Luxury Coach & Transportation

January 2019

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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Page 22 of 67

LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION JANUARY 2019 21 must be warm and welcoming. Callers expect you to be the expert of how long it takes to get to the airport or where to meet at the airport. We are even expected to know what traffic condi- tions might be like on a Wednesday at 4 p.m. Being informative builds loyalty. Get to know your clients so you can exceed their needs and expectations. Learning their habits and preferences builds loyalty. NO. 6: Win Back Notes Nyikos recommends you always keep notes about service failures in a client profile. It reminds a reservationist of a previous failure and spurs the opportu- nity to apologize for the incident again and welcome the client back. is underscores you have not forgotten it happened and you personally know the client. e more information you can register in a client profile, the better your service appears, starting with the phone call. NO. 7: Retrieve Lost Clients Make sure your chauffeurs know they need to report to you any client dis- satisfaction or incidents, even if caused by the chauffeur. He must understand he won't necessarily get into trouble by telling you about the incident. Don't wait for the client to call you. Pick up the phone to discuss it and be prepared to remedy the situation. If your com- pany made a mistake, make it right and give a little more than might be ex- pected based upon the circumstances. If you cause a bride to be late to her wedding, you should consider not only refunding the entire amount charged, but offering a gift card for future service to leave the client with a better impression of your company. If you handle this within a day, you are much more likely to win the client back than if you wait three days to call. By then, your client has likely moved on. People will share their service fail- ures with others. Make sure the story always ends with, "And you know what they did to make it right?" — Nyikos, D'Anzieri, and I all expect to make mistakes, which will become teaching moments. We are all capable of learning from them. Make sure employ- ees have guidelines and give them some leeway with parameters. Suc- cessful people like Steve Jobs (Apple), Bill Gates (Microsoft), and Jeff Bezos (Ama- zon) all hired top leaders who made good decisions. ey apply new concepts that endear them to clients and help grow their companies. NO. 4: Communication e best tool for client retention is communication. e goal: Everyone on the same page at the same time. All important matters in your company culture must be communicated to your entire team. Each member must be able to clearly communicate in a style that relates to the client. A retail client might focus on the price. e as- sistant of an attorney may focus more on passenger details. Both need to feel they had good communication during a call. at applies to emails as well, D'Anzieri says. A simple grammatical error such as, "Hears your confirmation," could imply your company doesn't hire educated people, and maybe the client as a result will look for a higher caliber company to transport an attorney. Email etiquette and grammar are im- portant. Nyikos recommends calling clients after a first-time ride or a large event to make sure everything went as planned. is can go a long way in keeping employees. NO. 5: Building Loyalty Building loyalty comes down to mak- ing all company experiences positive. From an online app used to book a res- ervation to an online system for book- ing dozens of corporate rides, it all your employees to dress is part of cor- porate culture, D'Anzieri added. NO. 2: Using Social Media Social media is the newest tool in client retention. It allows you to forge bonds with clients like never before. No longer are the people in your office merely order takers on the other end of the phone. ey are real people with faces who can be seen on social media. Your company persona can be shared online. Nyikos uses social media to promote what's happening at the office or how Leros is involved with a charity event. is opens your com- pany blinds for the world to see what your business is really all about. Your corporate culture portrayed online can help recruit employees when people see your company favorably. Social media allows you to showcase your company's integrity, service standards, and staff treatment. NO. 3: Empowerment As an operator, I've always believed empowerment of employees is para- mount to success. Borrowing from the Ritz-Carlton philosophy, upset custom- ers don't want to wait for management to intervene when they experience a service failure. ey want immediate resolution and employees should be empowered to issue refunds, provide a credit, or do whatever is needed to remedy the situation. If you don't have faith and trust in your employees' judgement, then perhaps you are hiring the wrong caliber of people for serving in luxury transportation. "We're going to empower them to do what they need to do; at the same time, they have to do that with integ- rity and pride," D'Anzieri said. Nyikos added, "You can't micromanage your employees. You have to allow them to make their own decisions." Everything of importance to your company culture must be communicated from the top to the bottom of your team. Each team member must be able to clearly communicate in a style relative to the client. — Lenore D'Anzieri

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