Richard Farr Mobility
General Manager
DiDi Mexico
Expert Contributor

The Technology Behind the User Experience

By Richard Farr | Thu, 08/18/2022 - 13:00

Until recently, virtually all companies followed the same approach to the product creation cycle: focus on the needs of the target customer, and build a product around them. The customer experience, however, was rarely if ever considered. Fortunately, for customers, that’s no longer the case.

These days, companies are investing just as much in the experience of a product as they do in its overall performance and functionality. They have to understand the expectations of customers and how to manage them well. It’s how they generate loyalty and keep customers coming back. In fact, revenue is 4-8 percent higher for companies with a dedicated focus on customer experience, according to global consultancy Bain & Co[1].

It’s even more relevant for digital platforms. As the most-used mobility app in Mexico, we take that responsibility seriously. We want to make life a bit easier for driver-partners and riders, and to do that, we are constantly thinking through their experience – from the moment they open the DiDi app to request a ride until after they’ve reached the destination. Our drivers and riders want more efficiency and convenience, which is why we’re constantly evolving our apps by tapping state-of-the-art technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI).

These advanced technologies are now some of the most powerful ways to create the best possible experience for users. What exactly is AI? It involves computers being trained to solve problems so that they can respond in real time to, in our case, the needs of drivers and riders. For example, our AI directs drivers to the areas of a city with the most demand for rides.

That same AI can then match drivers and riders efficiently by quickly calculating factors such as distance, wait times and preferences, which reduces waiting times for riders and maximizes income for drivers. Then the AI optimizes the route, responding to changing traffic conditions even during the busiest times of day, to keep journeys quick and easy.

Safety, too, is supported and enhanced by technology. We’ve introduced innovative ways to keep passengers and drivers as safe as possible through the help of AI systems, including matching women riders with women drivers for late-night or long-distance trips. In Mexico, we’ve introduced over 20 new safety functions – many of which leverage these technologies.

These features have reduced incidents on the platform by 40 percent and delivered a better experience for everyone using our platform.

While technology is an important and useful tool to enhance product experience, there are other important ways to serve customers, as well, not least with a human touch. Take safety as an example. Our safety response team is on standby 24/7 to provide time-critical human assistance in emergencies. Our partnerships with law enforcement nationwide ensure anyone can seek help through our one-click emergency button.

Showing care for users makes all the difference. Drivers are the heart of our mobility operations, and we have introduced programs such as Club DiDi so drivers can boost earnings and access benefits and wellness perks while they earn with us. For our riders, we want them to feel they are making smart decisions when they travel with us. That’s why we are intentional about creating moments to engage and excite their everyday commutes, through campaigns all year round. Learning to combine technology with human touch is not an easy task. Technology, now more than ever, is behind the user experience and, therefore, vital to the survival, or not, of an operation.

We are committed to learning and growing with our partners in Mexico to build safer and better journeys.


[1] The Five Disciplines of Customer Experience Leaders by  Frédéric Debruyne and Andreas Dullweber. Bain & Co

Photo by:   Richard Farr