RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • US consumer satisfaction with ride-hailing companies is very strong—but the road ahead is not without speedbumps.
  • Despite current growth and future promise, ride-hailing companies struggle with brand loyalty.
  • While 90% of ride-hailers expect to maintain or increase spending this year, more than 40% say they intend to switch providers in the next 12 months.
  • Hypergrowth companies can learn from the ride-hailing sector about what it takes to win customer allegiance and meet customer needs.


When it comes to automobile ownership, there’s a mindset shift happening among American consumers. Urban populations are exploding, and Americans are increasingly looking to ride-hailing as a primary mode of transportation. In fact, an Accenture survey conducted in November 2019, found that 63% of US car owners who use ride-hailing services would consider giving up their personal vehicle over the next decade.

Love for ride-hailing is undeniable—it ranks as one of the fastest growing tech sectors, with 65% compound annual growth between 2015 and 2020. Plus, 92% of US riders report being satisfied with their primary ride-hailing company. But the road ahead is not without challenges.

Listen as Robin Murdoch, Global Industry Lead, Accenture Software & Platforms discusses our Ride-Hailing research on The Information’s 411 Podcast below.

View Transcript

Satisfaction, meet speed bumps

Consumer spending and satisfaction is through the roof, thanks to reliability, ease, and high satisfaction with drivers.

90%

of ride-hailers expect to maintain or increase spending this year

20%

expect their spending to increase significantly

But a lack of allegiance to a single company is widespread among riders. Nearly 40% of US ride-hailers use both Uber and Lyft—a trend that is predicted to continue.

Based on Accenture’s 2019 Global Keep Me Index, customers who trust a brand highly are:

52%

report having switched primary ride-hailing brands

41%

intend to switch primary ride-hailing brands in the next 12 months

More than anything, the number one reason for switching is price. Yet, surprisingly, when asked what attributes are most important to riders, price ranks just ninth. For ride-hailing companies, that means a huge opportunity to capture customer loyalty in this high switching environment by being relevant to riders in the moments that matter.

It starts by building trust, purpose, and relevance into the customer experience and company fabric.

Root in trust

Nearly 70% of ride-hailers say that having their personal data protected is extremely important, yet just 1 in 4 (27%) completely trust ride-hailing companies with their personal data. This lack of trust represents a significant challenge for companies in strengthening their relationship with customers—both in building brand loyalty and in their ability to enhance the ride-hailing experience with high-value data.

Based on Accenture’s 2019 Global Keep Me Index, customers who trust a brand highly are:

3x

more likely to stay for the next 12 months

4x

more likely to share personal data

Trust is difficult to build and even easier to lose. Today’s consumers now expect products and services to proactively address their concerns around privacy, transparency, safety, and integrity. Ride-hailing firms must meet customer expectations head on if they wish to build stickier and more expansive customer relationships.

Lead with purpose

Ride-hailing brands are overwhelmingly seen as reliable, but few see their preferred brand as a “responsible business” that shares their same values. As Americans increasingly choose to support companies whose brand purpose aligns with their own beliefs, and reject those that don’t, it’s critical that ride-hailing and fast-growing platforms establish themselves as purpose-led.

"We can no longer wash our hands of our responsibility for what people do with our products."

— Marc Benioff, Salesforce CEO

Accenture found that 64% of consumers find purpose-led brands more attractive and that customers are twice as likely to share personal data with brands that give back to their community. Pursuing organizational, cultural, and community-inspired change is critical for ride-hailing brands to overcome customer perceptions and achieve future growth.

Relevance is king

In the past, platforms with strong reach and scale have found success in developing adjacent services to drive profitability. However, for ride-hailing firms, diversifying and offering adjacent services presents several challenges.

Based on Accenture research, less than half of US ride-hailers express interest in adjacent services like food or package delivery from ride-hailing companies. Even fewer show interest in services that pair ride-hailing with access to bikes or scooters. Relevance and simplicity are critical to ride-hailing customer satisfaction. As brands forge a path to profitability through new revenue streams, they must walk a fine line between maintaining the relevance and simplicity of the core offering while identifying additional offerings that are highly relevant to their target customer segments.

Next-level customer connection awaits

High satisfaction continues to drive strong growth for the ride-hailing sector. Customer loyalty remains elusive, but not out of reach. As the sector matures, brands should look to meet evolving customer expectations by becoming more transparent about data use, developing a clear understanding of customer needs and expectations, and delivering value to customers through hyper-relevance.

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