With people spending more and more time on smartphones and tablets, operators need to devote just as much time creating a presence in these digital spheres to capture potential clients’ attention. Business processes also can be streamlined with the correct software, whether it’s tracking vehicles, managing metrics, or taking online reservations.
LCT Magazine queried 20 operators to see how they are using technology to their advantage. The following are the innovations from those who responded.
Brandan and Ron Stein
Exclusive Sedan Service,
North Hollywood, Calif.
- Recently made the move to Livery Coach Software. Works closely with the vendor on “out-of-the-box” ideas such as a smartphone app for the Droid or iPhone for clients to book and track rides and make reservations quicker and more conveniently.
- Online reservation system shows vehicle statuses so clients can see if their vehicles are enroute or on-location.
- Working on tracking systems that provide actual real-time visual of the cars.
Driven Eco, West Nyack, N.Y.
- “We’ve been really happy with the Lexus RX 400h, which has been the workhorse, our company’s equivalent of the Town Car. For the most part, clients want the RX. We were disappointed with the Yukon hybrid because it underperformed and had issue after issue with the engine; the electrical system is out of whack; and the lights have blown out on more than five occasions.”
- “We’re in the process of turning over our entire fleet, and we’re re-examining our options. Do we go with a BlueTec Mercedes or a Flex-Fuel vehicle? Whatever we choose, we’ll remain consistent with our mission to be eco-friendly, because from what we’ve seen, the demand hasn’t dropped and people are requesting clean vehicles.”
ETS International, Quincy, Mass.
- Installed microGreen oil filters in entire fleet, and is installing Blade exhaust filters on all vehicles.
- Paperless paychecks: Funds are deposited directly into employee checking accounts. For those without checking accounts, a debit card is issued to receive payments. TripTracker software allows chauffeurs to log on to get their paystubs.
- Tracks website metrics through Google Analytics and has increased website hits by more than 100% in last six months.
- Weekly blog distributed through Greene’s personal Facebook account and ETS Facebook page.
- Monthly press release, e-blast, and employee newsletter for better communication.
- Company’s Intranet site for payroll allows employees to log on and check out company events and announcements, and other information on their personal accounts.
Red Limo, Miami, Fla.
- Invested a lot in company’s website and considers it to be the “crème de la crème” of the industry.
- Blog at times has more than 10,000 visitors.
- Database of more than 7,000 email addresses that were obtained organically; sends out informative emails quarterly.
- Uses Facebook and Twitter but doesn’t solicit fans or followers. “I believe a true fan or follower will seek out the object of their affection.”
- Limo Anywhere for reservations, StreetEagle GPS for vehicle tracking, Iping.com for wake-up calls, and broadband Internet phone service.
- Created own software for evaluating and analyzing applicants for employment.
- Uses Sunpass in all vehicles to avoid delays at tolls and allow all vehicles access to HOV lanes for highway driving.
- Uses an employment leasing firm that conducts national background checks, motor vehicle reports, and maintains payroll.
- Uses a fleet card program for fuel purchases, subscribes to a monthly car wash program that allows for unlimited car washes for $20 a month per vehicle, and also uses a customer relationship management firm for potential sales leads.
- Hosts an annual ‘Client Appreciation Night’ in venues such as the W Hotel Penthouse in Miami Beach. “I truly believe the best marketing strategy is to exceed clients’ expectations and provide outstanding value.”
Maxim Limousine, Scottsdale, Ariz.
- Uses iPad for meet-and-greets to save on paper, and also for large groups as it makes it easier to set up a mobile dispatch unit onsite at whichever airport the group is traveling to or from.
- Marketing strategy includes being active on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks; sending out newsletters and email blasts to clients and affiliates; and sending digital packets to all new and existing affiliates.
- Sales and reservations staff are trained to turn one phone call into a minimum of four runs, increasing outbound work by 35% in the past year.
DPV Transportation, Boston
- “GPS tracking with Enterprise GPS improves our business operations by providing the locations of vehicles 24/7, estimated arrival times, traffic alerts, etc. Dispatchers can spend less time communicating with chauffeurs and more time focusing on customer service and increasing sales.”
Originally posted on LCT Magazine