Cabs2go connects cab owners and inter-city travelers through an IT platform. The platform is made of humans rather than a self service tech portal and app. Cabs2go is started by Prabhash Chandra Choudhary, an IT guy who left his job 8 months back to start his venture. Stars of Startups talked to him on what makes Cabs2go a unique proposition for both owners and travellers.
‘Knowing that it’s next to impossible to take on the established players with technology, we focused on customer service and made delighting the customers our top priority.’ Prabhash says.
‘We make the customers feel great. Our customers feel great when they get to bargain on the price. They feel great when we offer them a ride to nearest beach, if they have spare time after the trip. We believe this is to a better experience than a nice app animation or discount coupon. And as a result, referrals and repeat bookings are coming our way. They refer us not because of a referral fee but because of the great service.
The customers call us or submit a query. We understand the requirement and suggest the best way for them. A single point of contact (with personal mobile number) is assigned to the customer till end of the trip. While being an aggregator, we act as a single point of contact between the customer and the cab owner. So far we have been happy with the outcome.’
‘About a year back I was traveling to Shirdi for a family vacation and booked a cab online from one website. I got confirmation instantly but at a later stage was told that there are no cabs available. Without thinking about it much, I booked it through another site and got the cab. While booking the second time I wondered if the prices were a bit more than normal and tried to negotiate, called the customer care and they were not in the position to negotiate citing fixed prices.
During the journey, the cab had AC failure within first 10 minutes. We tried to speak to the customer service. What we got were their robotic response and promise of call back which were never happened. We had to deal with it ourselves. I shared the experience with friends in office and found out it was a usual thing which happened most of the time.
It stuck in my mind for sometime. I spoke to few tourist agencies (multi-cab owners) and asked about the experience with existing players. From the feedback, the agencies were not yet ready for a complete technology driven solution and was frustrated with payment cycles. Then, I planned to take on the intercity cab market with a more human approach (less tech) which benefits not just the travelers but also the tour agencies.’
Prabhash continues -‘It was difficult to put more time for this while still being on the IT job. I wanted to do this fulltime. So I left the job and setup a simple web page and spread the word across friends and family. In a short time I started to get support from people and they were happy to book their cab with me. I started to take a bookings and co-ordinate with the tour agencies. I was being the single point of contact between the customer and the vendor and was making customer service the topmost priority.’
‘It worked and customers are happy to book with us for 3 reasons –
1. We let them bargain a bit from the displayed rates. Who doesn’t like it ?
2. Accommodate and suggest special things, like after you inter-city trip, on the way to airport if you still have time left why not go to nearest beach and spend time there rather than waiting on airport without any extra costs.
3. We were being their single point of contact throughout the way.
That started to give us regular bookings, most of them are referrals and repeat customers. It is fun and exciting, at the same time, it is making people happy and we make money.’- adds Prabhash.
Prabhash adds – ‘We don’t have vanity growth numbers to offer or a rapid growth like we see. As of now we are operating only in Mumbai. We started with 1-2 customers a day, and after 8 months we have on average 15 bookings per day. Total number of bookings are little over 3,000. In Jan 2016 we served 439 Customers with a revenue of 23,00,000 (2.3 Million INR) .’
Stars of Startups looks to take a ride with Cabs2go in the near future, while wishing Prabhash all success.