Oh No. It’s YOU …
Every brand is obsessed with gathering information about their customers — from demographic data to purchase behavior. Sophisticated marketers use that data to build loyalty programs, predictive models and determine lifetime value. But what if they also collected “likeability” information that informed employees about your personal behavior? And, as a result, you were treated differently than the guy next to you?
That’s exactly what Uber is doing as drivers rate their passengers on a scale of one to five after each ride. While the rating is not visible to riders (unless they contact Uber and ask), Uber drivers know whether you’re the guy who spilled his soda all over the backseat … or worse. And, based on this knowledge, Uber drivers can choose not to pick up a rider based on their score.
Since it’s somewhat simple to implement, why not extend this same idea to other businesses?
Imagine if a restaurant kept a database of your tipping behavior (if you’re a known cheapskate, the wait staff might play Rock, Paper, Scissors to decide who serves your table). Or if you’re the chatty Cathy who always tries to engage the busy barista at Starbucks, they push your order to the front of the line just to get rid of you faster. Perhaps you’re the clown who repeatedly buys and returns merchandise at a retail store, and the now-informed cashier tells you (and writes on your receipt) “all sales final!”
And it could get worse: You check into a hotel that knows you’re a party animal and housekeeping requires extra deep-cleaning time beyond the norm, as payback you’re assigned the room with the view of the air conditioning unit (and when you try to change rooms you’re told they’re sold out).
Personally, I sort of like the idea that Uber drivers can be “pre-warned” and therefore able to make a choice as to whether or not engage with that passenger. But I wonder how far they’re willing to go to let their drivers determine who gets in and who gets left standing in the rain in the dark alley. Granted the passenger can also call a cab and the cabbie has no idea they’re in for the rider from hell — but if the cab company uses that same scoring system, is the caller told “sorry, no cabs are available at this time?”
Perhaps it’s the beginning of a new trend — a wakeup call to those with bad behavior issues to clean up their act or they’ll be no longer welcome at most establishments. Yeah, right.
A blog that challenges B-to-B marketers to learn, share, question, and focus on getting it right—the first time. Carolyn Goodman is President/Creative Director of Goodman Marketing Partners. An award-winning creative director, writer and in-demand speaker, Carolyn has spent her 30-year career helping both B-to-B and B-to-C clients cut through business challenges in order to deliver strategically sound, creatively brilliant marketing solutions that deliver on program objectives. To keep her mind sharp, Carolyn can be found most evenings in the boxing ring, practicing various combinations. You can find her at the Goodman Marketing website, on LinkedIn, or on Twitter @CarolynGoodman.