How To Market A Taxi Business
Marketing Tips For Taxis
The taxi industry is a very competitive but potentially very lucrative area to be in.
But unlike the vast majority of industries, there is a strange desire in the taxi world to cater for as many different customers as possible.
Here we take a look at a few tips to ensure your taxi firm stands out from the crowd and grows a sizeable, loyal client base.
Taxi companies, like any, rely on marketing in some form or another to attract customers and thrive as a business. Traditional marketing techniques using media such as TV and radio may however, be less appropriate, particularly for small taxi firms and freelance drivers.
It is important to distinguish the difference, at this point, between taxis and private hire vehicles. Taxis (hackney carriages by their official title) are the type that can be hailed from the side of the road, whilst private hire vehicles can only pick up passengers who have pre-booked. This article deals with the former and takes a look at just how a taxi firm can launch a successful marketing campaign.
The first thing to realise is that a taxi firm is a very locally focused business. Camberley taxis for example, are going to operate in and around the local Surrey area and as such there is little point advertising Camberley taxis in West Yorkshire or the North East; an obvious point to make but important to bear in mind when selecting the media through which to advertise. For example, think about advertising in free local papers rather than national broadsheets and tabloids.
Another marketing technique well exploited by many taxi firms is to secure their own, highly memorable phone number. Whilst these will come at a price, the phone number that first pops into a potential customer's head is the first he or she is likely to call. Keep the local area code if possible but try and limit the actual number to 2 or 3 different digits.
Flyer dropping and poster campaigns in local take-aways, bars, restaurants and clubs are great ways to get your firm's number into the public domain but do not forget to utilise the internet. The majority of taxi firms have taken up the online marketing challenge and so if your firm has not, you'll be losing business to your competitors.
Anyone younger than the age of 40 is likely to begin their search for anything online. Ensure your taxi firm is published in a number of online directories and appears in the top five results for taxi searches in your area. This harks back to the point about being locally focused; by optimising your firm's site to appear on results pages for local taxis you increase the chances of local customers finding your page whilst saving money chasing fares outside of the firm's catchment area.
In terms of Apple and Android taxi applications, whilst some have had success it has largely been limited. There are some that allow you to submit your firm's contact details for free but avoid paying for such marketing.
Once more on the point of staying local, get in touch with restaurants and clubs in your firm's catchment area to see if you can form some sort of relationship. An idea is to offer their staff 25% of fares and customers 20%. In return, simply ask to place your flyers in their foyer and request their staff recommend your firm to their customers.
Be creative. Some taxi firms order a batch of key-rings with their name and number on to distribute to customers and local firms. Any time a potential client needs a ride, or anyone asks them for a taxi number, yours is literally to hand.
Finally, word of mouth is a powerful tool. Ensure your fares are reasonable but put a real emphasis on customer satisfaction. A customer pleased with your service will firstly become a loyal, repeat customer who you can count on for business. If they are delighted then they will become a champion; recommending your firm to anyone and everyone who asks. Aim for the latter and with any luck you'll find your client base grows and grows.