Lähitaksi overcame industry trasformation with the help of design thinking.
Lähitaksi is a taxi center founded in 1965 by drivers. These days the company has over 1,500 taxis and almost 4000 drivers. It provides prime taxi services 24 hours a day and every day of the year in the Uusimaa region, Riihimäki, Rovaniemi, Levi, Ivalo, Inari and Saariselkä. The company describes its services as easy, quick, safe and friendly from the first call until the end of the ride.
The taxi services industry was in front of a remarkable change when the competition opened up and the prices were no longer set by law in the summer of 2018. The supply of taxi services increased and industry practices transitioned when the price image was competing along with trust and professionalism. From the customers’ point of view, the pricing of taxi services seemed unclear, and the operators’ reliability was questionable.
The intensification of the competition did not only mean an increase in the freedom of choice among consumers: now also drivers had more choices. Engaging the drivers and the image of service became even more important competitive advantages. It was essential to unify it seamlessly with the digital service experience.
Lähitaksi wanted to turn the challenging situation into a victory and ensure that it would also be the biggest in its industry in the future. We strived to strengthen the company’s image as a pioneer who is ready to shake the industry with a brave attitude but without giving up the most important thing: professionalism, reliability and customer-orientated service experience.
We built Lähtitaksi a three-dimensional change strategy consisting of an external communications entity, application development and service design, and a plan of internal communications and cultural change.
Engaging drivers for the change and an excellent service image emerged as essential campaign elements and competitive advantages.
The idea of the Taksini mobile application was born. The vision was to create the most convenient and easy-to-use taxi application on the market, which supports Lähitaksi’s business and makes the taxi drivers’ and operators’ work much easier. The Taksini application was also Lähitaksi’s way to expand beyond its area of operation with regional taxi companies. In this way, it challenged both domestic and foreign competitors on its platform. Around this was created a brand-building communications entity, which combined business-friendly digital marketing with various campaign entities.
Despite the challenging transition in the industry, Lähitaksi is still Finland’s biggest taxi company. This was ensured with a multidimensional combination of communication, service development and advertising, created with the help of Kaimana, as well as internal inspiration and cultural change work, which resulted in growth that exceeded customers’ expectations.
In less than a month, the new Taksini application surpassed the number of users compared to the old Lähitaksi app. Internal communication and enthusiasm engaged more than 1000 Lähitaksi drivers to market the application, meaning the target was exceeded by 600 percent. My Taxi application’s area expanded significantly when the service was also introduced elsewhere in the country in addition to the launch phase.
Thanks to the communication work, Lähitaksi remained a weekly topic of discussion in the deserved media for months. Because of the announcements, press releases and interviews Lähitaksi gave, the company was mentioned in hundreds of news articles both locally and nationally.
In the change phase that shook the entire taxi industry, it seized the opportunity to rethink the taxi business and create more responsible and transparent operating methods for it through design thinking. The change campaign also aimed to restore customers’ confidence in taxis and make using them easier with Taksini application. At the same time, the desire was to strengthen the professional pride of the taxi operators and taxi drivers, as the new application provided better customer service and communication.