ASSESSING AFFILIATES: Nothing is more satisfying to an operator than to find out firsthand a selected affiliate delivers consistent, stellar service day-to-day and on the ground all around.
It is always nice to get out and visit with affiliates in other cities. The visits are important for making sure they are running a tight ship as well as the educational experiences and camaraderie. Our visit with Christine Bennett and Rob Baker of Showcase Limousine in Boise, Idaho was a fantastic experience. I think we all have a tendency to wonder if other operators experience the same problems we do. We seek validation that what we are doing is the right way or the “normal” way of doing things. Our visit to Showcase was enlightening and validating. I recently shared with LCT publisher Sara Eastwood-McLean my frustration with theft. She seemed surprised. I wondered if it only happened to us.
One of the first things Bennett lamented about was the recent theft of tools. We went on to discuss the loss of sodas, bottled water, oil, coolant, glassware, towels and practically anything else not nailed down. On the same day that I shared my story with Sara, I experienced the loss of about 100 pounds of ice during the night. While this might not seem like a big loss, the cost of electricity and water to replenish this ice would be expensive as the ice machine would run all night long until it filled itself back up. With a significant investment in tools and supplies, repetitive losses add up fast.
Of course we wanted to experience the level of service provided to our clients while visiting Boise so we ordered a vehicle for a night out on the town. The service delivered by our chauffeur, Mark Pearce, was impeccable. The vehicle was spotless. The set-up was perfect, including a funky aquarium video running on multiple screens. Mark arrived early at our hotel and had the desk clerk ring our room to let us know he had arrived. He was professional, polite and informative about the city.
Bennett invited us in to her home and was a warm and gracious hostess, showing us around the city, treating us to a wonderful dinner, and taking a night off to take us out on the town. It was during this night out that she challenged me to call various hotels to ask who they would recommend for limousine service in Boise. Because Bennett named the hotels, I selected my own and called the local Doubletree Hotel as Bennett watched and waited for me to complete my call. I told the desk clerk I was coming to town and wanted a reputable limousine company. The clerk recommended Showcase. Bennett exclaimed loudly as I gave her the “thumbs up” during the call.
My wife and I had a fantastic time in Boise while learning from these energetic operators that obviously take great pride in their entire operation. Their office was immaculate, and their shop was very well set up and extremely organized.
-- Jim Luff, LCT Contributing Editor
Rob Baker and Christine Bennett of Showcase Limousine in Boise, Idaho.
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