Whether you’re looking to start a cab service, own a taxi fleet or work as part of one, you’ll know that your client base is top priority. Of course, if people aren’t aware of your business, they can’t use it!
In an increasingly digital world, there are plenty of affordable, easy ways to maximise profit and build your customer base.
If you’re tech-shy, worry not, as there are many other savvy tricks to attract new customers and retain current ones.
Taxi Insurer knows how challenging it can be, running a cab service. Drivers have to deal with a variety of passengers, driving conditions and roads, as do your vehicles.
We offer reliable taxi fleet insurance designed to work around your business needs, at affordable prices.
We want to help your business go from strength to strength, so we’ve put our specialist knowledge to good use and created this handy guide to help bring in the customers.
Before you do anything else, focus on one thing: licensing.
Stay on the right side of the law and ensure all taxis in your fleet are licensed. Customers are unlikely to opt for your cab service if the vehicles lack licences, as they’ll feel less secure.
Make sure all fleet vehicles have their licences prominently displayed, as this will reassure potential passengers that they’re in safe hands.
Next, find dependable taxi fleet insurance cover, suited to your specific needs.
Accidents, theft, vandalism and damage all pose risks to your business investment: your vehicles.
You also want to make sure your drivers are covered in the event of an accident or incident in the cab.
Taxi Insurer can provide affordable, quality insurance for private and public hire vehicles.
We’re straightforward and reliable, so if your fleet counts fewer than five vehicles, we may recommend our regular taxi insurance instead of taxi fleet insurance – we want you to get the best deal possible.
After this, you’ll want to think about your marketing strategy and customer service goals.
First, consider your location. The target location and demographic will make a big impact on how you should market your cab company.
For example, if you’re based in London, picking up business should be relatively easy.
Driving around busy areas where taxis are in high demand could bring in all the business you need. Groups often hail cabs outside bars and clubs, and drivers get to know popular areas.
In smaller, quieter locations, this is less likely. Fostering links with local businesses and growing your business presence on and offline will be vital.
Either way, clever promotion will boost your customer base, so it’s well worth doing, wherever you’re based.
In digital times, it’s no surprise that 72% of consumers say online search is their first choice when seeking information on local businesses.
Online promotion is a total necessity if your mini-cab service is operating in less densely populated areas.
Local SEO is more straightforward than many realise.
Claiming your Google My Business (GMB) account and ensuring it contains an up to date address, business category and photos, among other details, helps boost your ranking in Google search results.
This may seem unimportant, but most customers don’t look past the first results page when seeking a service.
Consider groups of friends on a night out, looking to get home quickly.
They won’t want to spend ages scrolling through web page results, browsing mini-cab services.
They’ll likely pick one of the top three rankings.
When so many people look to their phones, tablets or laptops for help, it’s crazy to think that 56% of local businesses don’t claim their GMB account, practically cutting themselves out of the online competition.
Don’t underestimate the power of online promotion – get ahead of the game!
Make sure you have an appealing, up-to-date website, which displays your taxi service’s address accurately site-wide, boosting your online searchability.
Include a ‘Contact Us’ page and, if you can, feature clickable numbers on it, so searchers can call you directly off the website.
Also include a testimonials page; Google considers testimonials when ranking websites, and it builds consumer trust.
Build social media profiles on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. They help you reach out to a wider community and build quality relationships with customers.
Make sure all of these profiles also contain accurate addresses and current information, perhaps adding entertaining or informative content, for example: promotional offers or fun videos of the fleet in action, taking part in local charity or community events.
Ideally, your website should incorporate a 24-hour online booking function – you could even offer an on-demand mobile booking app.
This enables busy customers to schedule journeys in advance, should they wish.
Accommodating customer needs helps increase your client base, as people want a reliable and straightforward service that’s easy to arrange.
You’ll be able to request email addresses during the booking process – valuable additions to your customer database.
If possible, offer early morning and late-night cab services as well – customers appreciate flexibility.
Make sure you have quality taxi fleet insurance, as these working hours may bring greater risks, both for your drivers and your cabs.
Once you’ve got a customer database, you can occasionally send out targeted emails to promote your business.
This is a budget-friendly way to generate bookings, and you can tailor your messaging seasonally.
For example, you could send out an airport transfer promotion around the school holidays, when families are planning trips away.
The local media plays a major role in boosting local residents’ awareness of nearby services.
They’ll often publish for no fee, as local news stories are their bread and butter, so look for interesting takes on your cab company, then give the local paper a call.
Perhaps you’ve just welcomed your 10,000th customer? Perhaps you’ve been successfully trading for 10 years?
If a positive article about your mini-cab business is featured in a popular local paper, your brand awareness will be raised and customers will start rolling in.
Strong working relationships can benefit you and the local businesses you partner with.
Your taxi fleet can offer a fast, reliable service, while the businesses you’re partnering with will provide you with a fresh customer base to tap into.
Team up with reputable local hotels, bars and restaurants, among other businesses, and offer ‘exclusives’, guaranteeing their patrons speedy, reliable cab services.
Invest in some smart, branded leaflets and business cards, then approach local businesses and ask permission to place them somewhere customers will see.
It’s a smart way to bring in new clients, as it spreads the word and builds the general public’s awareness of your cab company.
Print flyers featuring special offers and hand them out in popular local hotspots, such as the pub, cinema or train station.
Local events such as sports matches offer good opportunities for networking, too, so keep your finger on the pulse.
Carry your business cards with you at all times and encourage your fleet drivers to do the same.
Check they include accurate, up-to-date contact details, as well as your website address and social media accounts. Try to pick a visually memorable design, as this will help your taxi service stand out.
Make sure your website and social media platforms contain bright, appealing photos of your taxi fleet and drivers.
People are drawn to visually engaging content, so it’s a great way to advertise your company.
Of course, a greater public presence means greater risk of being targeted for theft or vandalism. That’s why it’s so important to protect your fleet and drivers with quality taxi fleet insurance.
When you start a mini-cab company, fleet branding is key.
Whether you’re based in an urban or rural area, fleet branding is a clever, budget-friendly way to raise local awareness of your brand.
It’s basically free advertising!
A smart, eye-catching taxi fleet will instil customer confidence – just make sure you’ve got reliable cover, in case of vandalism or theft.
Once your fleet is up and running, customer satisfaction should be your top priority.
Ensure every driver in the fleet maintains a high level of customer service, as satisfied customers are a vital resource for business growth.
Every taxi driver in your business should be smartly presented. They should be reliable, as timely as possible and treat each customer with respect.
Dirty vehicles, loud music and unpleasant odours will put customers off using your taxi service again.
Other competitors may have bigger marketing budgets, but customers will return time and time again to reliable taxi services with kind, polite drivers.
Better yet, they’ll tell all their friends.
Think about who’s most likely to need your services. For example, senior citizens tend to be regular taxi service users, as they may be less mobile or unable to drive.
Contact local assisted living facilities or care homes and find out if they would be willing to partner up. You could also offer a senior discount.
If you have larger vehicles with the ability to carry wheelchairs or mobility scooters, advertise those too.
Dedicate an area of your website to airport transfers, as there is often demand for mini-cab services to and from airports.
This will enable customers to quickly access the relevant information and price guide.
Listen to customer feedback and handle it in a polite, respectful manner – customers should feel like their opinions matter.
Whether it’s through conversation or online reviews, any feedback is useful, as it helps you deepen your understanding of customer needs.
You can then tailor your service accordingly and, hopefully, increase profits.
Once you win customers, you want to keep them. It’s important to reward repeat customers, so implement a loyalty scheme.
You could offer a loyalty discount, as this will encourage customers to keep using your taxi service.
Also consider starting a referral scheme, rewarding customers who recommend your services to others. Happy customers are the best adverts for your business.
Run promotions periodically – base it around the seasons perhaps – as this is a good way to draw in new customers and reward current ones, too.
Sponsor a week’s worth of free lifts to police officers or NHS staff.
It’s a fantastic way to give something back to the community and boost business, building your reputation as a safe and ethical mini-cab company.
Spread the word by documenting the week on social media, posting photos on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.
Where you can, make green improvements to your cab service.
Go for more energy-efficient vehicles, maintain optimum tyre pressure and make your business premises as eco-friendly as possible.
Perhaps you could start to invest in electric or hybrid vehicles in your fleet?
This helps demonstrate to customers that your cab company is a caring, responsible business, and makes a positive impact on the environment.
Publicise your eco-friendly efforts on your social media and website, keeping customers in the loop.
Staff morale is incredibly important to any business. Happy taxi drivers will likely feel more invested in the success of the fleet, incentivising them to provide top-notch customer service.
Your taxi drivers are the face of your taxi business, so make sure you recognise their contribution.
It’s a good idea to mark seasonal holidays such as Christmas with a staff party, treating the team to a nice meal out. Events such as these help to lift spirits and encourage teamwork.
In turn, your staff should respect you and your enterprise.
You want to provide a consistently high standard of customer service, so ensure all your drivers are neatly presented, correctly badged and medically fit for duty.
Keep an eye on your fleet, making sure the cabs are kept spick and span.
Your fleet is your livelihood – here at Taxi Insurer, we understand that. Growing your taxi service can be highly rewarding, increasing your profits and widening your customer base.
Sadly, you can never rule out risks such as road accidents, damage and theft. Running a taxi service means your vehicles and drivers are exposed to potentially dangerous roads and scenarios every day.
Protect your drivers and your investment with reliable taxi fleet insurance.
Taxi Insurer offers flexible taxi fleet cover, tailored to your specific needs and budget. We’ve spent decades working with our trust panel of insurers, so you’ll be in safe hands.
Don’t wait, get a quote today.