Applying the Dutch auction method for the best-priced ride
When Sneleentaxi was founded, they were “fairly old-fashioned,” commented Sven. “We started with a very simple system, using purchased telephone lines for callers to book rides, and then forwarding calls to local taxi companies for a small fee.” Two years later, with operating costs getting higher, they took a fresh look at their business to see what needed to change. During that reflection process, Sneleentaxi realized that they didn’t have visibility into their customers’ journey and that was a big problem. With their old model, once the customer was forwarded to the taxi company, there was no way to track and measure activity beyond the initial ride. This resulted in lost opportunity, both in providing a great experience for their customers and in expanding the Sneleentaxi brand.
“Sometimes we would get feedback if their experience wasn’t good,” added Sven, “but we didn’t get any actionable information from that feedback. We wanted to create something where we could interact with our customers and have them stay in our system more. We wanted them to experience more of the brand that we were building.”
That was the moment Sneleentaxi decided to use their in-house developers to build a platform using the concept of the reverse auction. “It’s also sometimes called a Dutch auction,” commented Sven, “so it’s more common here in the Netherlands when you are buying tulips on the auction market in Aalsmeer.” Working with local taxi companies for lower rates, Sneleentaxi now passes that savings on to their customers.
Before ActiveCampaign, Sneleentaxi had tried MailChimp for their automations but it was “too thin” for their needs, and became too expensive as their subscriber list grew. There was limited data and tracking, and no effective way to deliver a personal touch. Being able to track the passenger journey from booking, through to their destination was a top high priority for Sneleentaxi, but more importantly, the solution they chose had to easily integrate with their custom booking system.
“We’re building our own platform.” said Sven, “and we need a marketing solution with intelligence.” Sven believes in the value of partnering with companies that he terms “smart about technology,” and knew they “needed a partner for the long run, a solution we could grow with. A partner that is able to integrate fully with our booking platform.” So they chose ActiveCampaign on the recommendation of a peer.
To get a full 360 view of their customer experience, Sneleentaxi developers leverage both Zapier and their own APIs to integrate the Sneleentaxi platform with ActiveCampaign. “First we start with Zapier, which is very easy to connect,” Sven commented. “Then we build the API connection between platforms, usually to make the connection a little quicker.”
- They now seamlessly integrate their booking system with ActiveCampaign and pass key data between systems
- They now have visibility to the full customer journey and have access to critical, actionable data
Sven also expresses that he feels like Sneleentaxi “understands our customers a little bit more because we can segment so much more than with a lot of other automation tools. Those customers are also giving feedback to us that they think like, wow, your tech department is much further along.”
“ActiveCampaign is the partner for the long run. We wouldn’t build our integrations if we didn’t trust in the relationship.”
Sven Braam, CEO
Lead Scoring + Site tracking = Money in the bank
With the new business model defined and a marketing platform in hand, Sneleentaxi needed funding to take the company to the next level. So, they started a crowdfunding campaign to raise investor backing for the business. “At that point, I think ActiveCampaign was the biggest light bulb for us that we saw. It was like, okay, this is really working very well,” said Sven. “We have a big database of potential investors, but we didn’t know who would really be interested in investing.” They had a list of 1200 contacts who might be interested in investing, but with a 2-month deadline for funding, there just weren’t enough resources or the time to call everyone.
Using ActiveCampaign’s site tracking, they were able to easily identify prospective investors. “We could see who was clicking on the emails, who was spending time on our website on specific pages, and then giving those visitors a certain lead score.”
- They used site tracking to see who was visiting key pages on the website
- Applied lead scoring to isolate 200 prospective investors
- Passed those hot leads to their sales team for outreach
- Were able to meet their goal of raising .5M Euros in just 2 months!
“This campaign was a big kick start for the rest of the company, and I think ActiveCampaign’s site tracking and lead scoring was a pretty important part of that.”
Keeping the customer journey top of mind
Today, Sneleentaxi provides rides in the heart of the Netherlands in both big cities and rural areas. About 10% of all taxi companies have partnered with Sneleentaxi to provide competitive rates for customers using their platform. Since joining ActiveCampaign in 2018, SneleentTaxi has seen 130% year-over-year growth. They retain customer loyalty through discounts and rewards, but also because of how they continue to innovate in the platform to solve the challenges customers encounter during their journey.
One big win is tied to the customer flight number. Having the ability to add that flight information after a ride is booked has provided the biggest benefit in removing barriers for the Sneleentaxi customer. “Passengers don’t always have their flight information in front of them when they are scheduling a ride, so we’ve built a step in our automation where if that piece of information is missing from the Custom Field after a certain amount of time, we send the customer a gentle reminder to add that flight information. That’s very helpful information for the taxi service to know where and when to pick up the passenger on time.”
“To be able to remind subscribers to add their flight number to their booking, these small kinds of things make ActiveCampaign really handy for us. The integration is seamless, and all of our custom fields are filled in the booking system, and in ActiveCampaign.”
ActiveCampaign also contributes to new opportunities with larger companies. Using Deals and Tagging, they have an automation set up notifications for when a nonconsumer email address is used. The sales team can then follow up on that lead as a possible business partner. Sneleentaxi also segments contacts with business email addresses and follows up with incentives such as upgrades, or the option to set up a corporate account for their employees. Lead scoring, site tracking, and automations all play important roles in the sales pipeline strategy for Sneleentaxi, and has paid off by way of corporate partnerships across the Netherlands.
“With ActiveCampaign, you can achieve so many things.” Sven continued, “you are only limited by your creativity.”
Sneleentaxi’s marketing strategy is ideal for the repeat customer. By applying tagging in the system, they can quickly set up campaigns for cross-selling and providing discounts for recurring customers. For example, they ran segmented tests to see who to give away discounts to, “because there are about 10 ways to give someone a discount.” When they are setting up automations for cross-selling, tagging enables Sneleentaxi to identify the right people and then allows them to apply the appropriate discount. “So if someone has made a reservation for a holiday,” Sven explains, “we can recognize this by the booking, are able to then recommend they also use a taxi for other purposes, and then we can give them a discount.”
“With ActiveCampaign, it’s very easy for us to test what is working the best using tagging. And with the lead scoring, you can do even more.”
The future looks bright
During the events of 2020, Sneleentaxi adopted a private travel model for passengers by providing rides to hospitals, Covid test sites, and vaccination sites. Ridesharing is much more prevalent in the Netherlands, so offering a private ride for appointments like this has set Sneleentaxi apart from their competitors. They’ve partnered with major clients and have “actually managed to grow in these times. We are doing a little bit better than last year, before Covid.”
As they look forward to the market reopening, Sneleentaxi feels well-positioned for a brighter, and busy future– and may even be going global.
If you would like to find out more about Sneleentaxi and how to use their platform in the Netherlands, check out sneleentaxi.nl.