In my article Harsh Reality Of Running A Taxi Business I talk about how when operating a taxi business you can only expect what you inspect.
You can’t be assuming that your employees will do the things you tell them. You need to be able to check at any time if they are doing what they are supposed to be doing in order for your taxi business to run and grow as effectively as possible.
So what do you do? The first thing you’ve got to do is extensively use technology. By that I mean record both audio and video in your office and in the cars, if possible.
The reasons to use technology are:
1. Multiple studies confirm that more things get done by employees when they know they’re being watched by the employer.
2. Security of employees and of business in general. If something unexpected happens or if there is any kind of dispute/issue, you can go to your recordings, check them and see what actually happened.
3. Client issues. If some client complains that they called but they never got what they wanted, that they were quoted a wrong price or that a dispatcher tried to rip them off, you can go back to the recordings and, again, see what exactly happened.
4. Better compliance with your policies. For example, if you have scripts (and if you don’t – you should) and you want your dispatchers to follow specific scripts when talking to customers, it’s really easy to see on the video and audio if the dispatcher actually does it or not.
The dispatcher who knows that he is being recorded or watched will comply more because he knows that you the owner can check everything.
Last reason one to use all the technology is your flexibility. Most of the monitoring systems these days are easily controlled over the internet. All you need to check what is going on in your office is a computer with an internet access. You can be anywhere in the world. You enter your user name and password and you can see and hear what’s going on in your office and how your employees are handling the tasks they are supposed to be handling.
Second thing you can do to be in control is use mystery shoppers. You can ask your friends to call your office and use your cabs. You can hire special firms that do mystery shopping. It doesn’t cost much. You’ll receive detailed reports about what your customers think, about how they were handled, what happened to them, if there had been any problem, how it’s been solved and all this sort of stuff. It’s very useful. You’ve got to be doing it.
Number three is to work in your business. I myself am a huge proponent of working on your business and devoting a lot of time to marketing, acquiring customers and making sure that customers stick with you, but you also got to work in your business. Answer the phones. Drive a cab. Great thing about driving cabs is that you can talk to the customers. Most customers love talking to cab drivers. Use this opportunity. Talk to them. Ask them questions. Ask them how they feel about your taxi company. Are they being treated well? Do those who bring you a lot of business feel appreciated by you for doing so? If not, what would make them feel appreciated? Believe me, you’ll get tons of information that you’ll never get from your drivers or dispatchers.
On average a good ball park figure is that you’ve got to be working 80% on your business, which means marketing and systems, and 20% in your business, which means doing technical work and seeing how everything is done, how everything falls into place.
Number four is that you can have GPS systems in the cars that let you see on a screen where every car is at any certain point in time. For example, it costs ten bucks a month to activate a GPS system on my regular cell phone. If you’re using walkie-talkies for communication between dispatchers and drivers the way to go would be to ask the service provider how much it will cost to activate a GPS system on your walkie-talkie phones. You could also install GPS chips in the cars that show you where the cars are at all times.
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