Call taxis should introduce loyalty programs

I have had a chance to use call taxis on too many occasions in India now and day before yesterday as I was reaching Bangalore, I wanted to hire one so that I could get home without having to squabble with the auto fellows and not end up paying through my nose. So, I tried calling all the major ones. I noticed that many of them had introduced IVR (Interactive Voice Response Systems, the kind of ones that greet you when you dial toll-free numbers for customer service). I was aghast! Not only that I was thrown out of the system of a service that I’m a heavy user of, I ended up holding their call for more than 5 minutes before that happened.

I’ve a lot of reasons to be angry and a suggestion for them too…so here you go

The truth is, I loved the fact that when I called a human voice immediately answered with – “XYZ cabs, how can I help you?”, I mean it really showed that my query will get attended to immediately. IVR systems cost money to implement and do you no good if you cannot prioritize your queue with some form of pin code/loyalty number and leaves a spate of angry and dissatisfied customers! (Who will tell the call taxi owners this!)

That brings me to my idea, if the call taxis did want to do something hi-tech and advanced in marketing, they could launch some form of loyalty program that would guarantee stuff like “just 15-minute prior booking time”, “priority/emergency calling”. I’m sure people would even be willing to pay a premium for it. Although, offering it for free will get you the necessary customer sign-up and then you can prioritize your queue according to the value of the card holder. And, by the way, using the loyalty program doesn’t require the costly IVR implementation and will help them segment and serve the market better, while making more profits. What say people? All game for loyalty programs from call taxis?

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