Uber is regarded as the bellwether for aggregator services. It is not without reason, as the ride-hailing app has emerged as one of the biggest disruptors of this era. Following the footsteps of the success of the ride-hailing app, many other services also followed suit. In terms of convenience and differentiators, a taxi app offers an exceptional experience to users of the service.
Though it is necessary for a taxi operator to ensure that users have a seamless booking experience, it is equally important that the driver side of the application has features that will meet the needs of one of the most critical aspects of the service – the drivers. Not only should the two be integrated, it should also ensure that the drivers find value in the service. Here is a deep dive into the ideal driver app software that needs to feature in every taxi dispatch software.
Driver side apps empower the resources who are part of the solution
The success of a taxi aggregator service hinges on the efficiency of the drivers and the condition of the assets. Drivers need to find the service profitable, and simple to use. The whole idea of a solution revolves around the need for offering seamless service at high speed, without the need for any complexities. In other words the solution needs to be simplified and extremely user friendly, offering value through information and statistics that were not easily available earlier. It is hence necessary to build a robust driver side application in taxi dispatch software.
Mandatory features necessary in the driver app solution
A good solution needs to incorporate certain mandatory features, including the following.
Low latency navigation feature
This is a feature that will help the driver, the user and the service provider. While the market is flooded with navigation apps, only a handful of apps are popular. One of the reasons for the effectiveness of the top navigation apps is the low latency. In other words, the turn-by-turn instructions need to be displayed on screen and intimated orally before the actual turn itself. And this needs to take into account the fact that long distance travels on highways will involve high speed. Mist turn can turn out to be very time consuming to set right with rerouting. Therefore the built-in navigation feature needs to be the best.
New driver sign up
Aggregator services expand with more signups of drivers. This needs to be a seamless experience. Not all drivers maybe tech-savvy, and some may actually find certain features of technology to be intimidating. At present digital transformation is enabling and empowering all walks of life to use technology with confidence. However some sections of society will still take some time before being well versed with usage of technology. It is therefore necessary to ensure that the new driver signup and account management is simple to use. The authentication and uploading of documents have to be hassle free and high speed.
Admin panel and dashboard
The admin panel and dashboard of a solution should offer administrators the power to quickly validate a new sign up and have all information on a clutter free dashboard. The speed with which queries are handled is actually the differentiator in all solutions. Across all industries, the need is for a solution that will not keep a person on hold for long. The admin panel and dashboard of a taxi aggregator solution should therefore be intuitive, and free from all ambiguity, to help administrators handle functions and take informed decisions,
Simplified notifications and alerts
The design of alerting a driver with notifications should be a powerful feature of the app. Notifications should be crystal clear, and should never distract the driver. Alerts and notifications that are too small on the screen or lengthy to read will create confusion. Proper color coded alerts and notifications need to be displayed prominently for drivers to quickly understand the message behind the notifications.
Simplified options for accepting or declining a fare
Drivers need to be given the options of accepting and declining the fare with proper reasons. This will help build data on the reasons for drivers turning down a fare. For instance, it could be the route, the destination, the time, or any other reason. Customer service executives will be in a better position to handle queries in the event of fares being declined. Similarly the availability of the driver needs to be made known to the taxi service at all times through a simplified single touch feature.
Passenger contact details and actions for commencing and concluding tips
Functional aspects of the driver side of the application would be the need to have contact information of the passenger, in addition to single touch features for commencing and concluding trips. The app needs to display the updated contact information of the passenger app. In the case of trip actions, it would be necessary to validate the trip through an OTP, and this feature needs to be swift to avoid delays. The fare calculation and payment gateway needs to be robust and free from any security vulnerabilities. In an era where social media quickly highlights errors, it would adversely impact the reputation of a taxi service if fares are erroneously calculated.
Dashboard for driver to receive updated information
Drivers need to be informed of their earnings. The dashboard needs to offer all information that is necessary for a driver to track performance and earning, overall ratings, feedback from passengers and trip statistics. A driver who is able to track his performance without having to spend time trying to analyze or calculate total earnings, will be able to focus more on providing services, leaving the app to offer updated information.
“Nice To Have” features on driver apps
While the above mandatory features will help driver offer better service, there are other “nice to have” features that will help to improve the loyalty and morale of drivers. These include
- Preferred destination
- Heat map showing greater demand
- Lining up next bookings for route optimization
- Quick list of nearest gas stations, rest rooms, emergency maintenance services, restaurants
- Hold bookings temporarily
- Automated generation of reports – trip history, earnings, incentives and ratings
A well designed and developed taxi dispatch software needs to have the passenger side and the driver side of the app to be properly integrated and working in tandem with each other and with the central admin panel. There can be no compromise on the features on either side, and it is not a question of balancing features, but the need to integrate all mandatory and ‘nice to have’ features. The driver side app of the solution and the passenger side app of the solution are basically two sides of the same coin and this requires a well developed solution.