In the eyes of your customers, only 12% of brands have made significant improvements to their customer experience over the past several years. Companies race to outpace competitors, but it seems fewer do so with customers (not dollar signs) on their mind.
Hence, the massive gap in what customers expect and what companies deliver.
But, some companies get it right. And when one company surges to more than 2 billion in revenue and tops competitive satisfaction charts in fewer than 10 years, it’s wise to watch what they’re doing to meld customer and business interests together.
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We’re continuing our brand crush series and sharing customer experience examples to show you how companies are shaking up industries and turning CX on its head. And, it’s only fitting that we saved our February brand crush for the week of Valentine’s Day.
What’s even better? The brand sports a vibrant shade of pink as their primary color.
For this month’s brand crush post, we’re highlighting a company that sky-rocketed to more than 2.1 billion in annual revenue since their debut in 2012. This company has taken on Goliath-sized competitors and constantly learns, iterates, and shifts as consumers demand more (and better) service.
This month, we’re crushing on Lyft.
Customer experience futurist Blake Morgan ranked Lyft among her top 100 customer-centric companies on Forbes. And, Lyft touts Net Promoter Scores higher than competitors. Not to mention, driver satisfaction scores also come out on top compared to the competition, with some three-fourths of drivers happy while driving for Lyft.
As the company continues to expand and change the way we taxi about, we’re exploring 7 ways they’re setting customer experience examples we can all learn from.
Here’s what we love about Lyft.
1. They have a mission and core values.
Lyft built their company around a single mission: to “improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation.”
The founders of the company created Lyft with a goal in mind – one beyond just pocketing cash. And, they summed that goal up in a concise and clear statement to rally their teams around. Plus, they designed a set of core values to help them reach this mission. Each employee at Lyft is encouraged to be themselves, uplift (uplyft?) others, and make it happen.
These values relate directly back to their driving their mission forward, all while creating connection and autonomy for employees in their roles.
And even as the company has shifted and changed since their launch in 2012, their mission and values have remained core to who they are, who they hire, and what they do for customers.
Mary Winfield, VP of Customer Experience and Trust at Lyft is dedicated to progressing Lyft’s mission and building teams that help.
She told Fast Company, “Lyft’s mission is to improve people’s lives by providing the world’s best transportation. My role in helping to make that a reality is to deliver a world-class experience that our customers–both drivers and riders–love and trust.”
Find out how coaching to a specific mission and values fuels better contact center performance. Learn 29 facts and tactics to improve coaching in your contact center. Get the guide.
2. They ask for feedback thoughtfully.
This isn’t the first time we’ve crushed on Lyft. Last year, we talked about their CSAT survey and marked it as one of our favorite examples.
Lyft stands out to us in a sea of customer surveys because of their thoughtful approach. Before asking for feedback, Lyft lets customers know they’re valued. They don’t waste customers’ time, either. They ask for feedback, set expectations, and thank customers for their loyalty, in fewer than 20 words.
Soliciting feedback from customers is incredibly important to building a trusted (and successful) company. You’ll never know what your customers want, how you can improve, or what leaves an impact unless you ask.
3. They encourage and reward customer loyalty.
One day when scouring my email inbox, I came across a message from Lyft with a 10% discount. Turns out, Lyft wanted to reward me for being a loyal (and well-behaved) customer. I had a 5-star rating from my Lyft drivers. My reward? Discounted fares for my next 10 rides.
A discount 10x over? That’s one I happily accepted. And, it gave me a jolt of confidence in the process. After all, who doesn’t light up a little bit when they get a high rating? Cue the nostalgia of getting a gold star on my math test (score!).
Brilliantly done, Lyft.
This reward is unique and impactful for a few more reasons. Number one, Lyft encourages loyalty by giving me a break on the costs of future rides. Number two, it supports both of Lyft’s customers – the riders and the drivers. Before this, I knew I had the power to dish out star ratings after a ride, but I had no idea the drivers were grading me as well. That means customers who want discounts will be sure to treat drivers with respect – creating a better experience for both parties.
Turns out, this keen investment in customer retention paid off for Lyft. They took spend from their acquisition marketing and filtered it back into these incentive programs for their proven, quality customers – resulting in continued (and higher) loyalty, with 44% more repeated rides the following year.
Learn the true impact your contact center and setting good customer experience examples have on business. Read why investing in customer loyalty matters more to your bottom line than getting new customers in the door.
4. They see both their riders and drivers as customers.
Echoing the rating system above, Lyft thinks of both their riders and their drivers as customers. That means when they invest in customer experience, they do it for both parties. And, they don’t elevate the rider experience at the expense of their drivers. For instance, when a new safety feature is released, it’s available in both the rider and the driver app.
And as riders and drivers rate each other, they’ll never be matched with someone again if they give them 3-stars or less. Yep, that means if a driver gets to cart around a disrespectful rider, they can choose to give the rider a low rating and guarantee they’ll never deal with Sir Drinks-A-Lot again.
Drivers get the same respect and understanding as customers. It’s a people-first mentality.
5. They make continuous improvements to keep pace with CX.
Lyft constantly pushes updates and large-scale improvements to their app to ensure a positive user experience for customers. They look at trends and feedback then build out new features, like adding speech-to-text capabilities and helping customers predict prices and traffic for their rides.
Not only that, but they’re always revamping their service, too. Historically, Lyft drivers struggled to get in touch with customer support. Auto-responses and deferrals were the norm.
But no longer. Lyft listened, then fixed it. Now, drivers can reach out via Facebook, Twitter, or a dedicated support phone line. They can use a web form (that auto-populates into a help ticket), send a request in-app, or explore a help center with written resources, too. There’s even an emergency line for critical response problems – like a car accident. They’ve embraced omnichannel to fix broken experiences for, arguably, their most important customers: drivers.
Learn how an omnichannel contact center elevates your customer (and agent) experience. Head to the guide.
6. They give customers an opportunity to support causes for good.
The Lyft app features a Round Up & Donate tab where users can choose to round up the change from their rides and donate them to a charity like Habitat for Humanity, World Wildlife Fund, or Girls Who Code, instead. Last year, riders contributed $7.9M to causes like these by rounding up their change. It’s a low-impact opportunity for customers to do some good and make a big impact elsewhere.
And, Lyft takes on the work to make it happen. Customers can round up their change and contribute to a cause that matters to them with only a few button clicks. Lyft made the connections with charities, built the integrations, and served it up in-app to customers for a low-effort experience.
7. They hire people who fit their people-centric values.
In her article with Fast Company, Mary Winfield of Lyft talked through the hiring process and why hiring the right people is so important to setting great customer experience examples.
When Winfield hires, it’s crucial to her process that all employees believe and support Lyft’s mission and core values. Above all, employees have to care for customers.
“On the job, there are no phone scripts to follow, so it’s an absolute must that candidates are able to care and engage with customers with authenticity,” said Winfield.
She knows that building a great customer experience can’t happen without a team to carry the experience on their backs.
“Who you hire and how you bring them into your organization is the most critical and often overlooked input into great customer experience. Make sure you have the best.”– Mary Winfield, Vice President of Customer Experience and Trust at Lyft.