Luxury Coach & Transportation

March 2019

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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38 WWW.LCTMAG.COM Great Ideas provides a broad range of information focused on new ideas and approaches in management, human resources, customer service, marketing, networking and technology. Have something to share or would like covered? Contact LCT contributing editor and California operator JIM LUFF at JIM LUFF | MARCH 2019 SPOT TIP Corporate Hotel Service Hotels are one of the most common pick-up and drop-off locations for corporate travelers. Strengthen your relationship with hotels you regularly go to. Building trust with a hotel can allow you to pre-check-in a guest. If th e billing is on a master corporate account or has a credit card applied in advance, your chauffeur may be able to get the room key in advance and spare a weary traveler from the traditional check-in process. When you hand the key to your passenger, he is likely to say, "Wow, this was unexpected." Listen The best way to deliver wow moments is by listening to the subjects your client is talking about. While it might seem impolite to listen to conversations, they may provide clues. For instance, you might hear a passenger sp eaking on the phone about finding a good Italian restaurant for dinner. A simple comment such as, "I'm sorry, I couldn't help but overhear you were looking for an Italian restaurant. Might I make a recommendation"? Offering to make the reservation will be the wow moment. Vehicle Amenities Jump in a hotel limousine such as Harrah's and you are likely to find an assortment of chips and crackers in addition to the standard bottled water and soft drinks. On trips that span more than an hour or start at an airport, customers will greatly appreciate these amenities. How To Create A Wow Factor W hile amenities like free beverages, newspapers, and mints are certainly an upscale touch, it doesn't set you apart from competitors all doing the same. e fact is, people make the difference between ordinary and superb experiences, referred to as "wow moments." What Is A Wow Moment? It can be anything that makes a customer say, "Wow, this was unexpected." For example, I recently checked into a small boutique hotel and found a basket of treats on my bed with a note that said all the items in the basket were compli- mentary and I could take them home with me if I wanted. e basket included candy, chips, cookies, sodas, and water. The First Contact No matter how the first contact occurs, we have only one chance at a first im- pression. Whether it's how you answer the phone or how you respond to an email, the first contact will set the tone of your relationship forever. A bad expe- rience ensures you will never hear from a customer again. Delivering a wow mo- ment in the first contact can keep a forever customer. Answering the phone in a rush or saying, "Limousine service, how can I help you?" does not come across as sincere, polite, or nice. It's About Hospitality You are in the hospitality industry just like a hotel. Considering how many pick- ups and drop-offs are done at hotels, and think of your business as a comple- ment. What do hotels call their customers? Guests. We should treat and con- sider our passengers as guests. As a famous industry story goes, Neil Diamond once mentioned he didn't like his pillows at his hotel. e chauffeur returned back to the hotel with new, firmer pillows from Walmart. at's a "Wow, this was unexpected" moment. Hotels Set The Standard e standard of class is well defined by e Ritz-Carlton brand. But other ho- tels strive to deliver the wow factor too. A Sacramento area hotel sends your room key to your cell phone so you don't even need to stop at the front desk. ey also text you to ask what time you will arrive and if you would like anything in your room such as a soft drink. ey text you during your stay to ask if everything is okay and ask again if you need anything. If you order a soft drink, they bring two in a bucket of ice free of charge. at's a "Wow, this was unexpected" moment. Placing bottles of water and mints with your logo doesn't create a "wow factor." Neither does a complimentary daily newspaper. By Jim A. Luff, LCT contributing editor LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION MARCH 2019 ICONS: FREEPIK.COM

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