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Car Sharing 2.0: Businesses Can Now Provide Uber Rides for Customers

Uber gave car sharing a big boost with its recent announcement of UberCENTRAL. It’s a service Uber now offers businesses of any size to provide rides for its customers and clients. Uber describes the UberCENTRAL dashboard as a new way for any business to connect with its customer. Not only can it eliminate any transportation hurdle hampering a business-customer connection, but it has the potential to raise the level of customer satisfaction through enhanced customer service.

What Is It?

Working on a tablet with a Web browser, UberCENTRAL is a dashboard available to participating businesses allowing them to request, manage and pay for rides on behalf of their customers. With the capacity to monitor and manage multiple rides at any one time, it’s ideal for a retirement community, the service department at a car dealership, a hotel and any other business that wants to get people from somewhere to the business or from the business to somewhere else.

How Does It Work?

Say you run a hair salon. A customer calls, making an appointment for that afternoon. You simply enter the customer’s name, phone number, pickup address and your business as the destination, along with any special instructions. Uber will dispatch a driver. You can do this with as many customers as you need, keeping track of them all. Your account is billed just as with any Uber transaction.

Why Would a Business Participate?

If your business is a convenience store, UberCENTRAL probably makes no sense. Does any one customer spend enough in a convenience store to make it pay off? But, if the business is a women’s clothing store, an upscale restaurant or a plastic surgeon’s office, a $15 round-trip Uber ride is more of an investment than an expense.

Businesses located in areas with limited or no customer parking could have customers dropped off at their front door and then returned home. A business in an urban area where car sharing is already popular is a prime candidate for business-driven ride hailing, like UberCENTRAL

It could also be a way to reward particularly good customers, whisking them to and from your business.

What Else?

One requirement for anyone ordering an Uber ride is a smartphone. However, with UberCENTRAL, the business takes care of summoning and paying for rides. It doesn’t matter if the customer doesn’t own a smartphone or the Uber app. The participating business handles the entire transaction.

What it means to you: Everyone we know running a business is always looking for one more way to attract new customers and retain the customers it already has by maximizing the customer experience. With UberCENTRAL in the right hands, your business just might be able to do both.

Russ Heaps
Russ Heaps is an author specializing in automotive, financial and travel news. For nearly 35 years he has covered the automotive industry for newspapers, magazines and internet websites. His resume includes The Palm Beach Post, Miami Herald, The Washington Times and numerous other daily newspapers through syndication. He edited Auto World magazine, and helped create and edit NOPI Street... Read More

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