Safety is a priority for passengers who seek services from e-hailing companies such as Uber – and for their drivers.
So how does the multinational conglomerate ensure this?
Uber opened a gaming park in Cairo, Egypt, in March with the goal of translating safety elements into fun activities to give customers and drivers a more hands-on experience.
This is according to Mpho Mutuwa, Uber's South African communications lead.
The games included verifying your pin, taking a quiz about Uber, monitoring your trip and even getting a massage.
‘’We have a lot of safety features in the app, provide back-end support, and we continuously innovate to provide riders and drivers with better experiences when they’re using the app,’’ said Mutuwa.
‘’The aim of turning the safety features into cool games was to give a more hands-on, show-and-tell experience on our safety innovations to build more awareness around which features exist and how to better use them.’’
The company is celebrating 10 years in Africa.
Mutuwa has worked at Uber for 18 months and says it has been the most empowering experience in her life.
The Cairo Centre of Excellence serves the Middle East including the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon and some African countries such as Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Uganda and South Africa.
‘’As a tech company that facilitates rides and delivery services through an app, we also use technology to make support processes very efficient and centralised,” Mutuwa said.
‘’However, support is provided via multiple mediums, including social media, in-app, and outbound phone calls, especially for urgent cases that need to be attended to in a timely manner.’’
Uber has seven customer service divisions to handle enquiries and serve passengers, drivers, couriers, diners, and merchants.
South Africans have access to special safety features such as an in-app emergency button linked to professional security, audio recording, cash indications, and rider authentication.
Mutuwa said Uber aimed to set the standard on safety and was always looking at ways to help customers and drivers feel safer.
* Xolile Mtembu was hosted by Uber.