Brand Perception & User Experience

So finally, like many folks on LinkedIn, I had an interesting conversation with a cab driver. :)

It was an Ola share that I booked. 3 seats were already occupied and I was the 4th one (all cramped and awkward but that’s a story for another day). The driver was already pretty agitated for some reason. I was the last drop as my destination was pretty far. Once all the other passengers were dropped off, the driver received another pickup request. We reached this pin location but found no one there. When the driver called up to enquire, this customer just took to shouting for no reason. The driver soon understood that the location on the map was not accurate. Unfortunately, without realizing this, the customer continued yelling at him and did not even attempt to explain how to get to her location. This made the driver super furious and he yelled back at her. Immediately this lady canceled the ride, the driver did not give two hoots about it and proceeded. I was just observing all this from the backseat.

He then thought of providing a justification for his behavior to me. I told him that it wasn’t really his fault at all and the lady shouldn’t have spoken to him like that. He then went on to tell me something interesting!

He said that he never faced such issues with Uber passengers and that they were compliant, spoke very decently and explained patiently. Whereas, Ola customers were always a pain, non-compliant and hostile.

He worked for both Ola and Uber. At the moment he was working with Ola because he needed some emergency cash, and Ola pays drivers on a daily basis Vs Uber pays on a weekly basis.

He went on by telling me that working for Ola is extremely exhausting because of the type of customers he gets. On the other hand, working with Uber is comfortable and not at all stressful.

Considering I have had better ride experiences with Uber, I hold Uber on a higher pedestal. Ola experiences have been okay, not so great. And hence, I do perceive the two brands differently.

But clearly, many drivers like him work for both the brands. He has the same training and applies the same etiquettes, he just reacts to the kind of customer behavior he gets.

So, do WE actually behave differently when we use different brands? Does our brand perception make us behave a certain way which in turn affects the overall user experience and makes it an endless cycle?

Would love to know your thoughts! :)