Last week, I was able to once again attend Vision Expo East in New York. I had the pleasure of presenting several classes this year, including one of my favorite titles, The Six Fundamentals of Practice Success.
During my visit, I noticed a big difference in the service I received in taxis this year compared to last year’s trip to the city. The service from taxis have been "Uber-ized."
Last year in New York, everyone seemed to be attacking the Ubers. The cabbies were angry, the bellman were running them away from the hotels and it seemed you had to meet Uber in a back alley to avoid the authorities.
I went into New York with a bias and didn’t investigate my ground transportation choices, I just took Uber. I later learned that my Uber ride cost double what my flat rate taxi ride would have been.
On my first local cab ride, I was able to get a Fare Estimate from Uber, and chose a taxi. This time, I made the right call because the taxi cost me less that what Uber would have charged.
While in the cab, I learned about some new services available from “Yellow Taxis.” They now have an app that you can download to call a cab, see where available cabs are and even pay with your phone.
Based on my very limited study, I think Yellow Taxis of New York are beginning to follow our Six Fundamentals of Success.
- It Doesn’t Matter Who is to Blame – A year ago, taxis were blaming Uber for their lack of business. They were asking for new regulations to stop their competitors.
- Create a Vision – I don’t have a great example for this one.
- Find Opportunities in the Barriers – Uber created a barrier between taxis and their riders. They finally seem to be finding opportunities to improve their services.
- Face the Facts – The fact is that nobody challenged the taxi industry for a long time and they had developed some hubris. It seems they are paying attention now.
- Market Consistently – Taxis have never needed to promote their services from inside their vehicles. Now, they do and it seems to be making them better.
- Strive for a Better Team – I think cab drivers are better than they used to be. Not once in New York did a driver give me trouble for not using cash, nor did I feel like I was being taken the “long way.”
A word about loyalty.
We have all seen images from New York City for generations that included a lot of Yellow Taxis. It is a big part of the landscape of the city. The marketing from within the cabs also used the line “Real New Yorkers Ride Yellow.”
A great strategy to capitalize on whatever emotional connection they can use. Will it work? I bet it will.
p.s. Here is a nice Wall Street Journal article about the subject.