How Ola Cabs using technology to improve customer experience

OLA cabs in BangaloreOla Cabs has made investment in innovative technology solutions to improve customer experience.

Ola faces competition from its US-based rival Uber, which launched service in India on August 29, 2013 in Bangalore. It faced criticism against its mobile app security, complaints related to timing, pricing and driver behavior.

According to a regulatory filing, Ola’s revenue increased from Rs 51.50 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 418.25 crore in 2014-15. At the same time, the company’s losses jumped 20 times to Rs 754.87 crore due to its heavy investments in securing market share.

Ola offline

Since its launch in 2011, the taxi aggregator received growing popularity by offering comfortable and affordable travel for all economic groups.

Apart from that, Ola uses advanced technologies to improve customer experience to match their changing needs.

Most recently, Ola introduced auto-rickshaws in its service in Thane, Maharashtra. This allows Ola commuters in Thane to avail metered fares, live tracking of rides, cashless payments and ride receipts.

That was a brilliant move by Ola because it understands that majority of Indian middle-class would rather prefer to travel in an auto than in a car for short distance travels.

Last week, Ola rolled out a new feature called Ola Offline that allows customers to book the cab via SMS. Meaning, one can book a cab even when his net connection is not working.

This facility was available in Nagpur and Indore since June last year.  It is now extended to four metro cities. Ola plans to expand the offline feature to 102 cities.

Ola makes this possible using a Book via SMS option which will take to usual SMS app in the phone. Upon selecting this option, some pre-added text by Ola will be send to the cab booking center.

The center will sent details of nearest cabs available across categories. User can select preferred cab and reply. After this step, the center will SMS driver details.

Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi to improve cab network

In September, Ola Cabs deployed Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi network in Bangalore to improve its cab network.

With this Ola aims to ensure that it can add new cars from owners at its attachment centers without difficulties and complete operational and functional level audit smoothly.

Ola’s employees will experience better connectivity to attach new cabs to the network using their 3G cellular connection.

Ruckus offers smart antenna technologies to Ola. Its antenna was a real advantage, particularly over omni-directional antennas, as it provided greater connectivity, performance and stability, while reducing interference on the network.

Ola Cabs has deployed Ruckus ZoneFlex T301 dual-band 802.11ac outdoor APs across its outdoor cab attachment areas to support all the staff using tablets and laptops to log cab attachments.

ZoneFlex T301 APs enable focused Wi-Fi coverage in the most challenging outdoor environments by mitigating interference and providing unmatched capacity and reliability.

Ola Cabs has also deployed the Ruckus ZoneDirector 1200 to centrally manage its Wi-Fi network. The ZoneDirector 1200 can be deployed and operated by non-wireless experts.

It has been specifically designed for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) with limited IT staff and budget, enabling them to create a robust and secure multimedia WLAN in a matter of minutes.

Ola increases focus on iPhone and iPad users

In late September, Ola increased its focus on iPhone and iPad users in India by rolling out its latest update for iOS 10 that will include Siri and Apple Maps integration.

Using just their voice, iPhone and iPad users running iOS 10 can simply say, “Hey Siri, get me an Olacab” to book their next ride.

Ankit Bhati, co-founder and CTO, Ola Cabs, said: “Integrating our app with iOS 10 is a step towards redefining customer experience. We are proud to be one of the early adopters of Sirikit and Mapkit in the world and we are confident that customers using Apple devices will benefit from this refreshed experience.”

This update allows Apple users to get access to Ola directly from Apple Maps when searching for their destination. Further to Apple devices, Ola has also launched an independent app on Apple Watch.

According to a report by Counterpoint Research, India has become the second-biggest smartphone market in terms of active unique smartphone users, crossing 220 million users, surpassing the US market. The number will go up as more enterprises adopt mobile business models.

Moreover, a recent eMarketer survey found that the number of mobile devices of all types in use in India will grow to more than 684 million this year. That translates to that 54 percent of the total Indian population will have a mobile phone.

Ola Cabs is one of the few examples of how technology can be used for enhancing customer experience.

Arya MM
[email protected]

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