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As a taxi company, you probably have (or plan to have) an impressive fleet. This means, the number of drivers you’re managing grows almost constantly. Automated payout & billing system is one of the tools meant to reduce the amount of management needed.
Automated driver billing is integrated into TaxiStartup platform. The tool makes sure that your drivers are billed every once in a while, and it happens fully transparently and reliably. Curious how that works?
Every driver has to fill out their bank account information right away while registering in the Driver app. This information will be verified by an account manager.
Starting from this very moment, our system will calculate all the data for the billing & payouts to the driver’s account on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. For the drivers with a pre-order based subscription, their balance will be charged every time they take a job. No more manual calculations for you!
Drivers can top up their accounts in two ways:
If passengers pay cash or terminal, all this money goes to the driver. That’s why our billing system registers such payment but does not top up driver balance with the total received. It calculates order fee and charges it from the balance instead. So if your company receives cash/terminal payments only, and drivers with a negative balance are not allowed to work, advise your drivers to top up their balances before starting the shift.
The history of drivers’ transactions is saved in the system. Managers at your company always have access to all the detailed reports on all the transactions and balance of the drivers.
Say, the billing cycle in your company is a month, the 1st of the month to the 1st of the next month. During this period, the TaxiStartup system calculates your driver’s Payment summary. This summary is automatically submitted to your company email.
After that, you can pay your drivers in three ways:
Talking about transparency, we’ve considered driver’s interests, too. The drivers are able to follow their own transactions and fees charged, and the amount of payout in the Driver app. This feature gives drivers a better overview of what they earn and helps to build trust between the company and the employees.
The driver payouts option is free (configurational fee applies, using the tool if free). To activate it, drop your message at email@example.com.
Our setup specialists will need to know a couple of details:
The configuration normally takes us 1 to 3 hours of intense work, that’s why we take a fee for it. As soon as the feature is activated, “Payout details review” tab will appear in the company panel. You can read more about driver payouts here.
After this, the drivers submit documents necessary to be on the payout list and wait until you approve them. You can approve or reject their payout details. You can learn more about it in this article.
Managers will need to set a minimum limit of a driver’s balance for payout reports to become possible. If a driver does not have the set minimum sum on the account, they won’t be on the payout list. Note: Take care your drivers do not reach the limit because it blocks the generation of payout reports!
Collaborating with a bank on the payout or paying the drivers with cash — however, the time you spend is much shorter with driver payout tool!
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Hey hey! The spring is rolling out the leaves, and we are rolling out a new release for you! In the new 0.19.6 release, we’ve brought to life the functions in our taxi dispatch system you were asking for. With it, you’re getting some cool functionalities in dispatch panel and (surprise!) some driver app features you really needed.
From now and on, your dispatchers can see all the important actions within an order right on the city map. We’ve come up with some pins to help you see the whole booking history and driver track.
This is how these pins are displayed in the booking history
and on the map, you’ll see the route with those pins
They simplify the process of trip analysis and show if the real drop off differs from the initially chosen drop off pin on the map. This information allows your operators checking the orders with the wrong drop off and understanding why this happens.
Another good piece of news is that by clicking on the text or icon in the booking history, you jump to the corresponding action on the map. You get the details (like the time when trip started or the final address) by hovering over one of the pins: this speeds up your dispatcher’s work a lot!
We know: for many of you, it’s really important to know the passenger rating for resolving some contradictional cases.
In this release, this helpful feature is back. Now your drivers can rate a passenger via the app after the ride is finished:
As a result, business managers can check the passenger rating to make the right decision in any conflict situation. Everything is clear and fair 😎
In 0.19.6 Release, we bring back the possibility to see passenger details before pre-order starts. Still, now it’s an optional feature. You can choose it in your company panel in the general setting of a service type.
Your drivers can also decide if they need these data or not, and hide it if it’s unnecessary by clicking on the “Trip” button.
Very often, the details about a passenger help your drivers understand if they can accept an order. Say, some passengers have kids and need a child safety seat, others want to travel together with their pets. In such cases, drivers need to be prepared to take an order. Other info (like the drop off point) helps to improve the service and allows drivers to plan their working day.
Order ID lets your dispatchers quickly check the information about any trip. Instead of typing this long number in, your operators can easily copy it by clicking on a new button “Get ID” and look for its details in their panel. Dealing with complaints and controversial fares becomes even easier!💪
Want to know what payment method a passenger used? Card, cash, terminal? Here we go! Now, your operator managers can check it via the taxi dispatch system. The information is shown just next to the final trip cost.
Good news! We now display an estimated or fixed trip cost in driver app! Having the information about estimated job cost before the trip, a driver can make a quicker decision to accept an order. On the other hand, you may decide to choose for showing only the fixed cost at the end of the trip — so that your drivers make as many trips per day as possible! Now that’s what we call the freedom of choice!
Please remember: you choose to decide whether your drivers see the trip cost before, during or after the trip. It depends on your company policy and priorities. Everything can be set up in the company panel.
Every new update simplifies the process of business management. This release is no exception! Tracking orders, analyzing them and making the changes needed is even easier now. On the top of that, the driver app regained its former power so that you can substantially grow your revenue😏
Any questions so far? Feel free to ask them in comments! We’re there to help you😉
Just yesterday, our client, taxi company Kaiian, was ranked #1 on the App Store! In front of Uber! That’s great news both for Kaiian and for all the other startups afraid to compete with Uber. Everything is possible — if you rationally invest money and efforts into marketing your product.
Kaiian is a rapidly growing app-based taxi company in Saudi Arabia. At the moment of launch, their main competitors were Uber and Careem, not to mention small taxi companies. A big challenge, right? Kaiian accepted it. And not in vain. They were ambitious and had a plan.
To stand out, they needed to be unique, user-friendly and reliable. This became possible with the TaxiStartup white label solution. Kaiian has also worked out a sustainable growth strategy which involved promoting apps in small towns and becoming really a part of local communities, a family member. Word of mouth worked perfectly here!
By using hardcore techniques like asking their clients direct questions, Kaiian found the best working marketing channels. They were Instagram and Snapchat (true!). And another discovery: the loyal clients turned out to be the best influencers for the company.
In less than 10 months after the launch, Kaiian became one of the top-three on-demand businesses in Saudi Arabia. Now, they have around 4,000—5,000 orders per day and work in 55 cities! And the most impressive news — #1 rank on the App Store!
Ready to know how to get to the top, just as Kaiian did? Because we’ve got some tips!
The general rule is, the more downloads your app has, the faster it gets to the top chart. The easiest way to get more downloads is to invest money in paid acquisition (advertisements, as you call it in human language).
It’s the obligatory first step for all the new apps. Paid advertisement will let you get more users clicking on your app. But it won’t last forever. As soon as you stop advertising, the app will gradually roll down. To retain your top positions, use other marketing methods that will guarantee organic user acquisition growth. What are those methods? Referral programs, ASO and community building.
What is the simplest way to get a lot of publicity? Let me prompt: not the billboards. It’s the word of mouth. When real people tell other people about how nice your app is.
To get some good word of mouth, you have to concentrate on creating user communities instead of just getting more random customers to download your app.
The users should become your friends, but how does one get there?
The bottom line here is to move from selling services to creating relationships. If you move to building a trustworthy relationship with people, an engaged customer community will grow quickly. As the CEO of Kaiian puts it, you will become a family member, not just some company with cars. And they will promote their “family member” because it’s only natural.
Because the paid acquisition is no remedy, try to optimize your apps for the App Store and Google Play. How? Here’s how:
The app icon
The icon is the most eye-catching element of your app. Make it attractive so that users have a reason to click on it.
Screenshots and videos
Those show how exactly your app works. If it makes obvious the app is great, people will download it.
Name of the app
Ideally, the name should be descriptive enough for users to know what they will get after the download. Including keywords relevant for your business is a good practice, but sometimes it is not possible. Don’t worry then, there’s more to optimize!
Using keywords is extremely important. It should be in the title, the description, and, of course, when submitting the app to the App Store, you will be able to put up to 100 characters on keywords into the special field. Google, on the opposite, prefers choosing keywords from the description of the app itself. Take care the chosen keywords are not too competitive, otherwise, the app will not become any visible.
Reviews and ratings
In the world where we can rate everything, this is just the top priority. Enough good reviews will attract new customers to the app. To optimize reviews, it’s handy to have a support line for customers: this way when something goes wrong, people will talk to the support instead of giving a bad rating or leaving an angry review.
As trends differ for different places, your optimization has to fit the needs of the local market. It’s not only about the language, it is also about fitting a certain kind of mentality.
Store optimization never ends. It is essential to keep monitoring the performance of the app, make adjustments and test options.
(Secret info: we are going to roll out a whole no-nonsense course on ASO for you really soon! )
Customer development is one of the best tactics. Simply ask your customers the following questions:
Then start thinking like your clients do. It helps to create an image of an average client and imagine how a typical day of a customer goes to understand how to target your ads. Then just do it! Yes, you can!
Interested in the marketing of your existing taxi app, contact your sales managers or write at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wanna start your own taxi booking app? Sign up for Trial right now.
Kaiian is an app-based taxi company in Saudi Arabia. Less than a year ago they’ve launched their app, aiming to compete with Uber and another local company alike, Careem.
Within about 9 months, Kaiian reached being in the top-three on-demand businesses in Saudi Arabia. Now they give their clients 4,000—5,000 lifts per day, 80% of those — in small towns of the country.
The CEO of Kaiian tells us about growing a taxi business and marketing it rightly.
Bader, the founder of Kaiian, has been a taxi-chauffeur for a time long enough to understand all the peculiarities of the business. He has gathered enough knowledge to come up with a business idea that would give both drivers and passengers exactly what they need: an affordable, ready-to-order, reliable taxi service. The platform for it had to be easy to use, modern, and have enough front-rank features to outperform Uber which was already present in the big cities of Saudi Arabia.
Bader started with outsourcing a company to develop the application for Kaiian. After it was clear explaining all the demands to the outsourcers takes too much time and doesn’t pay back, Bader ordered a white-label app.
Being different than their competitors was extremely important to Kaiian. The company was looking for a platform they’d be able to customize completely. The “musts” were:
Another essential demand was using Kaiian’s own design: logo, color scheme, the whole branding.
“We needed to be different, to be loved for who we are. It’s not easy to enter even a small town here in Saudi Arabia: each town is a community, nobody likes strangers there. We needed to make sure people know and trust Kaiian. Being functional and recognizable are the top priorities, thus.”
Ordering a white label was a way to save a lot of time and effort for the company.
When Kaiian was launching, there were already big players on the taxi market of Saudi Arabia — Uber and Careem. It was evident that competing with them right away would demand a plenty of investments. Kaiian chose for developing a strategy with the aims to:
The initial step was “taking over” the small, quiet towns of Saudi Arabia. Because each town is a community, Bader counted on getting enough positive buzzword.
And he was right:
“We’ve started in the city of Al-Kharj. As soon as people knew we are reliable, knew their friends were using our services, we stopped being “some other taxi company”. We’ve became their trusted family members. Starting in a small town is maybe not that ambitious, but you can succeed easily — and move on to more!”
In three months after the launch, the company managed to reach the point of providing their clients 200 trips per day. After that, the growth paused. Kaiian has already made enough revenue to invest into expanding geographically.
To enter the market of the next two towns, Hail and Yanbu, the company had to lower the prices almost twice. But very soon, the pricing was not the key-factor anymore.
“We were actively present in 30 towns within 2 months. These were small cities, nobody knew Uber over there at first — and when they did, Kaiian was already a strong alternative. At that point we were ready to compete: we had enough money, enough expertise, and enough loyal clients.”
Expanding to the new cities meant attracting new customers and new drivers. Looking for a right tool to do that, Kaiian chose for social media marketing.
“We wanted everybody to talk about Kaiian. So, we needed to choose the most suitable channels, but also to cast our social influencers wisely. Working with the celebrities followers are just jealous of did not fit us. We needed people who are truly loved.”
To find the right influencers, the founders of Kaiian did some hardcore customer development. They settled behind the steering wheels themselves and asked the clients simple questions: “Who do you follow? Who do you really trust?” This was the reliable way to learn about the most respected influencers, but also about the most relevant channels.
At the first stage of promoting, Snapchat and Instagram marketing worked best for Kaiian. As the company wanted to attract people of lower and middle incomes, engaging young clients via Snapchat was a good decision. Instagram promotion was targeted at middle-class people in their 30s and 40s.
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We never hesitate to ask them for a referral or to ask who they follow on social media. This is what our best drivers keep on doing.”
At the next stage of marketing their taxi company, Kaiian decided to invest more into professional support. When the business was about to go to the big cities, they’ve hired a local marketing agency.
“Local marketers have a huge advantage: they know all the regional specifics, understand the way of thinking here. Hiring an agency allowed us to focus on our services, while specialists are dealing with the PR.”
Growing a taxi business meant expanding the customer base — and the fleet as well. Kaiian needed devoted drivers, ready to make not less than 200 trips per day.
Attracting new drivers was easy. Kaiian simply set better driver tariffs than the competitors had. The word of mouth followed immediately. The new drivers got a free trial period. Why?
“Giving a free trial doesn’t bring us money. But it brings us clients. Even if a driver will stop working, the clients stay with Kaiian. Free trial also allows us to deduce which driver plan is the best to offer to a certain driver.”
The TaxiStartup platform allows adapting fares to the market requirements. Driver plans can be adjusted anytime. Kaiian was able to make good use this feature: they’ve analyzed the Saudi-Arabian taxi market and invented two driver plans:
“A huge part of driver management happens automatically within the TaxiStartup solution: registration, billing, access management. This saves a lot of time to think of ways to improve drivers’ performance. We provide them with uniforms, motivate them to work more and better. Forcing never helps, making good offers does.”
Are there more heights for Kaiian to reach? It’s time to enter Mecca and Riyadh, huge and important cities of Saudi Arabia. Bader says:
“Marketing your taxi business in a big city is not necessarily about money. As taxi business is very social, it’s about right social moves. If you want to market in Dubai, you have to match the city which is multicultural and creative. Advertizing 1 crazy creative thing per month would totally work. This would distinguish a company. If your platform is good, your services reliable, you will always find a possibility to develop further.”
As you see, there’s a lot to learn from the Kaiian case. Here are some of the best practices:
We hope the example of Kaiian will inspire the boost of your taxi business😊
Breaking news: collaborating with other businesses is all hot! You’ve got all the data about what your clients like, right? Ever been wondering how to use this precious knowledge? Very simple: team up with the businesses your passengers love.
How does that work? Let us explain.
Imagine, 50% of your passengers are staying at a local hotel. At a certain point of their stay, they come to the reception desk and ask for a taxi. The reception person orders a taxi from your company. The price of a trip is included in the suite price. The hotel bills the guest, and you bill the hotel.
Imagine, you ally with 20 other businesses in your location. Imagine, it’s not only hotels, but also airports, restaurants, nightclubs, and basically any companies needing taxi transfer services every once in a while. Exciting, right?
But is there some tool to make this scheme possible? The answer is yes.
Hotel transfers, airport transfers, and all other types of partner transportation services are made really effortless within TaxiStartup platform. We’ve included “Partner dispatcher” (aka “remote dispatcher”) into the company panel. Let’s see how it works.
You have operators with full access. They are able to create, view and change orders for all available service types, as well as view and change orders of other operators. They can also view drivers on the map.
And you have operators with partner access. They are only enabled to create, view and change orders of the service types allowed for them personally. They won’t have an access to other operators orders, and they won’t be able to view the map.
Partner dispatcher access is an ideal solution for your business partners: hotels, restaurants, service stations and any other businesses eager to book your services for their clients, employees, or whoever.
In taxi business, “one-size-fits-all” solutions are seldom. Not all businesses will use your services under the same conditions. This is why we’ve thought of different options.
1. Partner access (paid by a passenger) . This one is for your partners who let their clients pay for a transfer taxi themselves. Only the service types with “Cash” and “Terminal” payment methods are allowed here. The money for a trip will be transferred to your account as soon as the trip is taken.
2. Partner access (billed on a partner). This is a perfect option for the partners who pay for their clients. Like if a nightclub books a taxi transfer for a guest and puts costs on an account. In this case, you bill the nightclub at the end of a month. For this access level, only the service types with “Third party systems via Dispatch API” payment method are allowed.
As you see, your collaboration with businesses that matter for your clients is made really-really easy.
First, you will have to find out what local businesses are a good match for the growth of your company. These can be:
(we can go on with this list for the next ten pages, but who wants to read it?).
Armed with serious numbers from Facebook Analytics, you can see which companies are the most popular among your customers.
At the next stage, you will need to set the terms of cooperation with these partners — and start using this revenue channel! The passengers will be able to travel carelessly, and you will enjoy the whole new income source!
Thought there will be no features after the 0.19 release? Well, that’s not how we do things at TaxiStartup.
While you were reading our email about the new release, we’ve developed a new driver search feature. It brings all the convenience together for your operators to be fully in control of how the taxi drivers do their work! Let us tell more details😏
Have a look at the map below. It shows you drivers according to the service type they belong to. You can see how many taxi drivers are online, and how many of them are busy or available. There are pins on the map in the locations where your taxi drivers are. Handy, right?
It is now possible to view the whole route of every order a taxi driver is completing. To see it, you click on the pin of a driver on the map. By doing that, you’ll get the pickup and dropoff pins shown on the map. Just like that:
In the right part of the map, driver’s profile information will appear. It includes the description of the route the driver is completing, driver’s personal info and a link to the order details. This is something we’ve introduced instead of the old driver’s chart you got to see next to the pin in the previous versions of the system.
Why is this interesting? Because in case you’re not sure why a taxi driver is in a particular area or why they’re not moving, you can check their order status. Or even follow it from the beginning to the end. Life’s becoming easier💪
Need to find a driver who’s on a ride? No problem! Above the drivers’ list, you can type in the search parameter to find taxi drivers. There are 4 types of parameters:
No matter how huge your fleet is, now you can find and follow every driver on the map, real time. If there are more than 100 search results suiting your inquiry, you’ll be asked to clarify the search parameters.
A bit of explanation of the pin types. Transparent pins stand for drivers offline (or, in case you’re searching, for the drivers not matching the search word). “Busy” drivers are marked on the map with a pin with a white dot inside. A taxi driver available for an order has a pin filled with colour.
See? The map is clearer than ever! And nope, we won’t stop delivering you new, handy features!😼
Hey! We’ve got some news for you! A long-awaited version 0.19 of TaxiStartup platform is coming with 19 awesome features. The new effective tools and improved experience for your business included.
This time you’ll get a modern design of driver apps together with real-time analytical reports and new payment gateway integrations. We hope these updates will make your workflow management more transparent and efficient.
We know: drivers use these applications as a work tool. We want the apps to be simple and easy to use. After analyzing the behavior of driver app users (which took a lot of time and efforts 😫), we’ve developed the design that helps your drivers feel more confident while riding! We also worked on a driver app visual component. The updated app can be customized to your brand colors to protect your brand identity and differentiate it from competitors.
Besides, we’ve upgraded the intelligent queues algorithm that distributes the driver jobs. Now it selects the driver in a more fair and logical way. This shortens the arrival time and improves the overall passenger’s user experience.
From now on you a have a real analytics tool right in your company panel. It allows you to track the number of orders per day, week and month in real time. You can also compare the results of the previous month with the current one and check the response time of a driver. These data allow you to take actions to improve the services and grow faster. All charts are on the same page, just scroll and examine your results per period of time.
Every service type has its own unique color. This visual representation gives you the full picture of your services work, at a glance. Track what service type is in demand and add more drivers to increase your revenue.
Starting with this update, your operator managers will have an opportunity to check any information by just typing an ID in their panel. This will help to deal with complaints from passengers or controversial fares in a quick way.
While testing the new Company Panel in Beta, we’ve fixed all the possible bugs and improved existing features. Now the panel runs flawlessly and has an intuitive look and feel that makes your management process even more workable (yet so simple!). All the old sections have been transferred and visually upgraded for your user experience to be great.
Are you interested in providing transfer services to hotels, restaurants and other local businesses? Or already doing this? We have the solution! Now, you can give access to your Dispatch operator panel to hotels and restaurants, but with «limited rights». Set the terms of cooperation with these partners and start using the new profitable revenue channel. As a result, the restaurant and hotel guests won’t need to care about a ride as receptionists can take care of it.
We have one more good news for your dispatchers with a limited access level! This feature allows managers of bars or hotels to mark their place as favorite in the system as it’s shown in the picture. This speeds up the whole process of taxi calling and increases the number of your orders. You can edit or remove the point.
Since Version 0.19, there is no need to enter your credit card number manually to validate it in the app. Sure you can still use this method if you prefer it. But in this update, we’ve made possible simply taking a photo of a credit card! Our system will recognize the information on it and add to your app.🙌 A quick guide:
This feature works both for passenger and driver app and is pretty secure.
Good news for the companies in the United Arab Emirates and the European Union. We’ve extended the payment gateways in your countries. Now you can can do this via the Checkout payment gateway.
After having a great success with Stripe pre-authorization we implemented it for Braintree and Express Merchant. Pre-authorization works as an excellent anti-fraud tool that prevents you from losing significant amounts of money. Why is it so efficient? When a passenger calls a taxi, the app puts a hold on the total estimated amount for a trip until the ride is completed. When the drive is finished, the money is charged from a passenger’s card. Now you don’t need to care about unpaid trips and can rest easy.
For those who want to create their own names for service types, we added custom names on web desk. Now every new name you’ve created for your service type (here, for instance, ‘Family Type’) will be instantly displayed in the web app.
With this release, your passengers can specify the reason for cancelling the trip that will help you improve your service. You can take into account what reason is mentioned and then take act on it. Your passengers will be also notified about the amount of cancellation fee (see picture below). So, all their expenses are becoming clear and expected. This information is stored in their order history, and is available every time a passenger uses your app.
Our SMS service (also known as the best communication technique to increase customer engagement) has been improved in Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Qatar, Oman, UAE, and Russia. Note that for the SMS service you’re billed according to SMS gateway rates for your region. It’s time to start using the benefits of SMS notifications!
The dispatchers can see the real drop off pin in case a passenger changes their destination. This actual drop-off address will be written right below the drop-off defined by a passenger at the beginning of the trip. You’ll also see a real drop-off pin on the map. Why is it important for your business? Drop-off point allows you to get more info about the clients and their decisions. This feature also helps you resolve possible conflicts with drivers, and prevents them from deceiving you.
In the Release 0.19, the trip summary in dispatch panel includes the tips paid to a driver. This feature allows dispatchers to understand the origin of the final cost shown in their system. This was not possible before and often confused dispatchers. The tips amount is now displayed right near the final cost data and makes all the billing more explicit.
Thanks to this feature, your operators will be able to see the reason for the driver’s report and use this stats to analyse problem cases and improve your management system.
Our Russian-speaking clients were asking for Yandex map navigation. We made this possible within this release! Now your drivers can select this map from the list of possible ones and easily navigate around the city.
With this release, your operators can easily define the status of the driver. This is possible thanks to the different types of driver pins displayed on the map in dispatch panel. The fading pin stands for the drivers being offline. This status is applied to a driver when dispatch team doesn’t get their coordinates for 5 minutes or longer. “Busy” drivers will be marked on the map with a pin with a white dot inside. When a driver is available for a new order, their pin is filled with a colour. See, the picture of driver orders becomes even more comprehensive and clear!
One more function for personalizing your dispatch panel — customizable pin colour! To change the colour of service type pin, you enter the company panel, then select the service type you want to change and go to its settings. After that, you may choose the colour you prefer from an inbuilt palette. Rule your kingdom of cars the way you like! There is more:
This winter release brings new features aimed at saving your team’s time and making it easier to manage your business. Your drivers will enjoy using a new driver app, while the redesigned company panel will help you track both positive and negative changes in the work of the company. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in comments. We’re ready to help you.
Doing business is no piece of cake. To develop your company, you’ve got to have expertise in literally every strategic field 🙌.
This month at TaxiStartup: card payment pre-authorization, connect via Intercom, «Girls drive Girls» and more.
No more frauds! If you are using Stripe for card payments we have a good news. A trip total estimated amount is now pre-authorized before your client takes a ride. At the end of a ride, the actual total is charged against a card. No more hide and seek with debtors!
At the moment, pre-authrization works only with Stripe and is set by default for all customers. It will be available for other payment gateways in the coming updates.
Passengers are now able to tip a driver right from the app. And a tip level can be set be applied by default, should a passenger wish so. The tip amount is distributed between company and driver in a same way a trip total is. So it’s simple and fare for everyone.
You can now effectively connect with us via Intercom — available via our website and the new Company Panel (available to the public in few days). You should expect your issues to be addressed faster and knowledge base articles available at a hand. We have actually switched to a new support engine to provide you a better experience when learning new things about the system.
It’s a pity that many countries still have issues with sexual harassment from male drivers. To address this problem and provide a safe way to travel for ladies some companies hire female drivers. Well, now we have a dedicated service type for that!
You can now see pickup estimation on the map as soon as you set a pickup location. In case you are still doing phone jobs that will allow your operators to tell the ETA right away. Though I would recommend moving to fully automated dispatch..
Tirhal is the Sudanese version of Uber. In less than a year the company can position itself as a market leader with over 2,000 cabs to date. With sanctions preventing Uber from operating in Sudan, there was an opportunity for a local transportation service. Mohamed and his partners found the ideal solution in the TaxiStartup software.
Tirhal from Arabic stands for ‘trip’. The company was established by two friends with no taxi driving experience but with an ambitious aim to lead the transportation market in Sudan by harnessing the potential of the latest mobile technologies and AI (artificial intelligence).
Tirhal owners visiting TaxiStartup office
‘Taxis are a convenient way of getting around Khartoum and fares are inexpensive. But usual taxis taking a passenger from point A to point B are not metered. So you and the driver should agree on the fare before your ride begins, which causes inconvenience, ’- said Mohamed Elzakey, deputy general manager at Tirhal.
With that said, car service apps with price estimation and a possibility to follow the progress of a ride as the driver approaches were the key factors to choosing the TaxiStartup platform. Stressing clear driver management and affordable fares.
‘Passenger apps offer ‘open trips’ that is second to none, especially when there is an issue with Google maps. Now our passengers can book a cab and make stops during the trip at any place.’
In the early marketing days, to find the ‘silver bullet’ of the fares, the company run some trials. They included tests over the most popular routes in the city centre. Average prices and time were compared to competitors estimates and public transport tickets for the same trip.
Tirhal began driver recruitment focusing on the competitors’ weak-side arm. The company wanted their drivers to earn more money driving with Tirhal.
‘We spent a lot of time defining our own strategy so that we could show drivers just how successful driving with Tirhal could be. First, we defined that flat rate doesn’t work for us and switched to order percentage.
According to our ‘driver leaderboard’, the max number of completed trips per one driver is 254, which equals to 1,000 USD (with an average monthly wage of 150 USD),’ explains Mohamed.
Seven months after the soft launch the company’s fleet has grown significantly counting 1700 active cabs with 20 new drivers submitting applications on a daily basis.
Despite this, Mohamed is pragmatic about working within thousands of drivers. ‘The main issue we have here in Khartoum is training the drivers to a level that we’re happy with the quality of the services provided to our passengers.’
As we know, taxi drivers belong to a group that doesn’t spend that much time on social media, and, evidently, online marketing campaigns to attract drivers wouldn’t be the best option here. Word-of-mouth continues to be the most trusted source for growing drivers.
To eliminate idle drivers and motivate new ones, so they take the job seriously, Tirhal has introduced a registration fee. The company charges an application fee of $5 which every driver can earn back quickly as soon as he starts driving with Tirhal.
In the beginning, drivers have a vague idea about the efficient working algorithm within the driver app. So the key point here is to educate drivers to use the application properly.
‘We found out that a little training beforehand also contributes to the higher income for taxi drivers, compared to the guides how to sign up to drive with Tirhal. That’s why we have established an educational center working 4 days a week.’
Every week a Tirhal representative guides 80 — 160 newcomers how to handle instant and future bookings, replenish the balance or send money to a fellow-driver using the app.
Tirhal uses the cancellation fee feature of the TaxiStartup platform to track and minimize order cancellations by drivers. They found out that after imposing the fee drivers began to call an operator rather than press a ‘Cancel’ button.
‘We focus on control over how drivers use the app to eliminate money losses due to cancelled orders.’
In all businesses, scaling is do or die. Tirhal’s plans are to expand to other countries while simultaneously expanding service types. Women taxi, vans, high lux cars, and tow truck topping their list.
Every two months the company reveals a new service type offering women with kids, businessmen and travellers to make instant or planned trips safe and easy.
Muhamed is confident that TaaS (transportation as a service) is only a starting point. Looking ahead, Tirhal plans to scale up the idea providing any on-demand service in future.
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