Luxury Coach & Transportation

August 2018

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION AUGUST 2018 33 W here Craftsmanship Counts ™ a Cabot Coach Builders Company 120" Corporate - 99 Newark Street, Haverhill, MA 01832 • ph. 978.374.4530 or 800.544.5587 • fx. 978.521.5425 S aleS & ServiCe CenterS: Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Florida, California, Nevada • www.royalelimo.com © 2014 Cabot Coach Builders, Inc. Why not learn more about the Royale MKT 120" limousines. Call us today, toll free and speak with a Product Specialist. 1.800.544.5587 www.royalelimo.com email: sales@royalelimo.com RICK VERSACE owner, A1A Airport & Limousine Service, Boca Raton, Fla. Although Versace always tries to be on the front line with technology, he realizes the world of luxury transportation is a "people business" first and foremost. "We try to implement high touch, luxury oriented features and services that really make loyal fans of our customers," he says. For example, the company's dispatch system sends clients all kinds of care alerts. However, they still call every client the day before they travel to confirm and ask if they need anything else. "Most of all, we only want professionals with a friendly, positive attitude in our organization. The one compliment I hear the most is 'A1A has the nicest chauffeurs'." He urges operators to invest in a good software platform. Technology is changing faster every day, but too many people stay with the same old system because they are used to it. Make sure you have a client and a driver app, because "people will always choose convenience over quality." Make book- ing quick and easy, otherwise people will book with someone else, he says. When asked if he would change anything about how he handled his operations if he could go back in time, he takes the rare posi- tion of not doing so, because it's all part of the journey. "You learn something from every experience, good and bad. The management team at A1A has set a goal of 30% growth for 2018. They are looking at more fixed route contracting opportuni- ties as a way of diversifying income. Rick Versace (R) with Doug Schwartz (R) of Executive Limousine in Long Island, N.Y. Christina Zanone, director of affiliate relations, says this service is offered to their clients at no additional charge. Buck attributes the de- livery of high-level service to treating his employees fairly, hiring the best people, and working on employee retention to minimize turnover. Buck advises new operators to curb their appetite for rapid growth. Looking back over how he built Beau Wine Tours, he says he wishes he would have paid cash for acquisitions instead of incurring debt. Buck recommends developing strong affiliate relation- ships and growing your business through inbound and outbound work until you have a need to add vehicles as opposed to buying them and hoping new business will just show up. Understanding technology and having knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO) is important in marketing your company and developing brand recognition. Moving into the future, Beau recently began offering traditional shuttle tours using restored cable car trolleys, minibuses, and Sprinters. The high level of their service delivery and luxury set Beau apart from competitors by delivering a service never previously seen in the region. This has developed an additional revenue stream to complement their traditional private charter tours. Buck has a goal of increasing his annual revenue by 20% by pursuing this new market.

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