There has never been a better and more crucial time to review and innovate your business, than in the current pandemic lock-down. The sudden and absolute shock of the lock down that started with China in January and rapidly rolled out through the whole planet, has brought the worldwide economies to a halt. This has hit industry in varying degrees, some of which have been quicker and more severely than others. For the transport, travel and tourism and hospitality industries, it has been a particularly worrying time.
Of course, we all must remember the real tragedy of this situation is the loss of life, but what is certain is that we will return to business as usual, hopefully sooner rather than later. So, when the industry starts to move again, who will be the winners and losers?
Churchill is attributed as saying ‘never let a good crisis go to waste’, while this statement was used during a much deeper and protracted crisis, this is just as relevant today. In challenging times, we need to evaluate and analyse what we do and how we do it. The solutions can often be found outside the usual compass, and it takes courage to shake off our complacency and to critically analyse our everyday norms and routines, finding better, more business efficient ways of carrying them out. What was working for your company before this event may not be as effective in a few months’ time. Being pro-active now, and putting business improvements in place, could give your business the competitive boost it needs to survive and thrive in the post pandemic environment.
How do you physically protect yourself and clients?
It takes a bit of ingenuity and creativity to reinvent the service you offer to clients, addressing their worries and communicating the steps that you are doing to minimise their risk while using your service.
I have seen various actions taken by private hire operators during the past couple of months:
- Thoroughly cleaning cars between hires, certain enterprising operators using fogging machines that have the effect of sanitising and disinfecting the vehicle.
- Driver wearing face mask/gloves, also providing the same for passengers.
- Providing anti-bacterial hand gel sanitiser in the car.
- Fitting a screen between the driver and passenger, removable for cleaning, this has been much advertised in Manchester where it is being widely used.
Universal testing will be the moment when we can all provide absolute assurance to our infection clearance, hopefully that will be just around the corner.
So, progressive and innovative companies that grab the opportunity to confront and overturn a bad situation will come out on top. It is predicted that many small operators will leave the market for various reasons, as a consequence of the lock down, which will leave a huge gap to be exploited. There will be a larger demand for trusted transport provision, but fewer operators and drivers in the market.
Presently, companies in the private hire industry have lots of time on their hands, so being too busy is not an excuse. It is time to review and overhaul the service you provide to make your business stronger and prepared for future success.
Plan of Action
- Refresh your website, even little tweaks can make a big impact. Is the text logical and conveying the message you want to your clients, and does your logo need updated?
- Take the time to reconnect with your clients, it is of utmost importance to stay in constant communication to nurture your relationship with them. When they start to rebook, they will choose you.
- Look around for corporate opportunities around you, contact them to see if they are interested in the specialised service that you offer. Many more could be happy to pay a premium for their peace of mind. Not forgetting clubs, universities, organisations, private schools, event spaces etc, why not see if they will allow you to put your booking form into their website, so that you can be their transport provider?
- Use social media to keep in contact with your clients, it is free and can reach a huge audience very effectively. You can use your creativity and imagination to make your company stand out.
- Consider your company financials, do a strategic analysis to maximise your human and financial capital.
Why don’t you introduce an effective, cloud-based chauffeur booking, dispatch and management system?
There are too many reasons why this is an essential strategy to list here. But safe to say that by using the right software, it will save you so much time, streamline your business and increase your profits. You will increase the professionalism of your company, and the features offered by cloud-based software will help you convey this to your clients.
Some of Chauffeur Drive Systems client facing features:
- Instant client messages, vehicle tracking, sends driver and car details and images prior to pick up.
- Corporate booking portals, web booking portals for your website, so clients can book and edit hires themselves, bookings appearing instantly into your dashboard to be processed. In the portal clients have access to their booking history and invoices for management reporting and analysis. Different permission levels can be set for different bookers and booker groups for corporate contracts, while branded invoices can show yours and their logo.
- The system will store client preferences, to appear during every booking when their name appears, enhancing the personalisation of the service.
- All correspondence, contact and event history concerning the client are logged for reference.
- Passenger App, branded to your company, so they have the App on their phone to book with you directly.
- Marketing and analysis features in the software to send advertising/offer messages out to bookers or passengers.
Let us become part of your business lock down exit strategy. We will discuss how and if our software is suitable for your business and won’t hard sell. Call 0044 1786 611299.