A letter to Fair Taxi

Grrrgh, grrrgh, grrrgh,grrgh rings went over and over again. It took 2 mins for them to pick up the call. Thought to myself, next time I’m going order through their app and it was a disaster. This is a letter to whom ever who is responsible running Fair Taxi. It’s not a complain but a bunch of suggestions to improve and why they need to focus on their own critical success factors (csfs) rather than copying another companies success.

By far as I recall the cheapest meter taxi in Sri Lanka is Fair Taxi (Starting Rs.50 & Rs.32 per km), good quality drivers, the driver details displayed in back of the seat of driver and quick to answer the customer.

I got to know about Fair Taxi 2 years back from a good friend of mine, Malinda Prasad. Their hotline was very strong back then. With the dawn of one of Sri Lanka’s hottest startup company, PickMe, it’s taxi booking app, the good compensation mechanism to tuk drivers and the free phone with app in it the meter taxi industry in Sri Lanka was revolutionised. According to a few Fare Taxi drivers I spoke with had a really good impression about PickMe and told how their colleagues left the company and started riding for PickMe or started driving for Rs.40/km as usual road meter taxi drivers. But hasn’t joined “Tuk Tuk” by any chance.

Why did Fare Taxi wanted to have an app? Was it because of not having the app their employees left? I don’t think so.

Here are some suggestions to Fare Taxi (Perhaps others can get some learning too).

. Focus on their hotline

Sri Lanka is still a county which love to get assisted by a human and by not a machine. There are many people who still doesn’t know how to fully operate a smart phone. They feel it comfortable to give a call and get a taxi. Training of call center agents, answering mechanism in trilingual will be some added suggestions.

.Use analytics

Request for information from the customer. As Pizza hut guys do (But don’t spam the customers). We know you can see our number in the screen, so personalise the conversation with the customer. Send the SMS with driver’s name and greeting the customer. Maybe introduce a frequent customer loyalty program. Give free rides based on points. All you need is data. This can be done over a call.

. Benefits for drivers

Have a competitive revenue model. This needs to be figured out with PnL and bank balances. Heard the drivers had to buy the phones to install driver app in Fare Taxi. Oh crap, who does that? Above all it hasn’t brought them any hires than the usual. Frustration. Frustration. Frustration.

I’m a frequency user of Fare, PickMe and Uber so I usually get the drivers to a conversation to understand and learn about their businesses, their lives as it’s a part of my leisure time activity.

Fare Taxi mobile app, I would see this as a digital transformation which company wanted/ rivalry against competition. As I believe for companies to do any digital transformation than the technology, transformation of the years of flat hoisted cultures also needs to be heavily thought through and transform with patience and with a plan.

In a nutshell, Fare Taxi is a good meter taxi service with unique strengths. Suggest they focus on what they are good at and improve. That’s a part of the plan.

Wrote while commuting.