Customer Service Marketing WIN for Uber
If you are located in the Greater Toronto Area you are aware of the heated clash between Uber and the taxi companies. The taxi companies complain that Uber is not operating under the same regulations they have been adhering to and should therefore stop doing business in the city or pay up. Uber refuses to leave and refuses to pay the elevated cost of licensing and taxes that the taxis pay. The bottom line of this debate is the taxi companies are worried that Uber will continue to seduce their customers with lower prices and put the antiquated taxi system out of business.
Today, Uber launches UberHop in Toronto. UberHop will offer a fixed price for transportation on a fixed route for carpooling commuters. Obviously the public transit system is the next business feeling threatened by having to compete with Uber's service. The Uber fixed price of $5 is greater than that of the public transit system which charges $3 per ride (cash fare for adults) but public transit beware, many people will be willing to pay a slightly higher price for better service. The Toronto Transit Commission is infamous in Toronto for being unreliable (with frequent service shut-downs), dirty, inconvenient (does not extend to all hubs of the city) and consistently increasing in price with no perceived improvements. If Uber dominates the public transit system the way it has dominated the private transportation taxi system we should all see and acknowledge that CUSTOMER SERVICE IS THE FACTOR THAT MAKES A BUSINESS COMPETITIVE. Uber is #winning, not because it is cheap but because customers believe that they are receiving better service than they are when they spend money in a taxi or on public transportation.
As an entrepreneur, I have been cheering the success of Uber since it has arrived in my city. Uber has made it possible for me to have enough time to meet with several clients and do some of the work they have contracted me for in the same day without wasting hours on public transit. Uber has allowed me to be available to support my clients at their events, to attend networking events, to meet with potential clients and collaborators on opposite ends of the city and yet still pay my operational costs because it is not prohibitively expensive like taking taxis or owning a car would be for a bootstrapping entrepreneur like me. Both time and money have been saved by using this service. Uber also offers a list of other features to ensure that I know who my driver will be and can immediately share that information with someone else who is concerned about my safety.
What the taxi companies and TTC fail to realise is that if customer service is Uber's key to success it is not a secret and they can do it too! Entrepreneurs like you and me are constantly thinking of new ways to serve our customers and give them what they truly want. Large companies that own or lease the taxis and the TTC should stop relying on their monopoly on transit to get our money and spend some time planning and working to earn their customer's money instead. No one is entitled to my transportation dollars, not the taxi companies and certainly not the TTC.