Ride-hailing apps are perhaps one of the most innovative discoveries in commuting for short and long distances. As it is not so obvious to everyone what ride-hailing apps should be characterised by, we must understand the features of these apps.
When requesting a ride, the passenger only needs to switch on their live location, key in their destination, and track their driver's real-time location as they approach them. The app can track the vehicle as it moves, provided one is connected to the internet. This enables passengers to share their rides with family and friends for security purposes. In the same way, drivers are safe since the service providers track their location.
When using ride-hailing apps, there are multiple ways to pay the driver instead of just cash. In Kenya, these methods include cash, Mpesa(send money, till number, pay bill number, or pochi la biashara), and running a debit or credit card(personal or corporate). These options come in handy since one does not have to worry when they can only access one payment method.
One of the reasons passengers prefer ride-hailing apps to hail a cab on the street, where you can easily be cheated, is price transparency. When using ride-hailing apps, there's the functionality of price estimates even before one confirms an order. This enables one to spend within their limits. The driver and the passenger have a clear amount to pay when the ride is completed, as indicated in the app. This feature avoids price back and forth between the two parties.
This is another interesting feature that comes with ride-hailing apps. The customer and the driver can text and call each other within the app for free. This avoids the unnecessary exchange of personal contacts and maintains professionalism. In addition, the app company can track the communication between the two in case of any incidents.
Both parties are in a position to accept and cancel rides at their discretion before pick-up. Most apps will automatically ask why one is cancelling the ride, and the users can give feedback as per their opinions. This feature allows drivers or passengers to change their minds or simply accept the ride.
On completion of the ride, most apps allow passengers to rate their ride according to their experience and customer service. This is a great way for companies to collect raw and real-time feedback from their end users. It is an opportunity to recognise mistakes, keep up with a good job and change what needs to be changed.
While the above features work and serve the ride-hailing industry, there are a few features that most apps do not have that are necessary for the common mwananchi.
Customer satisfaction is good, but customer consideration and appreciation are better. When a repeat customer gets a discount or a new one is ushered in with a discount, they are most likely motivated to come back and even refer their friends and family. It is important to keep this in mind in any business venture.
A good ride-hailing app will consider a feature of ride scheduling for their customers. This only improves efficiency and reduces time wasted waiting for a ride. Scheduling rides helps the rider and the passenger plan their time.
Referral programs are a great way to attract more users. The best ride-hailing apps, such as Mobi, offer these programs to their users. With Mobi, the referee earns a passive income every time their referral uses the app. Drivers can also invite other drivers to the app and earn an extra shilling!
Although the tipping culture is not widely practised in Kenya, one might be urged to appreciate their driver in monetary terms. An in-app tipping feature comes in handy to make it convenient for both individuals.
Most apps only operate with a stable internet connection due to GPS tracking and Google apps. The inconvenience of not being able to request a ride when one most needs it is horrifying. The best ride-hailing apps should consider adding these offline features for better reach when needed.
Mobi has changed the game with its amazing referral program. The competition will either have to do the same or get pushed out of the market.”