Luxury Coach & Transportation

May 2019

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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2019 INTERNATIONAL LCT SHOW: OPERATIONS Award Winners Create Practices That Could Work For You The Operator of the Year Class of 2019 proves how luxury transportation operations can succeed in this market environment. By Martin Romjue, LCT editor AS VEGAS, Nev. — While LCT's annual awards produce a small set of winners, the industry overall does not have to lose out on ways to improve operations. One benefit from reviewing the applications of the finalists who produce the winners is finding a trove of worthy advice on best practices and ideas for running luxury ground transportation operations. Since LCT started this series in 2017, we've posted scores of useful tips for operators of all fleet-sizes. Finalists for these awards were judged and scored in the areas of customer service, use of technology, chauffeur and staff training, media and marketing, safety records, and community and industry involvement. Here is a random sample of points, with names removed. Any association with a particular company relates to the uniqueness of the idea or practice: 1 2 WWW.LCTMAG.COM LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION MAY 2019 CUSTOMER SERVICE • A director of customer experience follows up with clients for improvements and once a month holds a conference call with top clients to maintain relationships and improve services and requests if needed. • Role play scenarios to try to get employees to say "no." Not every request is realistic, but employees are taught to emphasize what can be done instead of what can't. • Keep a library of books in staff break rooms on high-touch, high-end customer service strategies, such as from The Four Seasons Hotel Group and Disney. • Email and text trip status updates to passengers informing them of their chauffeur and trip details. • Hold a service failure/success story internal meeting weekly to ensure your company stays on top of its game. Include the head dispatcher and top executives, such as the COO and CEO. • Set up a quality assurance program that involves regular observations of chauffeurs and clients interacting at points of pick up. Owners should occasionally drive clients and talk about the level of service the company provides and how it can be improved. Take those ideas and adopt them in the company. Listen closely to clients. • Reservationists keep profiles and make note about clients' lives. For example, if one has a death in the family, they can use a ready stack of cards to send a personal note of condolence. The same concept applies to clients' milestone events, such as graduations, birthdays, and accomplishments. • Work to make every client request happen. Train everyone in the company to be a customer service representative. Aim for bespoke customer service. • Enroll members of your work team in local tourism training provided by Convention & Visitors Bureaus and Chambers of Commerce to gain insider knowledge and firsthand experience on all local attractions. Deploy in everyday interactions with clients to answer their questions and exceed customer service expectations. • Assign concierge trained representatives to specific clients. This allows strong relationships to be forged. Clients like the VIP treatment and know their business is truly appreciated. • Offer a food blog in response to calls asking for new suggestions on where to eat. Make reservations for clients to show them you want their business. • Track on-time performance and customer comments for every ride, and ask customers to rate their experience based on five stars. Any surveys receiving a three (average) or fewer out of five stars are immediately forwarded to customer satisfaction managers who call customers to ask how their next trips can be worthy of five stars.

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