The last few years have seen a sea-change in many industries – though technology has impacted the taxi industry more than most. Where hailing a taxi used to involve standing on the street and sticking out an arm, apps have made the passenger’s life much easier.
But technology – and automation in particular – has dramatically changed the taxi industry too. Indeed, automation is the future of the industry and today we’re outlining five reasons why.1. Automation cuts your costs
An automated taxi system not only improves your bookings, it also quickly increases the number of jobs the company can handle. The system is streamlined so that bookings come in and are allocated, with human error removed from the equation. Likewise, during peak hours, an automated system ensures that no calls are missed by busy staff.
Cloud-based technology gives your taxi business the elasticity to cope with increased demand, which is a clear advantage over relying solely on manual operators.
A further benefit is the ability to easily manage your overheads through efficiently deploying your staff. You’ll have capacity to work more efficiently with rostering and job deployment.
On top of that, one of the standout features of iCabbi is its ability to keep your business going in circumstances which would traditionally have brought operations to a halt. For example, if the phone lines or power in your area goes down, the cloud-based system can continue taking bookings and dispatching them to your drivers without interruption.
The IVR system will continue to operate – meaning your customers aren’t inconvenienced, and your business can keep running smoothly.
2. It creates a more positive customer experience
Automation doesn’t just make life more comfortable for you; it can give your passengers a much better experience too.
From the single user who wants to quickly make a booking via an app to the busy manager who needs to efficiently create dozens of reservations for an upcoming business conference, an automated system can handle it all. Of course, some customers still prefer a personal interaction when booking, and operators can receive calls too, which satisfies that requirement.
3. Automation improves the performance of your business
“90 percent of our customers start to expand their businesses within 12 months of partnering with us,” Andy Janes, Project Manager at iCabbi, explains. “Because they can see the results, it gives them the capacity to plan ahead.”
An automated taxi system gives your staff time to focus on other aspects of their role. For example, dispatch staff can dedicate more of their time to furthering the business – for example, they can contact other companies in the area to set up new accounts. Or you’ll have time to consider a fleet upgrade or work on business development.
iCabbi Insights is a new Business Intelligence (BI) tool which will empower you to make decisions based on your data. Using easy-to-understand reports that can be accessed on a mobile phone, you can distil all your booking information into visual reports to help you make better business decisions – faster.
Your reports can highlight the KPIs that are most important to you – and you can have the information in front of you in seconds.
This data uniquely positions you to make informed decisions about your business. You’ll be able to see the times of the day that are busiest, but also who your best clients are. These insights can also highlight who your best drivers are, as well as revealing areas of your business that may be underperforming.
4. It creates a better working environment and happier staff
One of the benefits of iCabbi is that we fully train your staff. To ensure that your people have the confidence to use our system, we train a ‘superuser’ – a more technically-minded member of the team – who can impart their knowledge to their colleagues and help train new members of staff as they join the company.
This method provides a sense of independence and gives your staff ownership over the new system. Naturally, iCabbi support will always be on hand to help when needed: our dedicated technical support team has industry experience and expertise backed up by daily briefings from our product and development teams. We’re available during working hours Monday to Friday and there’s out of hours support for emergencies too.
We know that drivers can sometimes be apprehensive about automated systems, but the reality is that they can significantly benefit from it, not least because of its inherent impartiality. “The core thing drivers look at is that it’s not down to an individual to decide who’s getting a job and that the system will treat them as fairly as the next driver,” explains Andy Janes.
The other big plus for both drivers and passengers is that the iCabbi system can put them in direct contact with each other. So, if the driver can't easily find the customer at the pick-up point, they can contact the customer without having to go back to the dispatch operator.
5. Automation offers additional safeguards through cloud-based systems
Using a cloud-based system provides staff with the possibility of working remotely. Once they have access to a computer and internet connection, they can work just as efficiently as if they were in the office.
Cloud-based operating systems also come with added security benefits. One of the features that we pride ourself on is that we use Amazon Web Services servers, the very best technology in the business.
“They have ISO certification and are used for handling data from banks, governments and hospitals, so they have an excellent record of security,” confirms Mark Maguire, Director of Operations.
Additionally, the system ensures that your data is always under the protection of the most up-to-date security standards, and regular updates mean that you are continuously protected.
Move your business into the future
Apps and automation are the future of taxi businesses. To begin your journey into innovation, talk to us today: We’ve helped hundreds of taxi companies become more efficient and profitable so we can help you with any questions you might have.