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The Sharing Economy has allowed Singaporeans to connect in unprecedented ways. We are now riding with others in stranger’s car (GrabHitch), allowing people to reside in our homes (Airbnb) and letting them rent our cars (Whizz Car). Yet, in spite of the overwhelming success of the sharing economy, many still have their reservations. Is it really safe?
Empowering. Convenient. Cost-saving. These are amongst the many reasons that have attracted over 160 million to the homes on Airbnb, 40 million to the backseats of Uber and 14 million to the couches on Couchsurfing. Yet, in spite of the overwhelming success of the sharing economy, many still have their reservations. Their key concern boils down to this: Is it really safe to use the goods and services on these platforms?
The Humanisation of Platforms
In response, companies have engaged in strategies to humanise sharing platforms. Encouraging online profiles (profile pictures, self-introductions, contact details), requesting for identity verification and building review systems to aid users in making their decision. The ability to evoke a face, personality or a genuine touch can help ease the nervousness users might feel.
The ability to evoke a face, personality or a genuine touch can help ease the nervousness users might feel.
In spite of this, we still see news about the Florida Uber driver who was accused of rape and the UberX driver who broke into his passenger’s home after sending her to the airport all over the internet. Such “horror stories” tend to draw overwhelming public attention and often go viral because they feed into existing discourses of stranger-danger. They play on the public fear of a supposedly risky, unstable and fragmented contemporary society. These viral stories constitute a huge PR crisis for companies and detract people from the overwhelming successes of the sharing economy.
Users Hold These Sharing Platforms Liable
It is not a straightforward issue, and there are ongoing debates on who is really liable when the customer’s safety or experience is compromised. Ultimately, however, the surfacing of these viral content tell us one thing: that many users still hold the sharing platforms accountable for their experiences.
Recognising this, sharing platforms have stepped up their game to take on the role of guarantors of trust. In successful sharing companies, we see an increased investment in the customer service, trust and safety departments to manage potential trust-related issues. These sharing platforms recognise that maintaining a trustworthy platform is key to ensuring that customers will return and that their business is sustainable. One of the pioneers was Airbnb’s Host Guarantee that reimburses hosts up to $1,000,000 for property damages, giving them a peace of mind when renting out their homes.
We see an increased investment in the customer service, trust and safety departments to manage potential trust-related issues.
Stringent Measures to Build Trust
Trust is crucial for success.
At GOGOVAN, we emphasise and constantly strive to strengthen this. Being an on-demand delivery and logistics company, our Operations team perform stringent screening and training before each driver is allowed to take on any delivery job on the platform.
Constant monitoring is put in place to maintain quality service. Our Customer Service team reaches out to all customers who rated the drivers 3/5 stars and below for immediate feedback and will not hesitate to suspend drivers who do not conform to the regulations put in place. Sustained efforts have paid off, such that GOGOVAN’s average rating stands at about 4.76 with satisfied customers returning with more orders.
The challenge to companies in the sharing economy is to convince users that they are committed to user safety. Here at GOGOVAN, we understand user concerns and that we’re on the same side as our users. Ultimately, it is not enough to work on facilitating trust between peers but to become a brand that the public is able to associate with trust.
It is not enough to work on facilitating trust between peers but to become a brand that the public is able to associate with trust.
Even amongst this age of distrust, the Sharing Economy has enabled Singaporeans to trust each other like never preceded. We are sharing and trusting some of our most personal items to a stranger. With your participation in the Sharing Economy, GOGOVAN will continue to strive to establish ourselves as a trustworthy platform that connects you to drivers for your on-demand delivery needs.
Even amongst this age of distrust, the Sharing Economy has enabled Singaporeans to trust each other like never preceded.
Together, we can ensure a safer sharing economy. To continue to provide convenience and cost-savings solution to everyone.