Investment in Vokes, Windmill and Rainham Taxis has been off the chart over the last year. Hundreds of thousands of pounds has been invested in growing the business and integrating new IT systems, with hundreds of hours spent training staff. The result is a local taxi service provider with close on 175 Drivers and 30 staff all focussed on providing an exceptional level of customer service.
Vokes Taxis as a history dating back to the 1960’s, but until relatively recently the business was fundamentally the same as it was then! The public was served by ‘Radio Operator’s’ taking calls and calling the jobs out to Drivers over a crackling radio system. Technology advanced slowly, as costs were way out of reach for a company with a relatively small fleet of vehicles.
In the last two years the Company has developed beyond all recognition. In fact things have progressed more than they had in the last sixty! Vokes has grown through the acquisition of New Cabs, Windmill Taxis and Rainham Cabs and now operates a fleet of 160 vehicles right across the Medway Towns. This has given it the scale to allow it to invest heavily in technology which has radically changed the operation.
Today everything is focussed upon providing great customer service. It’s customers have the choice of booking using the Vokes booking App, via its website, or by phone with the choice of talking to an Operator or using an automated voice activated booking option. Most customers have credit cards registered within the system meaning payment is fully automated whichever way they choose to make their booking. Text messages are sent automatically to confirm a new booking with customers able to track the progress of the vehicle coming to collect them using their mobile phone. The whole process is streamlined around the needs of the customer – with a clever system to connect Drivers and passengers over an anonymous communication channel in the event that they can’t find each other.
Implementing changes to a business that was running the same way for more than 65 years was a challenge for everyone involved, but the rewards are now starting to come through. During the lockdown the system offered the flexibility needed for Vokes to keep operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the lockdown providing a much-needed service to key workers all around the South East. Plans were put in place to allow Operators to take calls, make bookings and dispatch vehicles from the safety of their own home in the event that its offices had to be closed. Thankfully the plans never had to be enacted but the Company is 100% confident of being able to continue to provide uninterrupted taxi services to the public no matter what the future holds.