In a sign of the times, the Portland airport has two islands for ground transportation after flight arrivals, including one just for Uber and Lyft. As a result, Lyft has made some modifications to their pickup process to handle the volume and make it a smooth process for all. When someone orders a Lyft car, the app directs you to the pickup island and gives you a code. You wait at the cue, and when the next driver comes up, you show your code to the driver and they take you to your destination. There still was only the number of cars that had been requested, but you aren’t assigned a specific driver.

It’s a very similar schematic as the normal taxi lineup except you got the best of both worlds – not a bunch of taxi drivers trying to sell you on the best price of their rides (you had a confirmed price when you ordered your Lyft), but it eliminated what I’m sure necessitated this system: the 25+ people looking for their specific driver at the same time.

And to make it even more seamless, Lyft had Lyft Ambassadors that wore the signature pink and helped people get in line and navigate the system, just in case you missed the large signs directing you there. They did not need to invest in personnel to facilitate the process but doing so made anxious travelers have one less stress point to figure out on their own.

Lyft may be number two in the ride-sharing business but won’t stay that way for long with this type of service. They realized it’s not enough to automate and let it go rather continual reinvention helps keep them win over new customers and keep those they have as loyal fans.

What have you done lately to reimagine your delivery process? Have you experienced your service from the customer perspective and made tweaks to improve it? Is there a way that you can “lift” the bar and set higher expectations for your organization? Take a lesson from Lyft on what customer-oriented looks like.

Thanks, Kelsey!

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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