The life of taxi operators and drivers has been under the spotlight of late, after the decision of Transport for London (TfL) to withdraw Uber’s licensing in the capital. Similarly, the controversial private hire firm also courted controversy by attempting to change the rights of their drivers, a move which was rebuffed on appeal in British courts.
The trials and tribulations of Uber should serve as a lesson to all taxi operators, in terms of their compliance, the way in which they treat their drivers and the experience that they deliver to passengers.
With all of the competition and regulations that are emerging, it’s easy to forget about the simple foundations of the taxi industry – safe, comfortable rides that get you where you wanna go.
To get ahead of the competition, taxi operators should spend their efforts on tactics to outmaneuver disruptors like Uber. Instead, go back to the basics. Ensure that you have reliable staff and cost-effective fleet. All too often, these important but forgotten features take a backseat (pun intended) to new, sexy concepts like apps and the sharing economy.
Securing Finance and Suitable Vehicles
Make no mistake; the vehicles that you buy are one of the core pillars to the success of your taxi venture, in more ways than one.
Firstly, being able to finance the purchase of affordable cars ensures that your business can turn a viable profit, both for you and your individual drivers. This must be balanced by investing in safe, reliable and occasionally modified vehicles, however, which usually carry a higher price premium.
Fortunately, there are resources available that can allow you to achieve both of these objectives simultaneously. Take Cab Direct, for example, which offers access to a wide array of targeted vehicles that are available at genuinely competitive prices. There are also new and high quality used vehicles available to choose from, helping you to tailor your selection according to your budget constraints.
Secondly, you should also create a flexible and functional fleet that can suitable the various needs of passengers. The market is littered with purpose-built taxis, for example, along with modified cars that are capable of comfortably transporting individuals with a physical disability. This not only guarantees comfort for every single passenger, but it also enables your firm to reach as wide and as diverse an audience as possible.
Become service oriented again
One of the big problems with Uber is that you can never really expect a consistent level of service. That’s because independent drivers get to determine what kind of customer service they’d like to offer. Furthermore, the requirements to joining Uber is much lower than the standard hiring process used by taxi companies.
Sure, you could give someone a bad rating. But you’ll have to endure the torture of sitting through the bad experience first. In an age of cheap and convenient rides, taxi operators can actually rise above and provide something that riders desperately miss: predictable, and excellent customer service.
The Bottom Line – Here’s how you set yourself apart
Ultimately, it’s all too easy for taxi firms to become preoccupied with the notion of compliance and the relationship that they have with their drivers in the modern age.
The spectre of Uber is also a key focus for firms, as this brand has emerged as one of the great disruptors of the modern age.
Make no mistake; the nature, cost and the quality of your fleet and staff is central to the success of your venture, while it also has the potential to set your operation apart from its competition.