As most of us know, Uber has had a major impact on the car service industry making things a bit more difficult for traditional taxi cab drivers. With a few taps of one’s smart phone, your car can be summoned and you don’t have to exchange any money since all of that stuff is done through the Uber app.
So what’s a regular taxi driver to do? How can they be more appealing to those that have seen the light and become Uber loyalists? (While we rarely take cabs, I wasn’t impressed the one time we took Uber.)
Charm school! Well that’s at least what some cabbies are trying in Seattle.
The first 4 hour training session took place this past Tuesday just outside of Seattle. The Western Washington Taxicab Operators Association and Teamsters Local 117 arranged the class by asking for a curriculum from the Hospitality Management Program at South Seattle College.
According to ABC News, here is the curriculum:
- Excellent customer service: What it is and how to provide it.
- How to handle complaints and difficult customers
- Personal story: How to present our brand and/or service in a way that is most accessible for customers
- Developing new business with Institutional Clients
- Closing exercises and review
The course costs $60 and around 170 drivers paid out of pocket to learn new strategies to help make the riding experience better for customers.
The idea seems to be popular as the course will be running again tomorrow and a third date should be coming too.
I was thinking about this idea and I could see where it can help. However, in the end the thing I care most about is being on time and getting a good price. I see how some can like or even love Uber for the convenience factor (calling a car through the app, no $$$ exchanged), but I found it to be quite pricey…
What do you think about cabbies going to charm school? Will a friendly taxi experience make you want to use them more?
Check out the ABC News story about Taxi Charm School here.
For those of you that haven’t signed up for Uber yet: You can sign up through my link here. You’ll get a $10 Uber credit good towards your first ride and I’ll get $10 credit after you complete it!