Luxury Coach & Transportation

October 2018

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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44 LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION OCTOBER 2018 WWW.LCTMAG.COM LEXI TUCKER is LCT associate editor and coordinator of the LCT Fast 40, a group of operators under 40 who collaborate and learn from each other about all aspects of chauffeured transportation. She can be reached at lexi@lctmag.com. MILLENNIALMATTERS You call yourself a "luxury transportation company"… but is that the truth? Walking The Talk I want to believe all businesses have one goal in mind: To help the customer nd what they are looking for. When I go to Barnes and Noble (a Millennial going to a brick and mortar store?!), I expect to nd books of all genres waiting for me. If I'm hungry for a quarter pounder with cheese, I hop in my car and head to the nearest McDonald's (not all Californians are kale-aholics). …e reputation of these companies precedes them, and therefore I know exactly where to go for what I need. By that logic, when I reserve luxury car service, I expect a neatly dressed chau†er who is polite and helpful to roll into my driveway 15 minutes before I asked them to be there. But here's the problem: Luxury transportation companies don't have a reputation, good or bad, that Millennials are aware of. Before I'm stoned to death at the next LCT Show, let me explain. What's A Limo? To be able to create expectations among people who don't know about your service, they have to know who you are and what you do. Raising awareness of your brand is important, but perhaps even more so is your ability to follow through on what you promise. In other words, your reputation creates expectations. I read an interesting article in Forbes titled "Is Social Media Creating Unrealistic Travel Expectations Among Millennials?" In it, writer Andrew Arnold talks about the lengths Millennials go to impress their followers…even if it means posting misleading, edited pictures of their vacations to make things appear better than they really are. Arnold goes on to say, "Unfortunately, all of this deception becomes circular. Millennials who see these exaggerated portrayals often feel the need to post their own deceptions. Not only is a lot of what is shared dishonest, 51% still used that information to choose their own vacation experiences. And 40% of younger travelers (under 33) also want their vacations to look 'Instagramable' and will prioritize this factor when choosing their next destination." …is is where you come in. Be What They Need With a true luxury transportation company, there's no need for clients to spruce up their shots. Your vehicle should be immaculate, your chau†eurs should be the kind of people Millennials will want to take seles with, and your overall service should need no embellishment. …e article states many Millennials use social media as a source for vacation planning information. …is is why it's vital for your company to build a presence and, therefore, a reputation, on the platforms these young adults frequent. Arnold urges Millennial readers to "use social media to connect with potential hotels, travel agencies, rental car companies, tourism companies, local restaurants, and the attractions you're interested in." Ding, ding, ding! …is includes luxury transportation providers. Are You Worth It? If Millennials spend money, it will be on something they think or know to be worth it. Highlight your service and your people, but don't do it unless you can deliver service worth what you charge. I shouldn't have to crop out a stain on the seat next to me or have your chau†eur talking in the background of my Snapchat video (unless I've initiated conversation, of course). …e best part of catering to this generation is the fact if you are truly a luxury service, the social media posts of your clients will tell that story. You're more than just a ride from Point A to Point B…right? The 2018 Travelport U.S. Vacation Survey of about 1,500 U.S. residents shows Millennials are most likely to spend more on their upcoming vacations than other age groups, with one out of three Millennials willing to spend $5,000 or more on their vacations. 55% of Millennials who participated in the 2018 Travelport U.S. Vacation Survey are planning to increase their vacation plans. Millennials are more likely to use a travel agency to book travel if a mobile app with customized noti-cations is available. Source: 2018 Travelport U.S. Vacation Survey OCTOBER 2018 38% of bookings are made on the same day or two-days before a trip, 53% are made within a week of a trip, and just 19% are made in advance. Source: PhocusWright By Lexi Tucker, LCT associate editor

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