Luxury Coach & Transportation

April 2019

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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HR / TRAINING Master Of All: Why You Need To Cross Train Your Employees Reservationists, dispatchers, and even chauffeurs should know how to serve clients in every possible way. By Lexi Tucker, LCT associate editor W hen a candidate accepts a job offer at your company, they should want to work there. ey must believe in the services you offer and want to help your clients. is means the new hire should be willing to do anything to help your business succeed…even if it's not in their job description. Cross-training them to handle multiple duties will not only benefit your company, but also provide them with useable skills for the future. Benefits Of Cross Training Nina Parson, director of sales for Com- pany Car & Limousine in Cleveland, Ohio, says for a company to succeed, managers can't be in the office all the time. at means someone has to take the sales reigns when she's out secur- ing new clients. "If one person is responsible for all sales, it hinders the company from growing," she says. If your staff isn't cross trained, they'll have to send po- tential clients to a sales persons' voice- mail — and that doesn't fly these days. It's even worse now because anyone can go onto a company's website with chat capabilities and get an answer im- mediately. "If you're putting all of your clients in the hands of one person, what happens if they leave your company?" Christina Zanone, director of affiliate relations for Beau Wine Tours in Napa, Calif., says her company usually has a sales team available from 7a.m. to 8 p.m., and then dispatchers handle after hours calls. "We felt having our dispatchers be able to operate as salespeople by upselling and finalizing sales instead of just being 'order takers' would help us maximize the possible bookings we were getting," she says. Diane Forgy, president of Overland Chauffeured Services in Kansas City, Mo., says most sales opportunities for her company still come through phone calls, followed by emails. Reservation- ists and dispatchers handle most of them. "In reality, reservationists in our operation handle these more often, but dispatchers still get sales opportunity calls and emails they must at least start after hours, on weekends, and on holidays when they are often alone in the office. A dedicated salesperson or manager cannot handle all of these calls in most operations. In reality, every call and email, whether it is with an existing or potential client, is a sales opportuni- ty. We realized years ago, but especially in recent years, that everyone in our of- fice had to be salespeople to maximize our results." Nancy Vargas, CEO of DH2 Chauffeured Transportation in Whitestone, N.Y., be- lieves everyone in the company should wear a sales hat. "Our reservationists answer calls, and dispatchers to a large degree are also on the phone. So having them develop sales skills helps increase rides when there's an opportunity to up- sell. What they are initially hired to do may not have the sales title, but having that direct contact is valuable." Training For Maximum Results Having employees shadow salespeople is one way to help train them. Zanone has them sit next to her throughout one of her shifts so they can listen to her handle calls. She also shows them how to properly work the quoting sys- tem, and points out the buzzwords she 1 6 WWW.LCTMAG.COM LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION APRIL 2019 Nancy Vargas, Diane Forgy, Christina Zanone, and Nina Parson have all implemented cross training with phenomenal results. Nina Parson photo credit: Samantha Purea Photography

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