivers happy. There is an incentive program called Top Dasher, and to qualify, drivers must have:

  • A 4.7 or higher customer rating
  • A 70 percent acceptance rate or higher
  • A 95 percent completion rate
  • 100 deliveries completed in the last month
  • 200 or more lifetime deliveries completed.

An important benefit of this program is the ability to have 24/7 access to “Dash Now,” which allows Dashers to get out there and start dashing rather than waiting until it is sufficiently busy. When business is slow, top Dashers will be prioritized to receive calls for deliveries.

DoorDash drivers are added only on the 1st of each month. If a driver meets the criteria early in the month, the stats have to be there until the last day to ensure eligibility for the following month. The stats have to be met each month to retain Top Dasher status.

All Dashers benefit from DoorDash partnerships with companies, with discounts on resources ranging from car maintenance to car rental,  and financial services. Check the DoorDash website for all the current details.

Grubhub

Grubhub operates differently from DoorDash; although it relies on scheduling blocks, it also allows all drivers to go on the app to accept deliveries at any time. The company closely watches a driver’s attendance rate for the blocks they choose, and rates them on this and other factors, including acceptance rate and completion rate. 

Grubhub uses these stats to set priorities for the assignment of delivery blocks, as well as to evaluate drivers for the rewards program – or for potential deactivation. Drivers cannot see their ratings, but Grubhub keeps track of them and uses them for these purposes. The grounds for deactivation are spelled out in the company’s terms of use document.

With its rewards program, Grubhub (similarly to DoorDash) offers perks to all drivers. These include discounts on health and wellness services, investment advice, a music library, and automotive maintenance and repair.

Drivers get more rewards through Grubhub’s Driver Recognition Program. The incentives offered are greater access to large orders, priority scheduling, and first dibs on calls for deliveries. There are three levels, as you can see in this graphic from the Grubhub website:

Drivers are able to see which tier they are in through the driver app.

If you’d like to see more about the comparison between DoorDash and Grubhub, check this Gridwise blog post.

The fast track to victory: Knowing where and when to drive 

So how does a driver get into a winning position with these companies? Obviously, they’re offering a carrot and stick to you. You drive more, you (and they) earn more, and you get more. If you let your ratings slip … you lose. There is plenty that drivers can do to keep up their ratings, and we’ll get to some specifics shortly. For now, let’s cover two basic “do’s” related to rideshare and delivery driving.

You have to time your shifts, including any delivery blocks you might schedule, so they coincide with times when you’ll have steady, solid business. You’ll also want to plot out your driving locations as much as you can, so you’re in the areas where there will be the most demand for rideshare and/or delivery services.

Until recently, these two factors were not always easy to identify without going through the long and painful process of trial and error. Gridwise now has two great new features that hand you this information, right from the Gridwise app. The soon-to-be-released feature, Where to Drive, will give you current and historical data on the “hot spots” in your area. Our When to Drive feature shows you the best times to drive in your location based on earnings per hour, trips per hour, and earnings per trip. 

In case you don’t have Gridwise yet, the app also offers these useful tools:

  • Airport information: arrivals, departures, and the lengths of wait queues
  • Weather  information and alerts
  • Traffic alerts
  • Gas deals: save up to $0.25 per gallon with Gridwise Gas
  • Event information: everything you need to know about local events
  • Seamless tracking of your earnings, expenses and mileage, all compiled in readable, practical graphs like these:

When you use Gridwise and its helpful features, you’re well on your way to being a top driver. But for good measure, let’s go into some more tips that will get your ratings – and your rewards – up to “winner” levels. 

Tips for increasing your driver rating

Most driving companies (and drivers) will state that keeping your ratings up is a fairly straightforward matter. Three words every driver should remember are: “Do your job.”

In other words, put yourself in the position of the people who rely on you and perform the way you’d expect someone in your position to perform. You want to be alert, cheerful, and accommodating to the greatest degree possible. 

You’ll also need to be clear about your role and set boundaries when you need to do that. All of this can be done with a professional, friendly attitude. Even if you don’t feel like driving on a given day, act like it anyway. People will treat you much better, and your earnings will reflect your efforts.

Now for more pointed tips on keeping your ratings up as close to 5 stars as you can get them…

For both rideshare and delivery drivers

Learn your apps. Even seasoned drivers may not know everything about the apps they use – but customers wish they did. You might be missing out on a feature that brings you more business or would prevent confusion that could frustrate you and your customers.

Know your area. Whether you’re a city driver or a suburban roamer, knowing where you are goes a long way toward serving your customers the best way possible.

Be courteous. There will be days when your tongue gets bitten to a pulp, but if you take the high road in your interpersonal interactions, you’ll always come out ahead.

Dress presentably. No, that doesn’t mean you have to strain your budget to buy a closet full of designer clothes. But would you want to deal with someone wearing mismatched, torn, and stained garments? When you look presentable, people will rate you higher.

Know what’s going on in your area. Be aware of big events, traffic problems, road closures, and weather conditions. When you’re on top of these things, you can serve your customers better, and save you stress and frustration, too. Remember: Using Gridwise will help!

For rideshare drivers

Keep your car clean. Have you seen those compliments customers can give you? There’s one for a clean vehicle – and more than a few complaints about dirty ones. It only takes a small bit of effort to keep your car looking spiffy, inside and out. And don’t forget, the cost of cleaning your car is tax-deductible.

Offer amenities. For a very small fee, you can offer water, simple snacks, hand sanitizer, and cleaning wipes to your customers. They’ll appreciate you, pump up your ratings, and maybe even tip you more.

Do the little extras. Many of your passengers could use your help. Offer to carry grocery bags, maneuver packages, or help to load luggage. Get out and hold their umbrella over them while they get in or out of your vehicle. Of course, if the customer would rather you don’t touch them or their stuff, you should not insist. The offer alone can often be enough to earn you extra stars. 

Be a good conversationalist, with healthy boundaries. The art of conversation for drivers is crafted from the desires of their passengers. Some will want to talk to you like you’re their bartender or hair stylist, while others will prefer to ride in silence. Respect your passengers’ wishes at all times. Follow company guidelines about topics of conversation, and never make it too personal or uncomfortable for your customers.

Be kind to people of all ages. It isn’t always easy to be patient with a child whose muddy feet are marking up your seats, or an older person who takes more than a few seconds to get out of the car. But if you serve them with a smile, you’ll not only have a clear conscience, you’ll also keep your ratings up.

Provide information about your town. Not everybody knows the best places to go to eat, drink, or have a good time in your area. Your passengers may be new in town or visiting, and then there are college students from all over the world. You might want to print up a list of things to do, interesting sights to see, or great places to imbibe for your passengers. They’ll get out of the vehicle feeling welcomed and well prepared for the days and nights ahead.

For delivery drivers

Dress appropriately. We’re talking about the weather more than your style here. If it’s pouring down rain, use gear that will keep you from becoming a wet, sopping mess. Whether you traipse into a restaurant or slog through someone’s lawn to get to the door, you’ll be far more welcome if you’re not soaked to the bone.

Collect the condiments. When you pick up an order, be sure to also get the condiments and utensils your customer needs. You might think they have their own at home, but most people appreciate the thoughtfulness you show by bringing along extra napkins, straws, or salt packages.

Say hello. Even in a crowded restaurant, and maybe especially so, the staff will rate you better if you do more than just grunt out the customer’s name, grab the bag, and go. You’re likely to see many of these people more than once, and your friendly face and kind words will inspire them to rate you well.

Honor customers’ wishes. Pay close attention to every order to see how a customer wants you to deliver the package. Some will want you to leave it outside, while others will want you to ring the doorbell and hand it to them. Doing it right will lift your ratings and get you better tips, too.

Be kind and friendly at the door. Without carrying on long conversations, greet your customers with a smile and a friendly “hello.” Make sure they have everything they need, and show your gratitude for their business.

Get the right equipment. If you’re going to be carrying food in your car, you need to have thermal bags and beverage holders to keep food at the right temperature and avoid spills. This Gridwise post will clue you in on some items you may not have thought of on your own.

We know you probably have some other ideas about how to raise ratings, and we’d love to hear from you! Leave us a comment here, or join us on Facebook to carry on this and other discussions with our incredible community of drivers!

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Related Posts

Download Gridwise today

For iOS and Android

Earn $300+ more each week by knowing where passenger demand will be

Download the free app today!