New Dawn: How Gokada makes PR Stunt of a Looming Image Disaster
Gokada, one of the leading motorbike hailing companies in the country has resumed its Lagos operation, following a “self-made” decision to suspend it and attend to customer satisfaction issues. The company had publicly declared that the suspension informed by CEO who “booked a ride and noticed operational issues”. Of course, it was a hoax.
The decision which was to be imposed on the company by the Lagos State government became inherent owing the purportedly sub-standard quality of the bikes deployed by Gokada which was said to negate the agreement between the two authorities. Hence, the clamp down became inevitable after series of unproductive discussions with the company.
However, seeing the handwriting on the wall and the incalculable damage it portends for the fledgling brand, the company moved swiftly to announce it’s “pausing” its operation (so sudden), citing the need to “upgrade and improve the safety standards in the interest of the customers”.
The firm went on a break and paused access to its app on Wednesday, August 14, 2019, citing the need to improve its safety standards and skills of its personnel.
By this deft move, the management took the wing off the sail of the government regulator, LASG (assailant), took over the conversation and spurned a story that presented the organisation as a safety conscious, customer centric organisation that would stop at nothing for the good of the customer.
Although, there were a few burst here and there, in all however, the move proved a Public Relations stunt for the Gokada brand, a good one at that as it generated a good dose of unearned media for the brand. The stories suffused the harsh voice of the regulators, giving Gokada a field day.
Following its well orchestrated script, the story freshly emanating from the company is that since its hiatus, Gokada has skilled up existing and newly engaged drivers called GPilots in advanced knowledge of defensive driving behaviours for enhanced safety, GPS navigation, and optimised customer service delivery.
In addition to upgrading the skills of its personnel, the bike hailing company has also overhauled its entire motorbike fleet and acquired new TVS motorbikes and fitted its drivers with Bluetooth enabled helmets allowing for more seamless communication and navigation experience.
According to Fahim Saleh, Founder / Co-Chief Executive Officer, Gokada, the firm had always prided itself on setting the standard in the market for safety and service.
“Hairnets, DOT-certified helmets, extensive training – these are all reasons safety on our bikes has been so consistent and how we were able to convince many to give this new-age bike taxi a shot”, Fahim said.
He adds, “As we scale up, what we have now would be the template for what all our future pilots will follow. We took the risk to pause for a moment and improve on that template in order to provide our customers with exceptional service at scale.”
Speaking on the reinvigoration of the brand which terms as Gokada 2.0, Ayodeji Adewunmi, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Gokada said, “It was all about unflinching commitment to customers”.
Riding on the now famous alibi, Adewunmi explained that the firm believed that it was better to suspend its operations for two weeks so it could retool and revamp for unmatched service delivery and exceptional experience! It would be an incredible time for customers to use the Gokada services as it journeyed to transform transportation in Nigeria, he declared.
“As part of this relaunch, we have also made several upgrades to the management team. I am truly excited about Gokada 2.0,” Adewunmi said.
As all are being invited to embrace the upgraded Gokada services, the firm has built in a new reward promo. Gokada would also be surprising many of its customers with gifts. These include an iPhone X for one lucky passenger. Good luck to all riders! For the PR spin, good one to the Gokada PR team.