While many taxi drivers work with larger cab companies, there are still a good portion of drivers who are self-employed or even work in small partnerships. As such, differentiating yourself is really important. If you’re in London or a large city, you’re likely to make a good living from fares off the street. However, for cabbies in smaller towns, it can be hard to keep your taxi full during your whole shift. The best way to counteract those quiet periods is to draw in bookings, and you do that through good marketing and the vehicle you choose!
Make Yourself Distinctive
Usually when customers are looking for a taxi they are after the cheapest rate but there are many who want a comfortable and stylish journey. For this reason it is important to choose a vehicle that people can recognise but won’t cost you an arm and a leg to run. For many drivers this vehicle is a Mercedes. After you have established the right vehicle for your target audience you need to make your cab distinctive, you need a good name and probably some branding. If you make your Mercedes recognisable to your local customers, you’re certainly more likely to be the first name they remember when they need to make a booking. You can go wild here; add some decals or jazz up your paintwork. Just remember it needs to be memorable and you’ll need to let your taxi insurance provider know about changes of colour.
Add a Bookings System
It’s easy enough to have hands free headset with you at all times in your Mercedes, but it’s not always possible to pick up bookings. As such, it’s good to have a system which allows clients to speak to somebody central or to have their booking confirmed electronically. A web-based bookings system can actually be very cost-effective and won’t require as much work as you think, but you can also outsource your bookings. Whatever your system is, make sure it works for you.
Securing Repeat Custom
One of the most important ways a taxi driver can market themselves is by securing repeat custom. The first thing is that you need to drive safely, get your client to their destination on time and be courteous and polite at all times. Then, when the fare comes in, hand over a smart business card with your number clearly on it and introduce yourself my name. You’re likely to get a few calls from this method alone.
It’s a fairly new development in the taxi market, but loyalty discounts are starting to become more common. Just like when you go into your favourite café and you get a stamp on your card, why not offer your customers a stamp per journey and after five, give them 10% off their next fare. It’s not going to cost you much, but it will definitely help you get repeat custom.
Marketing is becoming more and more important in the taxi world: it’s no longer all about black cabs. Differentiating yourself is key, and even if you don’t manage to build up an enormous customer base in the first few months, all that exposure will be good for your name. Drive reliably and safely, and you’ll soon be one of the best known taxis around town.