One Taxi stand in Vaitele is creating a point of difference in their business by rebranding themselves and bringing the concept of “supakako” back into the customer service experience.
The 40-fleet taxi stand is owned by Tuala Siuta and was formerly known as “I love Samoa” taxis, but Mr. Siuta decided to collaborate with family member, Tuala Tagaloa Tusani, in rebranding their business in order to stand out among the many taxi stands on Upolu.
Mr. Siuta explains to the Samoa Observer the meaning behind the name change and the symbolism of their new brand.
“Supakako are mostly found on the bus. He is the person who helps assist the bus driver and we want to apply that same concept to our taxis,” he said.
“We have called ourselves supakako because we are here to serve and assist the community of Samoa.
“The picture of the octopus symbolises that through its tentacles, we gather and befriend others, so in that way they would be able to help this taxi stand develop. There are so many different kinds of octopus that is wandering the earth and how they ask for things from other people. But that is not the spirit of why we got the octopus, it has a different meaning to us.”
Mr. Tusani explained that Supakako offers a service that will allow any customer to request an assistant at no extra cost. The idea is to have someone who can assist people with their groceries, luggage and even help those who might have a physical disability.
“There’s no extra cost, you can tip them if you wish but it’s one way for us to up our customer service game. We are also trying to find a way to employ the youth and give them more work experience. They will learn how to interact with customers and how to foster a good relationship between the business operator and themselves.
“They will see that a good customer experience will result in repeat business, which means more money for the Supakako and the taxi stand as a whole.”
Mr. Siuta also points out that having an assistant in the car means security for both the customer and the taxi driver. Usually what has prevented most taxi drivers from assisting people is security driven and that leaving the taxi unattended is not ideal.
Having a supakako means that will never happen, for those who have a tendency to leave things behind in a taxi, a taxi assistant will ensure that you do not leave any of your belongings behind.
Repeat clientele is the name of the game, according to Mr. Siuta. He has even switched up their image to align with the supakako’s promise of quality customer service.
“Each taxi stand has its own uniqueness. We also have a dress code, to always be neat and presentable at all times. It is not just to look tidy but also for the vehicle to be clean. If they are happy then they would call again to get picked up to be transported to wherever they please.
“We chose blue because Samoa is blue. Every time there is a rugby match or whatever sport the colour will always be blue. There is always a specific day in the week when we will wear blue. We have two t-shirts and then the button shirt. Every Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays we wear our button up shirt. On Sunday we wear white.”
It has been six years since this taxi stand has been established and over that time Mr. Siuta has grown his taxi fleet to 40 cars. They are located across from Farmer Joe’s in Vaitele.