British Airport Transfers Case Study:
Customer-facing website booking system and behind-the-scenes full business management system
"The software development has been fundamental in enabling smoother and more efficient business processes."
Front-end websites, driver tracking, driver allocation, booking management, vehicle management, reporting, social media management, email marketing, marketing consultancy
British Airport Transfers has a vast team of professional drivers providing airport car booking for all London airports and major cruise ports. Switchplane started our partnership with British Airport Transfers when the taxi company had just one controller and a driver doing about 10 journeys a day, and the organisation has since grown to become one of the biggest independents in its domain with 200 drivers and a £10 million annual revenue.
Since 2008, Switchplane has developed a complex end-to-end web-based platform to manage airport car bookings from customer enquiry to driver allocation and payments. The platform is integral to the running of the company and provides a comprehensive solution for daily driver and administrative tasks, as well as reporting and customer management for strategic business functions.
Switchplane also provides comprehensive marketing services to support growth of the business, ranging from blogs, newsletters, and social media posts to setting up ad campaigns on social media and consultancy on overall strategy and ad spends.
Switchplane has created bespoke and responsive websites for British Airport Transfers and associated brands, allowing the customer to get a live quote based on starting point and end destination, which takes into consideration car choices and specific zone areas. Split testing is regularly carried out to optimise the customer journey and improve conversions.
Work has recently been carried out for marketing purposes to place a video onto the homepage to provide more insight into the company for customers, and to share Google reviews. The live route also displays on screen when adding a customer’s start and end destinations, to provide instant information on the journey before commencing a quote.
"Switchplane really are an invaluable extension of our team - 10 out of 10, highly recommended."
All drivers carry a companion app which tracks their location and enables the office team to message drivers en route. This tracking allows customers to see when their driver is arriving and staff in the office can allocate the nearest driver to customers. The map of live locations is shown on an office wall to enable full visibility of driver progress and journey statuses at all times.
Drivers are able to update their availability, office staff can see when drivers are available to work, then view upcoming bookings to allocate drivers to the most appropriate routes. There is functionality in the system to minimise the number of drivers per day who are entering the congestion charge zone, in order to avoid unnecessary duplicate costs to the company.
Administrative staff are able to manage which vehicles are available, the capacities for people and luggage, whether a vehicle is congestion charge exempt, and vehicle cost bandings. It’s also possible to increase or decrease all costs per mile for vehicles, which can be applied whenever necessary for peak or quieter periods, or in line with fuel costs.
Switchplane has created a range of custom reports looking at general activity, sales, and profit and loss, as well as various reports to help with marketing campaigns covering repeat customers, mystery shoppers, and popular journeys and routes. Management teams are able to quickly see an overview of revenue in a particular date range, split by booking source, which provides insights into where to invest money in development. Other reports give information which can help inform decisions such as which ad keywords to use, and which vehicle types should be acquired.
Switchplane manages the social media accounts for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, posting on a regular basis to engage with customers. This has also included running blogs on the website.
More recently, we have encouraged the business owner to trial Facebook retargeting ads to great success; an initial trial £500 ad spend turned into £12,000 of bookings. Since then, the budgets have been incrementally increased to correspondingly positive results.
Switchplane has written copy and carried out email marketing campaigns for British Airport Transfers and associated brands over the past 12 years, building up an extensive mailing list. Some of our latest work includes segregating the mailing list to target particular user groups.
Through our in-house marketing capability, Switchplane has advised on social media and Google Adwords advertising campaigns, improvements to the customer-facing website including creating video content, and provides general marketing consultancy in order to attract new and retain existing customers.
“Switchplane has built a highly technical, bespoke system and website for our business. It manages all our data, driver profiles, bookings, reporting and more. The software development has been fundamental in enabling smoother and more efficient business processes. Tom and Joel understand our operation very well and put forward valuable ideas for refinements. Switchplane really are an invaluable extension of our team - 10 out of 10, highly recommended.”
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