Human touch key in differentiating taxi companies

No matter how great technology is, it is the human touch that differentiates one good taxi ride from the rest ("Time for taxi companies to focus on 'heartware' " by Mr Chow Kok Fai; Jan 4).

This is where taxi drivers make a difference.

Courtesy begets courtesy. A warm greeting and smile upon embarkation would set the atmosphere for the ride.

Engaging in small talk with the passenger may help break the ice.

But if the passenger desires a quiet ride, then the taxi driver should refrain from talking and, perhaps, turn down the volume of his radio.

Showing pride in one's work is something cab drivers can work on.

They can certainly learn from their Japanese counterparts, who dress and look sharp while on duty.

Taxi drivers should not choose their fares and accord good service based on that. They must accept that long- and short-distance rides are part of the nature of the trade. To cherry pick will damage the reputation of our taxi industry.

Getting out to help with luggage of their own volition certainly projects professionalism and generates goodwill from the start.

Taxi drivers should not choose their fares and accord good service based on that. They must accept that long- and short-distance rides are part of the nature of the trade. To cherry pick will damage the reputation of our taxi industry.

Matching the supply and demand for taxis has been a perennial issue, and a solution is still lacking.

If most taxi drivers choose the same hours to ply the roads then naturally, fare takings will be affected, as supply outstrips demand.

Let us also not forget to put passengers at the centre of the taxi trade, as it is they who support the livelihood of our taxi drivers.

Taxi rides are more than just getting from one point to another. It is up to taxi drivers to make every ride comfortable.

Lee Teck Chuan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 06, 2017, with the headline 'Human touch key in differentiating taxi companies'. Print Edition | Subscribe