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Powering customer engagement with trusted communications: 90-second insights from Lyft


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    Kayleigh Karutis
  • Jan 17, 2020
TLDR

From its start, Lyft put a huge emphasis on customer experience and engagement to garner trust from its riders and drivers alike. But how, exactly, did they do that? Here are some key takeaways from Jaime Gilliam-Swartz, Lyft’s VP of Customer Experience and Trust Operations.

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Ridesharing giant Lyft didn’t get to where it is today, worth $15 billion and operating in hundreds of cities, by luck. The industry leader has, from the start, placed a huge emphasis on customer experience and engagement to garner trust from its riders and drivers alike.

But how, exactly, did they do that? Here are some key takeaways from Jaime Gilliam-Swartz, Lyft’s VP of Customer Experience and Trust Operations.

1. Use the right channel, with the right message, at the right time.

Sending a message that is timely or even urgent via email isn’t the best strategy. Nor is making riders reach out via some convoluted reporting system when they have an emergency, like leaving an important item in their driver’s vehicle. Ensure the messages you send are appropriate for the channel they’re being sent on and are reaching readers at the right time.

“We have used email primarily for passengers; that’s the means by which they reach out and tell us they have a question. But when they report a lost and found issue, the best way for us to resolve that is via text. Doing [lost and found resollution] over email or even phone was something of a nightmare. So we learned that text works incredibly well," Gilliam-Swartz said.

2. Make transitions between channels seamless and efficient.

The best companies make users feel and believe that they are understood and heard. In our omnichannel world, that means customers want to be recognized from one platform or channel to the next. On a weekly basis, Lyft delivers around 30 million interactions between users and drivers. The company has made those interactions faster, more contextual, and seamless for both sides of the equation. When associates or agents better understand a user’s needs, they can respond in a way that’s thoughtful and personal.

“Being able to move seamlessly between channels will be a game-changer for our customers because it helps us resolve [issues] for them within the same interaction that they started,” Gilliam-Swartz said. “We might change the nature of the interaction, but from a customer perspective, it feels seamless."

3. Never settle; always be looking forward.

One hallmark of today’s customer engagement and omnichannel communications environment is this: it’s always changing. That requires a response and approach that is flexible, allows for iteration and growth, and provides data-supported insights for making better business decisions.

“Being able to include other integrations from other companies with great ideas allows us to continually push and iterate on the best solutions we're delivering for our customers,” Gilliam-Swartz said.

Read more about Lyft and how they create trusted communications.

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Kayleigh Karutis