Luxury Coach & Transportation

February 2014

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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Page 56 of 101

LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR FEBRUARY 2014 53 Star Limo LLC • 1715 57th St. NW • Albuquerque, NM 87105 • 505-848-9999 • Gone WORLDWIDE lately? How about, ALBUQUERQUE & SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO, U.S.A.? year, he began the research and devel- opment for his own. He released an ini- tial version in November 2012, and the latest relaunch in December 2013 took into account much customer feedback. Changes were made to accommodate different features. One of the things most commonly re- quested from customers was coupons and discount options. A hot trend in digital technology today is marketing software companies through share campaigns, where users are offered more services, discounts, or credits for others they recruit into the software. Connected Across Media With social media connections and email plugins, companies have made this easier for clients than ever to get the word out about whatever soft- ware they're using. Uber, for example, offers a promo code that can be shared at the touch of a button across many social media platforms. Any "friends" or connections online that enter the code get the initial sharer a certain amount of dollar credits on their account. Carmel offers similar functions, with clients getting up to $66 initially on their credits (to be used in 20% portions per ride), and customers who share the Car- mel App and get others to sign up are rewarded with additional credits. There is a one-touch share capability to make it easy for clients to broadcast over Face- book and Twitter. Another popular request was for an emergency number as a second number. The Carmel app even can be set up so this second number can be notif ed by text anytime a ride is taken. It is a popu- lar choice for mothers who let their kids use the app time to time for rides under approval, but not for anytime they want. Kabessa hopes to keep his partner- ships with limousine operations in the 310 cities his company serves. Full com- pliance with laws is a mandate, and Ka- bessa believes that competing by com- plying wins the day in the end. Order Prevails One of the biggest frustrations for opera- tors regarding Uber has been just the lack of regulatory enforcement from local gov- ernments. The technology was fast-paced and worked well-enough to get rolling into cities right away. And as everyone is catch- ing up with their branded technologies, the software types themselves are evolving. As for the future of the Carmel Limo App, Kabessa has not planned to li- cense out the software. "Right now, I am a limo company with technology capabilities. The revenue share we have with these companies, plus the strong language in our agreement that we won't solicit their drivers, make it ben- ef cial for them to partner with us. It's economical for them." For some operators, investing in their own apps could be viable, but for Ka- bessa, the partnership is more benef cial than organic app development. "Our hope is that they will remain partners with Carmel and promote us. As long as they do this, the chunk we give them is worth more to them than taking on the overhead themselves." — Avek Kabessa, CEO Carmel Car and Limo, New York City PHOTO: ANNE WERMIEL L I M O _ 0 2 1 4 _ c a r m e l A p p . i n d d 5 3 LIMO_0214_carmelApp.indd 53 1 / 2 1 / 1 4 1 1 : 2 3 A M 1/21/14 11:23 AM

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