Nexus Express Cars | The New Breed of Minicab Operator
Setting up a minicab business always presents new challenges; none more so than how to attract customers to your taxi company. In the new world of online, smartphones and even smartwatches, the old ways of a print ad in a phone book or a calling card through the letterbox won’t cut it.
The Challenge of Attracting More Customers
3 years ago when owner Anthony Jarman set up Nexus Express Cars, a cab company based in North West London, he took 2 bold decisions. Firstly, to mainly source his customers through online channels and secondly to keep a core fleet of 15 drivers busy with higher value fares.
One of his first steps in getting more customers was to deploy the Mercury booking and despatch system so they could efficiently price and despatch jobs across the fleet. They then signed up to Minicabit, the UK-wide cab booking service that has been backed by O2 and was the first app to win offers on BBC’s Dragon’s Den.
Minicabit’s appeal is its focus on enabling customers to book long distance, not just local trips. Also, since Minicabit only takes a commission on completed bookings, Nexus Express Cars avoid the wasted costs that are incurred with calling cards or even Google Adwords which may not generate many jobs.
Over the last two years, Nexus Express Cars have seen these decisions pay back. Minicabit’s approach of enabling cab firms to gain pickups far away and coming into their base area has opened up a steady stream of high-value, pre-paid bookings that has even kept their fleet busy during the quieter periods.
Importantly, it has also leveraged Minicabit’s range of features to its advantage. Customers can rate the cab driver, cab office (and Minicabit) after each trip, so Nexus know which driver to pat on the back or have a word in their ear. Consequently, its service has been so well received by customers that Nexus have earned a ‘Great rated’ badge on Minicabit, which enables it to gain bookings on its quality, not just price.
At the same time, Minicabit’s reach has expanded, with its service offered by the likes of London City Airport, Wembley Arena, The O2 Arena and key summer festivals such as Bestival amongst many others. Heathrow Airport’s recent launch of Minicabit, where only ‘Great rated’ cab firms are presented, means Nexus Express Cars benefit from a major airport partnership which it likely couldn’t have secured on its own.
Recently, Nexus Express Cars upgraded to Mercury 2, with its drivers equipped with PDAs to enable even faster, more efficient despatching of jobs that can further boost service quality such as punctuality.
So what are owner, Anthony Jarman’s thoughts on his bold decisions?
“Online customer demand is exploding, so choosing the right technology is vital. Working with partners like Mercury and Minicabit enable us to get the best from tech but in the most cost-effective way.
For instance, we’ve sourced bookings via Minicabit outside our area which we wouldn’t have got on the phone. We can also compete with larger fleets who would usually dominate our market with a bigger marketing spend. So now, even if the phone stops ringing, Minicabit’s steady flow of work can keep Nexus going.”