August 16, 2017
Let’s just take a typical scenario that we come across every day. You’ve booked a cab and you’ve been waiting for a couple of minutes when you suddenly get a text from an unknown number asking where you were. Or rather, drivers usually honk till you figure out! Now through the new in-app chat, Uber aims to improve communication.
In order to send a text, users simply need to go to the Feed section on the app and select Contact and then Chat. You can send texts or send the exact location to the driver. Anything to make that pick up smooth, Uber says.
But hey, isn’t it dangerous and wrong to text while driving? Uber has an answer for that question too. The message will be read out loud for the drivers. In return, the drivers can simply respond with a thumbs-up emoji with just a tap. There will also be delivered and read receipts for both users and drivers. This confirms the two-way communication process.
Uber’s Product Manager Jeremy Lermitte explained in an interview that the riders really just wanted a consistent experience. “Lots of stories with folks travelling internationally where, let’s say you land in Paris, and you’re in the airport, you don’t have a voice plan or a cellular plan setup, you can just connect to Wi-Fi and communicate with your driver for the pickup.”
The in-app chat feature makes it economical for Uber. Considering that it is low on maintenance, it is something that Uber can offer without going significantly overboard. The in-app communication could be another boost for Uber’s other businesses like UberEATS, and others. The riders can also connect mid-ride too with some of these other businesses and promotions.