ALWAYS LOOKING AHEAD: Everyone wants to give excellent service, but what is it?
Everyday I strive to give excellent service and provide “over-the-top” service, “beyond expectation” service, and “world-class” service to our clients. But what is it that sets us apart? We all deliver a ride. We all know that clients expect a clean car and well trained chauffeurs. But what else can we do to provide that experience that leaves the client saying, “Wow”?
I suppose it begins when the phone rings. I am a firm believer that business phones should be answered by the second ring and no one should spend more than two minutes on hold when calling us. The person that answers the phone should be knowledgeable about the fleet and pricing and ready to take an order.
People should not call in and ask for a quote and be put on hold — ever! If someone wants another department such as accounting or marketing or any other type of business, they can hold while someone is rounded up to handle the call. I assume every time the phone rings someone is calling to do business with us, so let’s be ready to do business by the second ring and quote a price or take an order without delay.
Once the order is taken, I want a confirmation sent by e-mail immediately. If it must be sent by fax, let’s walk to the fax machine right now. I like people to get that confirmation so fast it sets the stage for the “wow factor.” People are impressed by the fast response and know immediately that everything discussed has been put in writing.
If the order involves a pickup at the airport of a private plane, I call the FBO immediately to let them know we will be on their ramp on a particular day. It keeps the lines of communication open with the FBO, and since we communicate regularly, they are inclined to send us business when charter operators ask about ground transportation in our city. If the charter company should notify the FBO that the flight will arrive early, they will usually call us just in case the client forgot.
When heading to a hotel with a client that has luggage, we call the hotel five to 10 minutes out to ask them to meet us with a luggage cart. If the hotel is prepaid by an event organizer, we will go to the hotel and “pre-check” the passenger, obtaining his or her room key, going to the room, and turning lights on and adjusting the thermostat. We then go get the passenger and take them directly to their room, assisting with luggage ourselves if needed.
It is many little things that make the big picture an average experience or an over-the-top experience.
— Jim Luff, LCT Contributing Editor
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