Hailing a ride with Uber is as easy as tapping a button. But getting customer support from the transportation giant has historically been far from easy.
Uber is trying to close that difficulty gap by bring all of its customer support inside the Uber app and moving away from the [email protected] email system it’s relied on since the beginning of the company.
It may not sound like a huge change at first, but the new system is going to mean that your problems with Uber — whether it be improper ride cancellation fees, a lost purse, or an erratic driver — get resolved faster and more efficiently.
The shift away from email-based customer support is also an important step in Uber’s evolution from a scrappy San Francisco startup to multi-billion dollar enterprise that facilitates millions of trips per day across 69 countries. Moving away from email is also aimed at improving the customer support experience in countries like China and India, where people rely less on using email every day.
The help menu in Uber’s app is being upgraded with the ability to message customer support directly, see your detailed trip history with receipts, and report all kinds of issues without ever having to open an email.
“The old system added a bunch of friction to actually getting to the classification of the issue and ultimately the right response,” said Michael York, Uber’s head of “customer obsession,” in an interview with Tech Insider.
A typical example of the email system’s inefficiencies is a passenger emailing Uber the morning after a ride to say they had an issue with their driver. Not only would Uber have no idea what specific ride they were referring to without guessing and asking them to confirm, but its reps would then have to pass the ticket between internal groups as the customer explained the problem in more detail.
Every step that requires more back and forth in the customer support process means that issues take longer to resolve. With the new in-app messaging system it’s been quietly testing in areas like New York City, Uber says its ability to resolve an issue with the first response is at an all time high.
After Uber has phased out email completely, which it’s starting to do now in the US before moving to other countries, it will be able to assign the right support rep to a case in under a second, explained York. Issues that don’t require human interaction, like cancellation fee refund requests, can be fully automated while written complaints can have keywords analysed to make sure they’re seen by the right teams at Uber.
Another benefit of Uber’s new support system that requests that used to require you sending an email, like getting your Uber rider rating, will be fully automated in the app.
Uber improving its customer support will hopefully help address the company’s
ongoing issue of driver misconduct. Uber has said that it doesn’t want to replace 911 in real emergencies involving its service. But its new ability to quickly address customer complaints should help the company continue to grow without frustrating customers along the way.