Our industry has never stood still, and as a community, that is something we should all be very proud of. From implementing tech booking systems to upgrading our fleets to create the ultimate passenger experience, we really have done it all.
However, the realities of COVID-19 hit our people the hardest. The general public were confined to their homes and didn’t rely on us like they once did. Despite this, we continued to do our bit in society by offering essential travel solutions that truly amplified the importance of cleanliness while commuting.
As the country begins to navigate the end of lockdown and reduced restrictions, we need to take our learnings from the previous 12 months and implement them in future operations. The Patons Insurance team looks at what you should be considering as the UK returns to normality…
Relearn your customers and welcome new ones
As taxi drivers, we pride ourselves on knowing our clients like the back of our hands. From late-night pub pick-ups to daily drop-offs at the office, the camaraderie of that experience is something we’ve all missed. But 12 months is a long time and society has changed dramatically. Simply put, we need to relearn our customers and understand that their expectations of travel will be altered coming out of the pandemic.
The world has developed a new understanding of cleanliness and therefore has even greater expectations than once before. Because of this, we will see greater demand in private travel, as people look to reduce their time spent on unhygienic public transport alternatives. With passenger and driver safety now a key priority for many taxi firms, this is something that must be focused on.
Clean between each journey
People are choosing to travel with your taxi firm because they demand heightened precision when it comes to the cleanliness of a vehicle. While most drivers will keep on top of their vehicles regularly anyways, it should now become second nature and part of your routine.
Keep cleaning products in the boot of your car, and always give the interior a slight touch up before you take on a new journey. You should also focus on the exterior too and give a wipe down of any handles that have been touched by any other passengers. If there has been any rubbish left behind from the previous journey, make sure to get rid of this too!
Encourage card payments
Most of society has already transitioned to the online world, and app payments should certainly be encouraged if possible. This will help reduce cash handling, as coins and notes are notoriously known to be the home of large amounts of germs and bacteria.
Keep a face covering on hand
Face coverings will likely be around for quite some time, even when they are no longer mandatory to wear. Some passengers may still feel uncomfortable though, and you should always keep this in the back of your mind when taking on a new journey.
If you notice a passenger enter the vehicle with their face covering on, it’s always nice to have the option to reach into your glove compartment and put yours own too. Not only this will create a mutual respect, but they will likely book again with you.
Use air conditioning responsibly
Whether you need to cool down or warm-up, you should make extra considerations around using the air-con system. This is because they are recycling the air within the vehicle! It’s important to look at other options, such as changing to a setting that brings fresh air into the vehicle or one that enables air changes to take place.
Opening your windows can also help with ventilation, so this could be one way to work around this when driving passengers.
Wash your hands regularly
While this may seem like an obvious rule to follow, keeping your hands clean is extremely important when it comes to hygiene. Make sure you do this before you enter your vehicle, but also when it comes to handling passenger luggage. Not only will this help you protect yourself from germs, but also the client and any future baggage handlers
Protecting yourself and your passengers is something that must be focused on as we return back to normal. Keep this advice in the back of your mind and make decisions that ensure a quality service and highlight your professionalism!