10 Ways to Build Your Taxi Business, Part Two
Have you read Part One of “10 Ways to Build your Taxi Business”? If not, take a look or read the quick list summary below to check out some of the tips we shared that you can take action on right away. Part 2 keeps the tips charging ahead with 5 more ways to boost your taxi brand for more customers and higher profit margins in 2018.
In Part 1 we covered:
- the importance of creating a vision and not limiting yourself based on your present situation.
- defining your differentiation strategy to help you stand out from your competitors.
- consistent messaging is king in branding and it can make or break what your customers say about you.
- knowing your customer and building targeted messaging to relate to their needs and behaviors.
- the value of leaving an impression with your taxi company tagline.
Please read on for Part 2!
Drive taxi customer conversions with responsive web design
We live in a multi-screen society where consumers interact with websites fluidly throughout the day, moving from desktop computers to smartphones, sometimes even combining both for different uses. To meet your customers where they live online, it helps to have a website that’s easy to use.
Enter Responsive website design. A responsive website will showcase your full website experience, regardless of the device your customers may be using. Responsive websites automatically scale their content to match the screen size on which it is viewed. Check out the Whistler Resort Cabs website (or this blog) as an example of responsive design, as it adjusts all content to fit any size screen. Its easy to see the benefits -from your desktop PC, drag the size of your browser window down to about the size of a mobile phone. If the page you are on is responsive, you’ll see it automatically re-sizing to fit!
Here are a couple of reasons on why a responsive website is important for your taxi business:
- Your content appears more professional and easier to read
Have you ever been on a website that is difficult to read from your mobile browser? Often, the text is too small and parts of the web page may not be accessible. Its frustrating and more often than not, consumers will skip right past such a site and onto the next. Responsive sites are much more professional -easier to read and navigate.
- It’s better for your SEO. (Search Engine Optimization)
Websites that are not of a responsive design are intentionally ranked lower by Google and that means, you’ll be giving up business to your competitors. To check if your website is mobile friendly, use this Google test tool.
Set a web budget for yourself and look into different avenues that you can get your quality website set up. Be prepared to spend anywhere from $3,500 – 7,000 on a well designed, responsive website. It’s worth it in the long run.
Got a taxi app for that? Your competitor does
If your fleet does not have a branded passenger app, consider you may be leaving your flank open for attack by competitors. Once consumers have an app from your competitor, its likely they will favour that method of booking a ride due to the convenience. I know from my own experience that when I need a taxi during a busy time period, like a Saturday night, its much easier to use an app. If I’m out of town, I’ll download a taxi app right there on the spot before I’ll pick up the phone, because a) I don’t want to listen the phone ring and b) I want to know when and where that car is once its assigned. Once you have your brand strategy, logo, colours and tagline in place, its a perfect time to integrate all those things into your app.
Build Your Taxi Business. Be social. Stay connected
Popular social media channels can help open the doors of your business to the public, as described in this blog post, “How to Market Your Taxi Business Online. Once you’ve completed the steps outlined therein, put together an simple engagement plan that will help maintain your online consistency . For more social media ideas, check out these Taxi Commander blog posts: “Win Uber Customers for Your Taxi Business With These Social Media Strategies” and “Get More Taxi Customers With A Shop Local Campaign”.
Spread your message with mobile billboard ads
Why is it that in many markets, it costs hundreds of dollars per month to rent signage on top of taxis? Very simply, because they are traveling billboards, capturing thousands of eyeballs as they move about 24 hours per day. Why not use this fantastic advertising medium to spread your own branding and messaging?
Each one of your vehicles should contain a) your logo, b) your tagline and c) your taxi app download info. If rooftop signs are not appropriate for your fleet, purchase professional window decals, as they are cost effective and easy to install.
Turn your drivers into disciples
You can spend all the money in the world on branding and marketing but if you don’t have buy-in from your taxi drivers all your marketing dollars are wasted. Your drivers are your customer service agents, they are in the public eye every time a passenger gets in your taxi cab. To have a supportive team means your drivers need to believe in your vision and they need to support your tagline every step of the way. If your tagline is “Get Home Safe” then they had better be walking that 19 year old girl right to her door when she is dropped off after midnight! If your tagline is “We’ll help you out”, then I hope they are opening the passengers’ door and lending a hand.
How to get taxi app buy-in from your taxi drivers?
The reality is that every time a passenger books with your taxi app, it is saving the company money on call-taking and dispatch labor. It is also increasing the “stickiness” of your customer relationships and the likelihood of repeat bookings. It is improving customer service by providing great value to the passenger with features such as In-App payment, Call-out notification and Watch the Driver Approach. Its clearly in the best interest of everyone involved from owners to drivers to passengers that app bookings soar.
However, the success of your taxi app is very much in their hands of your drivers. Consider the difference between a driver saying to a passenger, “Oh, that thing never works!”, and “Would you like me to help you download our app for next time?”
So, how can you ensure a positive result? Very simply – 2 things:
a) Train your drivers how the taxi app works. This sounds simply, but most fleets do not. Be sure that drivers know how to download it, how to use it and how to educate customers. Poll the drivers regularly for their feedback on how it works and what customers are saying.
b) Incentivize your drivers. Most drivers work hard to earn a living and most are independent. If this is true and if it follows that every app booking is a net positive for the company, why not reward the drivers financially? Remember, most app bookings will come about as a result of the driver engaging a passenger. The best way to get your drivers to get behind your app is to make sure that they make more money with every app-book ride! How can you accomplish this if they are already getting 100% of the fares? Perhaps you could charge a fee for calls not booked with the app! If its saving you money, then it makes sense that the drivers should make more money on app-booked rides, or, looking at this another way, they should make less on manually booked rides. Put your creative hat on.
Award-winning designer Jonah Sachs sums it up clearly by saying, “your brand is a story unfolding across all customer touch points”. What you say on social, whether your website is user friendly, whether you provide convenience through an app and how your drivers feel about and do their job says a lot about your brand and the customer pays attention.