Uber goes bilingual for partners, streamlines app experience for drivers and users

General Manager of Uber Malaysia Karina Ali Noor speaks to reporters at its new ‘Greenlight Hub’ launching at Axis Business Campus in Petaling Jaya March 14, 2018. ― Picture by Zuraneeza Zulkifli
General Manager of Uber Malaysia Karina Ali Noor speaks to reporters at its new ‘Greenlight Hub’ launching at Axis Business Campus in Petaling Jaya March 14, 2018. ― Picture by Zuraneeza Zulkifli

PETALING JAYA, March 14 — Uber partner riders may now choose between Bahasa Melayu and English-speaking agents when call the ride-hailing firm’s 24-hour hotline, under the new Driver Forward campaign.

This was among other changes and initiatives under the three-month campaign launched at its new Greenlight Hub (GLH) in Axis Business Campus here today.

Uber general manager (expansion) Karina Ali Noor said this campaign is aimed at improving drivers’ interactions with the firm, as they were instrumental to Uber’s continued growth in Malaysia.

“Driver partners have told us we need to do better. We have listened and are excited to announce this campaign, which is the outcome of our efforts to find out how we can best improve to making driving better for them,” she said.

Karina said the campaign has three pillars — support, earnings and flexibility — and each will be made a monthly focus during the campaign.

As for customer updates and product enhancements, those announced include live map sharing for riders, which allow them to share their exact location and trip status to up to five contacts, and upgraded car icons in the Uber app that reflect the actual colour of driver’s vehicle.

Uber drivers Jayaseelan Subramaniam (left) and Basyirah Zakaria at its new ‘Greenlight Hub’ launching at Axis Business Campus in Petaling Jaya March 14, 2018. ― Picture by Zuraneeza Zulkifli
Uber drivers Jayaseelan Subramaniam (left) and Basyirah Zakaria at its new ‘Greenlight Hub’ launching at Axis Business Campus in Petaling Jaya March 14, 2018. ― Picture by Zuraneeza Zulkifli

“This helps improve the pick-up experience. When riders and drivers can easily find each other, we are able to trim down wait times which is a win for everyone,” Karina said.

Uber driver partner Basyirah Zakaria from Pahang, who was also present, said a new feature that allows Uber drivers to connect with riders would be beneficial for both.

“Before this, when a Uber customer books a ride for someone else, it can get confusing for us (the drivers). Some would even type in the guest’s phone number and drivers would have to manually contact them, which can be a hassle.

“Now that they have added this mechanism as an in-app feature, it would be easier for us to communicate with guest riders regarding pickups ,” she said.

Since cleanliness factors significantly in the drivers’ ratings, Uber will compensate drivers with RM20 if they opt to wash their vehicles on their own.

Prior to this, driver partners are only entitled for reimbursement if they wash their vehicles at selected car washes and present a proof of receipt.

Karina also conveyed Uber’s excitement about the new GLH building, which is an expansion of its KL chapter and an addition to its two other GLHs in Penang and Johor.

The new GLH is a support centre with 20 operational counters and capable of serving up to 1,000 driver partners a week, including walk-ins by driver partner who require assistance.

“This is an investment that clearly demonstrates our long term commitment to growing our business in Malaysia.

“With this bigger and more conducive location, we will be able to cater to more driver-partners who require face-to-face support,” she said.

The new hub operates from 10.00am to 7.00pm on Monday to Friday and 10.00am to 5.00pm on Saturdays. It is closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.

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