How Uber Gave Customers Control & Why Title Should Take Notice


Years ago, when I first heard about Uber, I was skeptical.

Actually, “skeptical” is an understatement.

I have a buddy, Mike, who everybody in the local technology industry knows. When Uber first launched, Uber reached out to Mike because of his influence in the tech scene and offered him a $500 credit in Uber rides in their black car service.Soon, others in tech and even people like me who knew Mike started using Uber instead of calling a taxi company and waiting for them to find an available driver or standing on the sidewalk trying to hail a cab.

Fast forward a few years and now I cannot imagine my life without Uber.

iPhone viewing Uber app

What was so groundbreaking in Uber’s design was that they gave the customer control.

In this blog series, we’re diving into 7 companies that have shaped the consumer experience and how they’ve impacted the title and escrow industry. Customer experience can be broken down into 3 main things that I call the QCCs:


  1. Quality product or service
  2. Customer care
  3. Customer control


If you want to learn more about the QCCs, you can check out our first blog in this series, “How the Domino’s Pizza Tracker Changed Consumer Expectations.” As we mentioned in our first blog post of the series, we will focus primarily on the last 2 components: how companies offer customer care or more customer control (or both). We focus on care and control because it's a given that these companies also offer a quality product or service.

For the second blog in this series, we’re talking about the revolutionary ride-sharing, app-based service Uber.


Why is Customer Control Important?


What Uber does better than taxi companies is giving the customer control.

Customer control means ...

  • You can order an Uber while your plane is taxiing to your gate so the car will be waiting for you once you grab your luggage
  • You can look at your Uber driver’s profile and know that it’s safe to ride with them because they have 5 stars
  • You know how much the ride will cost before you hop in the Uber, unlike unknown taxi fares
  • You have the option to tip your driver without feeling obliged to tip
  • You can pick the size of the car you ride in
  • When you hail an Uber, you can watch it on your phone’s app
    • You even know if they take a wrong turn (Have you ever been there? You’re tracking your Uber driver’s route to pick you up, but then they make a wrong turn and start heading away from you. Now the time until pick up goes from 2 minutes to 10! And then you FREAK OUT and want to pull your hair out!)


And, on the flip side, drivers can also rate the passengers so that everyone wins.

Now, let’s dive into one of the above scenarios: when your plane arrives at an airport and you order an Uber.

Imagine you’ve just landed at an airport on a cold, rainy night.

You’ve just picked up your bags from baggage claim and now you’re waiting with other cold and tired travelers under the awning of the designated Uber pick up zone.

You’re waiting for your Uber driver to arrive. He’ll be there in just 10 minutes. You have your app open on your phone so you can track his movements.

You watch turn by turn as he approaches. Nine minutes to go … now 8 minutes … now 7 … wait, why did he just make a left turn instead of a right?

The driver is going the wrong way!

Now the time goes from 7 to 13 minutes!

You wonder, did he have to make an emergency stop? Did he have to pick up someone else first? Did he have to fill up on gas? Is he lost?

Just as you’re about to have a panic attack, you remember you can call or message the driver to check in and make sure he’s on the right track.

And just like that, you’re back in control.

Outside of being able to message the driver, Uber has also allowed us to know the status of the ride from the point of ordering the Uber to getting picked up to being dropped off at the desired destination. There is no guessing with Uber. We know ...

  • The price of the ride
  • Who will be driving us
  • What car they drive
  • When we will be picked up
  • When we will be dropped off


Uber gives riders (customers) control throughout the entire process. If we don’t know any of the above 5 “knowns,” then something is wrong, and we feel like we don’t have control. But even then, Uber allows customers to rate their experience and their driver, which puts control back in the hands of customers.


Customers Always Start with 5 Stars in Mind


In any industry, customers usually start with a 5-star mentality, expecting their experience with your company to be great. It is up to us as companies to keep it that way, to make sure we deliver 5 stars every time!

Have you ever been in an Uber and the estimated time until pick up was 10 minutes, but the driver took 20 minutes? Did you think to yourself, well the driver just went from a 5-star to a 4-star?

Have you ever ordered a ride and the Uber driver has a 5-star rating but when you get in the car there is a strong, weird smell or chip crumbs all over the seat?

And on the flip side, what can an Uber driver do to make you want to leave a 6-star review? A 6-star review is a 5-star rating plus a comment about how great the driver was. What can a driver do to make you want to leave a 6-star review? It takes a special Uber ride to make me want to comment.


How Do You Go from 5 to 6 Stars?


I can count on one hand how many times I’ve commented about an Uber driver rather than just rating them. To be comment-worthy, they have to do something remarkable. Here’s some ways that an Uber driver can make a customer experience go from 5 to 6 stars:

  • They offer you water
  • They have mints or candy waiting for you
  • They offer you a phone charger
  • They ask about your day or your trip
  • They seem genuinely interested in what you do for work
  • They ask you what radio station you want to listen to


What Does This Mean for Your Title Company?


The customer always starts with 5 stars in mind. It is up to us to keep or lose those stars.

Uber has allowed the customer to feel in control during the entire experience. When a realtor or consumer starts an order with your title or escrow company, do they know what’s happening next or do they feel like things are left up in the air? Do they have a clear idea of what the closing looks like?

I always say that it’s important to show your customer where they’ve been, where they are, and where they’re going next. Uber does that masterfully.

Like you might have experienced, the Uber driver takes a left turn instead of a right and now the wait goes from 10 minutes to 20 and the consumer is left wondering why. How many times during the closing process does the consumer or realtor feel thrown off guard by some change?

CloseSimple allows you to proactively communicate to realtors, consumers, and lenders what’s happened, what is happening, and what will happen.

CloseSimple "Pizza Tracker" for Title

The timeline tool allows you to visually display where you’re at in the process. This is a big deal because “our brains can process visuals up to 60,000 times faster than text.”

If you’re interested in how CloseSimple can help you give your customers more control, grab a time on our calendar to see a live demo.



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