What You Can Learn from Uber

Known for its simple upgrade to the taxi experience, Uber gets a considerable amount of media coverage. Uber users love and defend the service, even when headlines reveal negative aspects of the company or the service they provide. Whatever you think of Uber, there's no denying they've made a splash. As you go into the business industry, you can learn a lot from them.

Improve Something Simple

Image via Flickr by zak mc

Instead of worrying about who is driving you home or whether you'll be able to catch a cab, just download an app and grab a ride. Uber upgrades the taxi experience by offering customers an easy way to call a ride. The company took a simple concept that's been around for a long time—a taxi ride—and improved some of the most frustrating aspects of the concept. Look for simple areas of improvement in your business and work from there. Start with what you can learn in business school to delve into the business world.

Ask for Customer Feedback

Uber is known for listening to its customers. They ask for feedback from both riders and drivers, and this is how they keep the Uber experience at its best. Although people have criticized Uber for not doing background checks, Uber uses customer feedback as a way to keep the ride experience safe and positive for everyone. Asking for customer feedback can be tricky, since not all customers are willing to provide it. Try a few tactics (and, like Uber, you can make it a mandatory part of using a service) and see which ones work best for your business.

Don't Hide Things

Uber has been in the media for charging hidden fees and increasing rates to exorbitant amounts ($539 for 18 miles for one Denver Uber customer) during peak transportation hours. While Uber has admitted that they do increase fees during peak hours, the amount of that increased fee shouldn't come as a surprise at the end of the ride, but should be clear before the ride begins. Customers historically do not like hidden fees or businesses that are less than up-front about how much services cost. Stay out of the headlines for this one by learning from Uber's and other companies' mistakes, and be upfront about the costs of your services.

Create an Easy Customer Experience

The Uber app is simple and straightforward. One of the easiest ways to lose customers is by making it too difficult to use an integral part of your service. While the lack of a rate display is a major criticism of the app, the overall experience is simple. When developing a customer interface, you want to keep it easy for the customer. Create a good customer experience by listening to customer feedback and work out any kinks or issues your customers may have.

Uber has benefitted from positive press and weathered negative headlines, but it's clear they aren't going anywhere. The simplicity of their concept and their excellent customer service model are great sources of inspiration for people new to the business world or those who are embarking on the next adventure.