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High-tech helps cabbie boost his business

(China Daily)

08:04, July 17, 2013

Beijing's "savviest phone-booking" taxi driver Wang Chunsheng uses five different taxi apps to find customers. His cab provides free WiFi and USB ports for passengers to charge their phones. (Wang Wei / for China Daily)

Editor's note: Wang Chunsheng, 49, who has worked as a taxi driver for 11 years in Beijing, shares his experience in using high-tech equipment to boost business.

I'm flattered to be called “the savviest phone booking” cabbie in Beijing. I think the major reason is because I have WiFi and three USB ports in my car.

People are curious how an old man like me came up with the idea of having them in a taxi.

Well, first of all, I have a smartphone and a tablet computer.

Before the launch of the official taxi-hailing number of 96106, I used to use up to six taxi apps on my phone and tablet. I have a GPS map on my tablet to help me find the best route to passengers' destinations, and they can see the real-time traffic. The tablet can also serve as a WiFi hot spot.

In my car, I can guarantee passengers that they will never lose their connection with the outside world.

With the increase in taxi fares and the phone-booking system, I can earn 15 to 20 percent more every month.

I work from 9 am to 8:30 pm, and every day I take one or two bookings over the phone.

The best part about phone booking is that it lets me see customers in a different way and be more efficient.

I used to see a single customer as a point, and you have to pass that point before you can make a deal. But now I see customers as many points standing in a neighborhood, and I pick the one who is the nearest or has a relatively long distance to go.

For example, it rained the other day, and I was at a gas station refueling my car and preparing to head home. Then, through the booking device, I heard that a customer nearby asked for a ride in the same direction of my home. After sending the customer to his home, I was also home in a few minutes.

I find phone booking is changing people's idea about cab hailing.

In the past, customers waited for 40 minutes or even longer, especially in the hot summer and cold winter. Now, most would say the wait is 10 minutes or less.

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