“Can you pick me up at my place in 15 minutes? Text me when you get here.” No, this isn’t a text message to a friend or a call to a car service—it’s a direct message sent through Twitter to a driver of a Chicago cab. Rashid Temuri, who goes by “Chicago Cabbie” online (@ChicagoCabbie on Twitter) has taken what would otherwise be considered a traditional taxi business and integrated it with social media in a way that is still exceedingly rare in the service industry. How much better can it be interacting your clients through Twitter, FourSquare, Facebook, or Google Latitude? Apparently a lot—Temuri is not only seeing success from his social media strategy, he’s building a loyal repeat customer base because of it.
Here’s how Temuri works: he, like most other licensed cabs in the US, works through a dispatching company (in this case, Flash Cabs). Normally he would put himself “on call” when he’s on duty, meaning the company can send him to pick someone up when the client calls in. But instead of doing that, he has been posting when he’s available on Twitter—for example, here’s one of his recent tweets:
“Good morning #Chicago!! It’s a wet wet day here. 41°. Take $5 OFF the meter from now till 2PM to any airport from anywhere. #ORD #MDW”
In addition to tweeting, he also allows clients (or potential clients, as the case may be) to follow him on Google Latitude or Find My Friends so that people know wherever he is at any given time and can contact him when they need a ride. He offers free WiFi within his cab for iPhone and iPad users (“Don’t use your limited data!” he says), and plans to soon offer free WiFi for regular laptop users. Sometimes, as seen in the tweet above, Temuri gives discounts for his social media followers, and he always remembers who everyone is.”
If cabbies can benefit from Twitter, don’t you think it’s time you took a look at how social media could benefit your business?