Most Malaysian are familiar and well aware of the conveniences provided by on-demand ride-requesting or taxi-booking apps in the market, particularly MyTeksi (which is also known as GrabTaxi in Singapore), as well as Uber.
MyTeksi arrived in Malaysia in June 2012 and the service has stepped even further to other parts of Southeast Asia. Uber entered the Malaysian market last year in January, and their popularity has been increasing.
These two services are often compared to each other mainly for the simple fact that these two apps optimises between riders and drivers via a mobile app, and also for the fact that the drivers are tracked and riders able to share their whereabouts easily.
The main difference here is that MyTeksi uses taxis, whereas Uber uses private vehicles and provides a cashless payment system.
From the looks of it, MyTeksi is targeting taxi drivers to join their digital platform and contribute to its service. On the other hand, Uber empowers individuals to become their own boss by using their own vehicles.
One thing for certain, both of these platforms are helping drivers to receive jobs more efficiently while they are on-the-go rather than constantly searching for riders by the side of the street.
The Rise Of Loyalty Programmes
In order to make sure that the drivers maintain their jobs to provide their service to the people, both apps have introduced their own loyalty programmes. Imagine having a full-time job that provides you with benefits and perks that are rewarded to you based on your performance—the loyalty programme works just like that.
On the second week of June, MyTeksi introduced their own Elite Drivers Programme as they believe that the loyalty programme will motivate their partner taxi drivers to provide better service if their welfare was taken care of.
A hefty RM4.5 million was invested into this programme and it will run until December with 200 Klang Valley-based taxi drivers who have been selected through several months of evaluations and interviews. The loyalty programme will then be extended nationwide in batches.
According to MyTeksi general manager Jaygan Fu, the perks and benefits include insurance coverage, financial incentives and MyTeksi collateral which will amount up to RM10,000 each month.
Just last week Uber also launched their loyalty programme Momentum in Malaysia. Starting from the 1st of July, partner drivers get to enjoy special discounts and rates on products and services from brands which Uber has partnered with, such as Lazada, Lim Tayar, BIG Prepad, Cars International, Syed Bistro, Zalora, HappyFresh and more.
Besides that, petrol vouchers will be also given to them to help reduce operational costs. The loyalty programme includes 3 different loyalty tiers, from General Rewards, Achievement Rewards and MyUberHero Rewards.
The Need For Loyalty
Why are these ride-requesting apps investing so much time and money into rewarding their drivers via a loyalty programme?
Simple—because drivers are the ones who drive ride-requesting apps forward (pun intended). The success and popularity of a ride-requesting app depends on the number, performance, and service of their drivers.
It’s a chicken-and-egg situation and these taxi-booking apps have to balance supply and demand between their drivers and riders. Essentially, there has to be enough riders wanting to use their service and there must be enough drivers around to cater to those needs.
With the powerful influence of social media, all it takes is one horrible user experience to cause other users, both new and old, to doubt their services. By leveraging on loyalty programmes, Uber and MyTeksi can ensure that they retain their existing drivers while recruiting new ones.
It’s still too early to tell, but both companies are certainly trying to set a good example for other startups companies out there with the launch of their loyalty programmes.
We are certainly looking forward and hoping to see other startups also use such programmes to enhance their businesses. For example, perhaps Airbnb could also start doing the same for home owners who provide excellent rental services to entice more people to join their platform.