10 hacks to keep your Bolt driver rating high (and 3 reasons why customers give 1-star ratings)

January 21, 2022

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Drivers and riders can rate each other at the end of every ride. As a Bolt driver, your ratings are an indication of how well you treat your rider. High ratings mean that you can continue to use the app as well as enjoy great bonuses while low ratings can lead to your losing your driving privileges. After finishing this article you’ll know enough about how to keep the 5-star ratings coming in so you don’t need to worry about the worst-case scenario.

First things first – how do you keep your driver ratings high on Bolt?

Tip #1 Communicate with your rider

Upon receipt of a ride request, call or text in-app to confirm receipt of and acknowledge the order. Communicating with riders before getting to their destination can save you from going to the wrong pickup locations. It would also give riders the chance to suggest better routes to their pick-up location.

When you arrive at the agreed pick-up point, give the rider some time to get to you, and then make an in-app call or write a message informing them of your arrival. If nobody answers the phone after a 5-minute-wait, you can cancel the ride. Your activity score won’t be affected if you mark “client did not show” as the reason.

Tip #2 Leave a good impression from the get-go

Arriving at the exact pick-up location, within the estimated time frame is the first step to getting a 5-star rating. When you receive a request for a ride, you see the location of the passenger, the length of your journey, and the estimated time for your arrival. The passenger usually expects to be picked up at their selected point, so ensure that you drive right to their pick-up spot and not some random location.

You should be parked in a visible location and make sure that your license plate and car model marked on the app are the same ones you are actually driving with. Update your profile image if it has actually been taken 10 years ago and doesn’t represent the person you are today. Dress properly, ensuring that you are both comfortable and professional. These things matter, as good ratings are given to Bolt drivers who know a thing or two about leaving a good first impression.

Tip #3 Exchange Pleasantries

It doesn’t cost anything to say hello or to wish someone a nice day. Still, somehow the custom of being polite towards each other is becoming more and more extinct. Break the cycle and greet your passengers with a warm hello and send them off with a good wish. It goes a long way and quite possibly even makes the world a better place.

Tip #4 Is the set destination the final destination?

… should be your question right after you have exchanged pleasantries with the rider. Confusion about the destination can create misunderstandings and end up with you receiving a bad driver rating from your passenger. If it happens that the set destination isn’t actually the final destination, you can kindly ask the passenger to change the destination via their Bolt app.

Make the “Is the set destination final?” your must-ask question. It can have an impact on your driver rating!

Tip #5 Be polite and kind

Offer help to your rider. Don’t idly stand by or just sit in the driver’s seat, when your passenger has luggage. Helping them to open the boot or car door is one of the easiest ways to leave a great first impression and ensure a high driver rating afterward.

Tip #6 Prioritise the passenger’s comfort

During the ride, try to make your rider as comfortable as possible. Politely offer them the choice to make the ride as they would like. Offering them control over the radio and A/C is a small gesture that can have a high impact on your rating. Be sure to respect their choices.

Tip #7 Keep your car clean

Dirt, crumbs, and spillage residue don’t give a very fresh vibe. Your vehicle is your office and you should keep it clean at all times. It doesn’t mean you have to get a full-on chemical attack going on a daily basis but reasonable and frequent wiping and dusting will do the trick.

Also, have a look at your car from the outside. If it seems that it hasn’t seen a sponge and soap in a long time, go get it cleaned.

Tip #8 Stay calm

There’s no reason to get irritated over things you cannot change. Especially while being behind the driver’s wheel. Every ride must come to an end so if your taste in music isn’t the same as your passenger’s or if you disagree over things, don’t get upset. Road rage is dangerous, creates tunnel vision and at its worst can even lead to accidents. Nobody wants that.

Tip #9 Converse – when you’re not in it alone

Some passengers are chattier than others. You can start but never force a conversation. If you discover that you have something mutually interesting to talk about with your passenger, then chat away. But don’t forget that silence is also a highly valued option. When the conversation seems one-sided,(the driver doing all the talking) it might be time to stop talking.

Keep in mind that there are topics that tend to cause heated and up-friendly opinions, try to stay away from them. Opt for neutral topics that are safe to talk about.

Tip #10 Last but not least – drive safe

It goes without saying – safety is the most important thing you can offer to a passenger. Your passengers rely on you to get them safely from point A to B.

Keeping to the speed limit is a responsibility rather than a recommendation. Obey red lights and traffic rules. And of course – chatting on Facebook or WhatsApp and calling your spouse or friends should be left for moments when you’re not behind the wheel.

And now to the bonus section.

Ever wondered what the top reasons behind 1-star ratings are?

Here are 3 top reasons why riders give drivers poor feedback:

  • The driver was rude and impolite
  • I didn’t feel safe
  • The driver didn’t shut up even when it was obvious that I was in no mood to talk

I got blocked because my Bolt driver ratings dropped – what to do?

To ensure a great experience for ride-hailers, drivers with a rating lower than 4.5 stars get their accounts blocked. There are, of course, other reasons why an account may have been temporarily or even permanently deactivated. Nonetheless, the length of the temporary block depends on how many times have you been blocked before.

If your driver’s rating drops below 4.5 stars, you will be automatically deactivated from the platform. To unblock your account you will either have a session with the quality check team at Bolt or will have to undergo a re-training session. Whichever way it goes, you will be informed about the next steps.

Now that you have all the goods and the bad listed, it’s up to you to make the best out of it and make each ride on Bolt work for you.

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