Taxi Apps do not disrupt – Experience does!

Why is your Taxi business failing? Is it because of ride sharing taxi apps like Uber? Is it you? Is it the economy? Why so much disruption in the business for Taxi companies?

Jon Westenberg (published in Business Insider, Inc.com, TIME and dozens of other publications) shared his thought in an article: Disruption is about experiences. Not tech. and here is what you can take away from that.

  • How drivers perceive the new changes in the Taxi business brought by Taxi Apps?
  • How passengers deal with the new taxi app technology?
  • How techies see the trends for taxi apps?
  • Is there real disruption in Taxi companies’ operations?

Taxi apps - Taxi company disruption

Image: Flickr @pmarca on @claychristensen ‘s Disruption Idea via @gis_ufm

Driver – How drivers perceive the new changes in the Taxi business brought by Taxi Apps?:

I would have to somewhat disagree with Jon on the subject. He is stating that “Disruption is about experiences. Not tech.” but from my perspective a big part of the disruption comes from the taxi app itself. Taxi apps have enabled me to get more work, faster, maximizing my earnings and optimizing my time on the road.

Of course, Jon has got a point – service (experience) is very important and a big part of it but remember, we are the same Drivers that would drive for the local Taxi firm and ride sharing apps like Uber (talking only about legal, certified and insured drivers) so service (experience) would not be much different.

There are some “bad eggs” everywhere and over time Taxi companies have become notorious with the lack of good customer service so these changing times should be the red flag for them as well. Taxi companies can quickly learn from feedback and improve their service. They don’t need tech to do that. Drivers on the other hand, can use tech to optimize their time and maximize their earnings.

I think we, drivers, have already altered our behaviour to deliver better experience regardless of using Taxi app or not.

Passenger – How passengers deal with the new taxi app technology?:

As a passenger I absolutely love new tech. Taxi apps have allowed me to get the service (taxi) I need quicker and much more reliable than before. I don’t have to worry about “flapping” my hands (however good of an exercise this is) on the street corner wondering if the taxi driver saw me or if he/she is willing to stop.

Another total disruption of the Taxi company business is cashless payments – I just love it. Before I needed to be sure that I have cash on me or ask the taxi driver to stop at ATM/Cash point which has never contributed to the driver’s good mood. Now I don’t need to even think about money, everything comes from my bank account. Yes, there are many pitfalls in cashless payments but this is a whole other discussion.

Is it tech or better experience that disrupts the industry? For me as a customer/passenger/rider it’s both: without tech there wouldn’t be this newly formed competitive market but without the superior experience that a better service offers I wouldn’t use the tech no matter how good it is.

Another thing worth mentioning: companies like Uber win me over because I have to download only one app and can use it almost anywhere in the world. My trip to New York last year was 10 fold enhanced by the possibility to use my London Uber app.

Techie – How techies see the trends for taxi apps?:

As a techie I understand the power of disruptive technology. Yes, some businesses like Taxi business can be disrupted with superior service and better experience. But heck, this would not be possible without some degree of technology involved. Be it Taxi apps, GPS tracking or driver-less cars.

In this technological age it becomes easier and cheaper to create software, especially apps, and there are already so many on the market. Apps market really becomes very saturated. But technology can only go so far, the rest is marketing, research, getting a large market share or creating new markets (in the case of Ride sharing apps).

Regardless of the number of Taxi apps already available, there is still a huge potential for development. This field is quite new and consumers are inexperienced. There are many flaws in existing taxi apps and software and large room for improvements.

Those developers who listen to customer feedback and implement customer requirements will stand out with superior product. And with the right marketing and distribution the whole industry will greatly benefit from those new and emerging technologies.

Disruptive or not, taxi apps have come and are here to stay. They will change and the experience will change with them. Hopefully more Taxi companies embrace the new industry trends: technology and superior service for better experience.

Conclusion.

  • Taxi drivers have already embraced technology and are flocking to sign up with services like Uber, Lyft, Side car and other ride sharing companies. They have not forgotten the local taxi company but will do everything possible to maximize their earnings and minimize wasted time.
  • Passengers are actually those who made taxi apps so popular. They find them convenient, quick to learn and use, and delivering better experience than the existing taxi industry.
  • Technology developers recognize the potential of taxi apps but also the infancy of the technological era. Many improvements can be done in the existing technology. And it can be channelled better to suit existing taxi companies.

Experience is key but it is closely interlinked with technology. But if taxi apps did not exist then there wouldn’t be any Disruption in the Taxi industry.

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