ORide’s presence in the bike hailing service market is no longer news, with many seeing them as a Trojan horse with their entrance into the on-demand ride-hailing space.
ORide entered with a big bang as months of June and July saw them giving highly discounted fees to commuters at a flat rate of ₦100 irrespective of distance in June and ₦200 in July. This made a lot of people download the App, with many people consequently leaving their cars at home. At the moment ORide currently has more than 500,000 downloads on Android Play Store. If this is not the essence of innovation, which is to disrupt existing status quo; I don’t know what is. Especially in a city like Lagos with incessant traffic congestion and bad roads everywhere; many would gladly leave their cars at home to make use of ORide’s services. Leaving GoKada that was released in 2018 with more than 100,000 downloads while Max launched in 2017 has about 10,000 downloads.
The signs to show that this bike hailing brand is not joking are seeing the riders and passengers with raincoats – a necessity gave the current weather condition and parley with regular “Okada” riders for “O Street” has definitely taken ORide mainstream with a lot of catching up for other players and new entrants in the space.
While this space is still open to innovation such as the like of “Awa bike”; ORide is not willing to slow down any time soon with aggressive expansion plans into different states in Nigeria with plans like OTrike in Aba with ₦20 for any distance in a Tricycle and ₦200 for first 5 trips for new customers as well as ensuring returning customers continue to enjoy mouthwatering discounts and top-notch customer experience; the follow up on poor rider rating is aggressive as any below-par experience is followed with a call with complaint resolution done almost immediately. This is done to ensure customer retention and drive for OPay – Opera’s payment platform. Looking at the double-edged drive strategy for ORide and OPay should leave one wondering at the ingenuity of the Opera team as payment for ORide can only be done using the OPay platform and slowly both riders and passengers have come to terms on the need to ensure money is always in the OPay wallet.
ORide’s structure, operations and strategy are definitely leaving a lot of watchers with more questions than one especially around their agreement with the riders to give them the bikes after 2 years or less. What happens next? Will riders still be willing to continue on the App? Is the App tied to the bike; hence the bike cannot be used without the App? How will the team react to a similar but more effective strategy in this space?
Another thing of worry is that the ORide App is not on IOS; hence, iPhone users do not have access to it. Is this a deliberate attempt or the Opera team has not been able to reach an agreement with Apple or what? Everyone understands that the game is all in the number and he who controls the volume will definitely gain the value and ORide are playing well on the game of numbers at the moment.
With MaxGo and Gokada also expanding, in the long run, customer experience will help drive each of the players’ future growth and strategy and I must say that asides the effort by the ORide team to resolve complaints. Having a group WhatsApp for talking about issues is not really the most effective means of resolving issues. It is mainly good for disseminating information and communication like every other social media platforms. That is why platforms like Instagram and Twitter have direct messages button, for one on one chat and communication. There is a need to put a face to every customer who has an issue and keeping up the speed of resolution is equally important.
Lastly, the ORide team can only get better, however, the need to ensure every rider associated with the brand is trained in engaging and managing customer will become important in the long term to help deliver the brand’s values and vision.
Esan Bolaji, Content Editor and Consumer Insight expert with 7-year work-experience spanning across Construction, Research and Media sectors. Strategic in driving business growth, development and enabling clients to unlock actionable insights.
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