If you are an entrepreneur that has created a ride-hailing service, the ever-changing nature of this young industry has probably made the management of your fleet a challenge. Running a taxi company or similar venture requires efficiency and optimization of your business processes to maximize your return on investment. This article will highlight some key areas you can focus on to better manage your drivers, overall operations, and customer experiences.
One of the most significant struggles ride-hailing owners face is managing their drivers. They can cost your company a fortune in damage claims, maintenance costs, and vehicle lifetimes. However, these individuals are also crucial to ensuring your financial success in a highly competitive industry.
Regularly educate and refresh your drivers on the best ways to maintain and operate their cars. Make safety a top priority and employ a vehicle checklist to be reviewed before starting their day.
Another essential aspect of coaching includes addressing driver health. Being on the road all day with customers that aren’t always pleasant is highly stressful. Talk about these pressures and provide outlets for your team to access if things get to be overwhelming. Happy drivers mean fewer accidents and improved conscientiousness about their vehicles and customers.
Follow the Law
The National Association Of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has collaborated with many state insurance agencies to develop regulations and coverage requirements for ride-hailing services. However, these requirements can seem confusing and frequently change since this new industry has grown faster than legislators can keep up.
Your business should meet the current licensing and permit requirements set forth by your state or local government agencies from the moment you open. Also, keep in mind that you need to regularly review these regulations to ensure your company and its drivers are compliant with the law. Failing to do this increases your legal liability should an accident occur and potentially shut down your business.
Commercial Auto Insurance
Managing your ride-hailing fleet effectively also means ensuring you have adequate insurance coverage when things go wrong. Having a policy to pay for medical bills, property damage, towing, rentals, and protecting against underinsured/uninsured motorists is essential.
When comparing business auto insurance costs, focus on the covered perils more than the price tag. Also, avoid a cookie-cutter approach to protecting your service. For example, you may live in a part of the city that experiences more car theft than other areas in your state, which means you may want a higher limit for your policy.
Other features of your insurance you should regularly assess are:
- Personal injury
- Collision coverage
- Rental reimbursement
- Property damage
- Underinsured motorists
- Comprehensive coverage
- Towing and labor reimbursement
You should consider getting Hired and Non-owned Auto (HNOA) insurance if you plan to use rented vehicles or rely on employees to provide their own car. Then, you can rest easy knowing your fleet is adequately protected by it.
Maintain Your Fleet
One great way to save on repair costs and down vehicle time is to maintain your fleet regularly. This is especially important if your drivers use company cars and not their own. It’s your responsibility and potential liability to ensure everything is in good repair. For example, if a driver suffered a tire blowout and crash, and you knew the wheels had worn down tread, you could be sued for negligence.
Keep accurate records of any maintenance, repairs, and recalls of your fleet experiences. This is especially helpful if someone sues your company alleging their damages were from your neglecting to maintain your cars. Detailed records can prove this is not the case and save you thousands in legal fees and compensation awards.
Create a Passenger-Focused Business Model
Your fares are the lifeblood of your business. Without them, you would be nothing! Manage your ride-hailing fleet effectively by making customer satisfaction your business model’s focus. This will unite management of your drivers, maintenance, and safety all under one umbrella with a single goal in mind.
Want to create a high-quality customer experience every time they get into one of your cars? Follow these tips:
- Make those first impressions count! Ensure every ride is in a clean vehicle with a well-trained driver behind the wheel.
- Create a modernized service experience. Your fares expect convenience, so incorporate card payments via mobile applications and charging stations for their favorite mobile devices. Also, invest in newer vehicles that utilize electric/gas hybrids to save on fuel costs.
- Be more competitive with loyalty rewards. With ride-share giants Uber and Lyft in nearly every city in the U.S., it’s essential to breed loyalty with your passengers. Consider offering discount fares during certain times of the day or ride frequency rewards.
- Act on customer feedback to improve your service experience. Stay ahead of the latest ride-hailing trends and services with customer feedback. They can also help you identify potential liability issues your drivers don’t recognize or talk about.
- Ensure a safe ride every time. Outside of training your drivers and maintaining your vehicle, carry a comprehensive insurance policy that provides superior protection against accidents.
Managing a ride-hailing company comes with many challenges, but this industry is rewarding for those who invest their time in creating consistent operational policies. Whether you run a taxi company or have a ride-share service, prioritizing the efficiency and optimization of how your ride-hailing business operates is vital to creating a successful business model for the long term.