December 31, 2019 was a success. Not so much in the way of delivering lots of rides, but in the way of getting invaluable customer feedback. New technology is bound to have issues. No matter how much testing is done beforehand, nothing compares to real life scenarios with real users.
What We Uncovered
The top comment was that a driver did not respond. Upon further investigation, we found two issues that led to this happening. First, the absence of a beeping sound when the app is closed, and second, a driver's profile remaining visible to customers while the driver is, in fact, offline.
We are solving both of those issues by adding Push Notifications to the next release (available within a few weeks).
Push Notifications are the notifications you get when you get a text or an email. Your phone makes a sound, and a popup appears at the top of the screen that you can tap on to re-open the app. Our push notifications will come through to you any time a customer taps on your profile, even if you have recently gone offline. This gives you a chance to go back online to accept the new trip and ensures that there is no scenario in which you are not notified of an incoming request for service.
Other comments came from the customer profile side. Customers are uneasy about adding a picture of themselves. If a customer asks you if they have to upload a picture as part of their profile, the answer is "Yes, but it doesn't have to be a picture of you." The customer picture can be of literally anything. It's just a security icon. In the next update, we will make that very clear so that customers are not put-off from creating Bluecar accounts.
We'll have those updates out shortly, and we'll try another soft-launch to get more feedback. Hopefully, upon fixing these two issues, we will be able to confidently get customers knowing that they will have a great experience.
Thank you, and keep your eyes on this blog for further updates and communications.