My standards would be, in decreasing order of importance:
1. Findings: People are observed to favour private cab services over carpooling services as their education level rises. The choice of a consumer is not affected by factors like pricing, privacy, comfort, environmental friendliness, weather, journey time, waiting time, convenience of booking, offers, and payback.
2. Availability. I would really like to have cabs available when I want it – in short notice, with enough advance notice, or whatever other situation. This is a reason why I have still stuck to good old Cel Cabs. With a few others I’ve had cabs cancelled at the last minute with little to no explanation given.
3. Reliability. Cabs should arrive on time and expect the guests to be late within fair limits. There has been one case where a Meru cab driver simply left without bothering to inform me. Granted I was late, by 15 minutes which is actually quite late, but I would prefer they charge me exorbitantly for the delay at best or call and warn me before leaving at the worst. I’m not yet talking of the cases where the cabs arrived late.
4. Safety. Safety of passengers should be assured. Many times I cannot accompany my family in the cab and would like to be assured that they are being driven safe and secure by a reliable driver.
5. Price. I’m okay to pay a bit more for the above factors. Price is a differentiator only if the above factors are equal.
6. Ambiance. I’m not going to live in it. As long as it does not stink and is relatively germ-free for my kids to travel in, I’m good.
7. Popularity. Doesn’t matter. I’m yet to try services like Uber and have mostly stuck to radio cab services like Cel Cabs.
8. Customer service. The guys at the call center need to be polite. The drivers need to be polite. That’s about it.