You should always confirm the name of your customer before they get in the vehicle. Besides being on time, it’s important to pick up the right person. Nothing upsets drivers and customers more than the driver picking up the wrong person because they did not confirm the name of the person entering the taxi. Even if there’s only one person in the pickup area, confirm the name, as it appears on your dispatch tablet.
It’s “Good Service” to open and close the door for your customer. This gives you a chance to control who enters your car. If it’s the wrong person, you can gently say “I’m sorry, I’m here for someone else.” It’s also “Good Service” to load and unload any bags or luggage your customer may have with them.
The greeting can set the mood for the ride with your customer. The greeting “Tells” your customer that you are glad they chose you.
Remember, a cheerful smile, a warm greeting, and a helping hand, pay dividends to you with repeat customers and larger tips.
Always confirm the destination as it is possible the customer may have changed their mind or dispatch may have the wrong information between placing the order and your arrival.
(PHOTO: Driver looking forward with customer looking at her phone)
When to talk? If the customer wants to talk, then talk, but if the customer is quiet and/or wants to remain quiet, then simply be quiet. As a general rule of thumb with society, you should always avoid politics, sex, and religion.
Ask the customer which, if any, radio station they prefer. You want to make your customer HAPPY. This music may be different than your own tastes so it is important to ask them what they like to listen to. Blaring gangster rap when transportation a senior citizen from church probably won’t increase the chance or size of any tip.
(PHOTO: $2/$5 Off Coupon Example)
Be sure to honor all coupons for the taxi company because they’ve been proven time and time again to help you over time. When your customer uses a coupon, it’s better customer service to deduct the amount of the coupon, and let the customer keep the coupon again for next time. Plastic key fob coupons are designed to be kept by the customer at all times. As the customer keeps the coupon, they’re much more likely to call your taxi company first again next time. People will wait for your taxi to save a dollar. Generally speaking, coupon users are indeed better tippers because they appreciate the respect of honoring the coupon.
(PHOTO: Close-up of driver handing business card to customer)
Lastly and most importantly, build your personal clientele. Don’t be shy. Hand out your business cards to any customer you want to transport in the future, however, avoid this with corporate account customers as their trips are often billed uniquely. Personalizing corporate accounts is prohibited. With non-corporate customers, there is not a more cost efficient way to advertise than handing out your business cards. Generally speaking, drivers who hand out business cards to create “Personals” are “Slump-Proof” when business slows down from time-to-time, for example, over the hottest summer days when much of the public doesn’t want to travel. Drivers with personals keep moving and earning.