Micab is as much a people company as it is a technology one. Or to look at it another way: If we had the most efficient taxi-hailing algorithm in the world, such innovation would still not mean a thing if the cab drivers that ultimately arrived to you were not rude, unhygienic, or careless.
Given this fact, we at Micab spend as much time developing our people as we do our app, and this process begins and ends with our cab drivers. We put each and every one of our drivers through a rigorous program that teaches them how to succeed on the Micab platform as well as how to improve as a customer-service professional.
I know many will doubt that cab drivers actually want to improve, but they really do – they just haven’t had the opportunity to do so. Want proof? The only time we can train cab drivers are between the hours of 2 am and 4 am, when they put in their cars for the night and there are few passengers on the road. Yet despite the odd hours and the fact most of them are already exhausted from a twelve to eighteen-hour shift, they approach our training with the eagerness of students on the first day of school. They drink their coffee, their soda – whatever helps them stay awake – and listen closely to our lead trainer. Some even take notes, after haven’t done so since they graduated from high school a decade or two earlier.
Our training emphasizes being a Micab driver is not just a job, but a profession. As professionals, they will restore public faith in the taxi service by being both the most affordable ride-hailing solution on the market and by providing the best customer service.
Customer service, of course, begins with the basics. We teach them that they cannot chose passengers or destinations, propose contracts or additions on top of the base fare, keep a messy vehicle, or be rude to or argue with passengers.
Teaching cab drivers what not to do is an important first step, if only because Micab’s training is often the first formal educational experience they get related to driving. But most important – as it’ll make the most difference for our passengers – is teaching them what to do. For people learning something for the first time, no detail is too small to overlook. We teach Micab drivers from the ground up, in other words.
Our cab drivers are taught how to properly greet passengers, in Tagalog for locals and in English for foreigners. Our cab drivers are taught that they must help passengers onboard and disembark from their vehicles in a safe manner. Our passengers are even taught to gently remind our passengers that they should use the seat belt for their safety and to check with them whether the air-con temperature is okay with them. And through all these actions, their disposition must be pleasing, polite, and happy.
Of course, telling the cab drivers to do these things is one thing – getting them to practice day in, day out is a whole ‘nother matter. So to get our trainees to internalize these lessons, our trainer leads a variety of hands-on activities, such as having our drivers role-play as good and bad taxi drivers. So yes, at the dead of night, our Micab drivers are projecting the professionals they want to be in the light of day. This is what the drive for self-improvement looks like. This is taxi 2.0.