Repeat business is coveted in all industries with taxi and private hire being no exception. If you offer a good service at a competitive price, customers are more likely to use your services again and inform others of their experience through word of mouth – the most effective form of advertising. How do taxi and private hire companies create this "stickiness" and customer loyalty?
Good service is paramount. This means clean, well-maintained cars and an efficient, timely service from courteous drivers who communicate well and are dressed appropriately. Passengers appreciate small touches like receiving a text message to say the driver is on their way and a phone call when the vehicle is outside; the cost of providing these is negligible. Offering child seats and female drivers on request can also help differentiate you from the competition.
If money were no object, everything mentioned so far would be easy to achieve. However, passengers also look for a cheap fare. Cost savings from suppliers can be passed to passengers, thereby helping to keep fares competitive and maintain stickiness. A simple way to cut costs for airport pickups is to ask drivers to park nearby rather than at the airport when collecting a passenger, and instruct the passenger to call for pick-up once they've cleared customs to eliminate parking costs.
Reducing costs endlessly can result in poor service, however. So how can costs be reduced without compromising quality? An eye for detail and research is often the only way to sift through the plethora of suppliers, whether it's taxi insurance, online technology, vehicles or drivers.
This is especially difficult with online technology because it's very difficult to tell good from bad, since the products all fit on a screen and can be incorrectly regarded as being the same or similar. Read reviews, look for recommendations from other leading cab firms and always insist on a system demonstration. Apply common sense – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Needless to say, where contracts are involved, negotiation skills are important to get the right deal. And if you're signing up to a new system, be wary if asked for any payment up-front, or if the supplier wants to tie you into an exclusive arrangement.
If you're looking into online taxi booking systems, consider Cabubble. You'll be pleasantly surprised by the combination of high quality and low price that helps you offer a superior service to your clients, and help create passenger stickiness and repeat business.