There is a saying that goes like the internet never slumbers. The statement is undeniably true since the platform is always abuzz with myriads of activities. We can even say that it experiences occasional hiccups and indigestion problems or that it is always jammed with traffic, but the truth is that it has never gone away in totality. This issue attributes to the fact that it has become one of the necessities in our daily lives and has eventually transformed into a utility. We can even equate it to electricity, something that started off as a luxury item for the wealthy but eventually became both a necessity and utility. The facilities that provide internet services have been fortified and secured, meaning that they are powered by discrete sources that have the sun, the wind and even water as their backup systems. The advent of smartphones that are internet enabled have been of much help because of their reliability and versatile nature.
The Success Story
One company that has capitalized on these long-standing and reliable technologies into its global technological architecture is the Uber company. It provides services to its clients that are timely and reliable all round the clock, on a daily basis. Founded by Travis Kalanick and Garret Camp in San Francisco in 2009, Uber is a US based technology company that that provides a broad range of online services for customers who are in need of safe and transportation. The idea of establishing the business was born out Kalanicks desperate situation in Paris whereby he was unable to get a taxi to get him to a conference. The duo, realizing that this was a problem that could be experienced by other countless travelers around the world, decided to launch the Uber cabs. Their services are now spread across the world covering countries such as the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, France and even African countries such as Kenya.
One of the reasons for the popularity of the Uber services is that it provides an app that allows users to contact any of their drivers who is near their pick-up location. The app is also very beneficial to the drivers as it provides them with directions. They also provide services based on their customers preferences and in the process can cater for different budgets. Uber also engages in strategic partnerships with other companies, and this has become one of their driving forces for success. The partnerships with local firms are also key in their efforts to expand internationally as it allows the company to capitalize on the cultural familiarity of the domestic companies.
The company has often described itself as a ride sharing company because it operates by sharing the clients information with their drivers through the use of a mobile app. Their customers can download the Uber app that is available on their smartphones through the Google Play Store or the App Store. Immediately the user GPS user is turned on, the driver who is near the pick-up location is notified. This kind of technological advancement ensures that the customers gets a cab in the shortest time possible at an accurate pick-up time. Uber, unlike other cab services, provides varied fare rates for different cabs and in the process allow their users to compare and gets the rates that are accommodative to their travel needs and expenses. After confirming the cab, the customer can check the progress and also get real time updates on its arrival time.
Their app usually determines their prices. The payments, on the other hand, are usually based on two modalities; distance and time. For example, when the cabs speed exceeds 18km/hour, the price is charged based on distance. In all the other cases the fare is often based on the time taken to reach the clients destination. All these is done to ensure that the customer gets the most suitable fare for that given ride.
The Uber company has engaged in several promotional services in an attempt to sell its brand to potential customers. This, it has achieved by adopting a buzz marketing strategies that draws attention to their services. For example, they may occasionally offer to partner with certain known companies free of charge during promotions and in the process put out their brand for people to see. In all its advertisements, Uber always puts emphasis on the low cost and convenience of their ride-sharing services.
Challenges facing Uber
The managing director, Travis Kalanick acknowledges that company is faced with a myriad of problems ranging from internal wrangles to legal and regulatory challenges and other global issues. Even worse is that they face bans from other countries as they attempt to venture into new markets. One of the best known internal challenges is that of driver satisfaction. The company operates in such a way that it depends on trust between strangers; trust that ensures the safety of both the driver and the passenger. They have in the recent times launched the ride share rating system that helps them assure that there is trust between the drivers and their passengers. The drivers who get a low score are forced to take up remedial classes on safe driving techniques and etiquette. Those with low scores are always at a risk of suspension or even permanent deactivation. This is quite unfair to the drivers who have to tolerate clients with different personalities. They have also complained of low rates and long working hours.
Like any other emerging and potentially successful business, Uber has had a run-in with those tasked with the regulations of services. They are presented with legal challenges especially because some organizations view them as being discriminative to the people with disability. Uber have also faced stiff opposition from other taxi operators who accuse them of not only having an unfair competitive advantage but also that they do not adhere to safety standards. The company has added a safe ride checklist in its app as a measure to reestablish its reputation for safety.
The future of Uber
The Uber company looks to venture into the field of service delivery and also air travels. Another one of their prospective is to partner with companies such as Google that offer the potential for the establishment of driverless cars. Uber is bound to come across many opportunities and challenges at the same time. For it to progress with ease, however, it has to address its issues exhaustively and continue to come up with innovative ideas so that it gains a competitive advantage over its rivals.
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