Uber is overhauling its driver support systems with a number of new driver support features to respond better to drivers’ complaints. Six new features are being rolled out. The new features were described in an email shared by Uber Head of Driver Experience Aaron Schildkrout and Uber Regional General Manager for U.S. and Canada Rachel Hold.
Uber is 35 days into its “180 Days of Change” campaign to improve the driver experience to retain its drivers and recruit new ones. The features of the 180 Days of Change initiative are being rolled out in order of priority. Driver support is so important to the company that it was made one of the first phases.
The company admits that the customer support infrastructure became too separate from its overall operations and that it needed to make positive changes to the driver experience. Tension has been brewing between Uber corporate and the independent contractors providing its service for months over the support issues. Driver turnover on Uber is reportedly quite high.
Uber has now overhauled the more than 100 policies the company’s support agents use to respond to driver concerns. A company email says the policies are now “driver friendly.” Some of the new features were previously announced.
The new policy changes include quicker review of licenses and other documents when registering to drive. Another policy change protects their ratings against things out of their control, like being given wrong directions by the in-app navigation. The drivers are also being given the ability to adjust fares for trips through the app.
The company is now paying drivers for the time they wait for passengers after two minutes. Uber will also start paying drivers for returning lost items to riders, including $15 from the rider per item. The company started rolling out an in-app tipping feature last month
Over the next few months, the company will start providing around-the-clock phone support directly within the Driver app and give drivers the ability to schedule in-person appointments at driver support centers through the app. In the email, Uber said, “Call anytime and you’ll be connected to an agent in under 2 minutes who will listen carefully and help you find a solution.”
The company is hopeful that the change will encourage its current drivers to drive for Uber more and attract new drivers away from rivals like Lyft. The company believes that improving the overall driving experience creates a better value proposition for drivers as a whole.