Since the pandemic, the taxi industry has endured many challenges and is bouncing back, adapting to the new normal and has been getting back on track. Despite the taxi trade witnessing substantial demand, the driver shortage has impacted the industry in recent days. Various reasons such as costly licensing, better work elsewhere, low wages, and backlogs in background checks for drivers, have contributed to the shortage across the UK. With new technologies that improve customer experience, there has been a massive shift in how people use private hire and taxi services worldwide. Recent findings by Taxi Butler highlight the change in passengers' preferences for utilising taxi services, with an increase in demand in taxi bookings from venues around the globe.
The current scenario
To assist the taxi industry in the comeback and encourage drivers to get back on the road, the Department for Transport and councils are already working towards a sustainable solution. They could further play a considerable role by removing barriers to entry for drivers to join the trade - making licensing cheaper and reducing bureaucracy red tape. Fleets could also look into the wages and employment conditions of drivers. Taxi fleets can put better and safer working conditions for drivers to encourage them to return to the industry. We've seen hundreds of fleets now offering in-vehicle partition screens and antigen testing for their drivers to help them feel safer at work. IVR systems, like RedRoute, are implementing new features to support fleets during the shortage by increasing wait time transparency, consequently improving overall automation rates and phone bookings.
According to a survey, the 15 million mark of ride- hailing bookings made each day will surge, hitting 100 million by 2030. In today's world, where most people still rely on taxis for their daily commute, the basic expectation of all passengers is to arrive at their destination safely and on time. To meet these customer expectations and generate additional bookings from local businesses/venues, fleets and taxi owners can adopt the following strategies to improve their business pace.
1. Automated Customer Connection
Customer satisfaction is critical to a company's long-term success. It is essential to get clients, but it is also crucial to retain them. As a taxi fleet owner and business leader, you must provide customers with compelling reasons to prefer your cab service over others. How do you go about doing that? Providing discounts could be a good marketing approach, but short-sighted. Call centre automation, such as RedRoute, can help you provide your consumers with more attention. It takes just minutes to set up and automates an average of 40% of all your support calls.
In most cases, customers automate half their calls on just day one, improving the total output and customer satisfaction.
2. Automated taxi bookings from venues
Most taxi businesses are adopting technological advances like the purpose-built and innovative taxi booking device from Taxi Butler to assist in the growth of their taxi business.
Each dispatch provider, country, data provider, venue and taxi company are different, and a booking device needs to provide a quality service in all scenarios. No taxi booking solution can control external threads like data/power outages or physical damage caused by third parties or nature. Connectivity, for example, is critical for both taxi companies and venues. Taxi companies can use automated taxi booking solutions allowing 24/7 access and maintaining track of the number of taxi bookings made per day. These devices are always online, always ready to book a taxi, and contain a SIM card that is always ready to send data and receive the latest updates without being dependent on a Wi-Fi connection.
A taxi booking device could help you grow your taxi business by providing the following services:
One-click taxi booking from hotels, bars and restaurants. The venue address is pre- programmed to the device. Receptionists just click the button once and one of your taxis is on its way to the location.
The taxi booking device also has a portal that provides real-time statistics for completed and cancelled bookings.
Thanks to its built-in SIM card, the purpose- made taxi booking device is always online, always ready to book a taxi.
Set goals and measure your performance by logging in to the Management Portal, a dashboard that lets you track device performance and success. It is a place where taxi companies can set up devices, search and add new venues, configure device features, track and manage the performance of every device and download statistic reports, along with dedicated customer success and tech team working around the clock to support taxi companies reach their business goals and help them with all questions.
3. Give back to the community
As a business owner, one also has a moral obligation to make conscious business decisions that positively impact the community. Taxi owners could tie up with local venues across the UK and provide offers, discounts, or occasional free lifts to frontline
workers, police officers, or NHS staff in times of such crises. It could be a fabulous way to give back to the community, also promoting your business as a safe and ethical taxi service provider. You could also take steps towards taking green initiatives for your cab service like adopting energy-efficient vehicles, always maintaining optimum tyre pressure and embracing alternative eco-friendly measures.
When local venues understand your core business ethics and values, they trust you more, thus increasing your chance of generating more business from them. Making small changes such as the ones mentioned above indicate to customers and venues that your taxi company does not only provide basic taxi service but is also a caring, responsible business that positively impacts the environment.
4. Keep Up to Date to Stay Ahead
Passengers are more pleased with taxis when they are kept clean and functional. The taxi fleets and drivers must ensure that the vehicle is well-maintained and in good working condition at all times. In the long run, the same would be beneficial to the business. A well- kept taxi helps raise the driver's star rating on the cab booking system. Currently, government and healthcare authorities' social distancing norms and regulations have restricted taxi services for daily commute. It is essential to take all the necessary precautions to maintain the safety of passengers and the driver; therefore, keeping a few items handy like face coverings, vehicle protection screens, a few rapid antigen test kits, and sanitisation goes unsaid.
There has been a significant shift in how people utilise local taxi services worldwide as the automated taxi booking system has become available, enhancing customer experience. Taxis continue to play an essential role in modern public transit. According to the Taxi Butler Industry Report, by the second quarter of next year, the industry will have grown by 72.7 per cent. The latest discoveries reveal a shift in clients' inclinations for using taxi services, with rapid growth for taxi bookings from local venues. The global taxi booking industry has endured several challenges. 2021 has witnessed a bumpy yet steady rise in taxi bookings worldwide. As we enter into a new year, with the lockdown easing and the travel sector opening globally, the taxi booking industry is more robust than ever to meet the demand of the venues and taxi fleets. However, the tips mentioned above are just a few ways UK taxi service providers can expand their business.