Are you REALLY a 24/7 Operation?

Posted on December 7, 2011 by - Also by this author

Don’t advertise that you are if you are not really live all the time.
When I see advertisements or statements that say “Open 24/7,” to me that means you are staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and you are ready to do business when I am.
Many of my local competitors advertise that they are 24/7. Well, maybe they do provide chauffeur services at any time of the day but that isn’t the same as answering the phone live at all times. Can you imagine getting off of an airplane at a place like LAX after a 10-hour day of flying, and you can’t find your chauffeured vehicle? The first thing you are going to do is call the limo service to ask where your car is. How will you feel when you get an answering machine stating that no one is available right now but you will get a return phone call “as soon as possible.” As soon as possible? Is that five minutes from now or five hours from now?
When I farm jobs out to other limo companies, I seek companies that offer 24/7 live service so that no matter what time of day it is, if I want to talk to someone about my reservation, there is someone there to do it. Imagine my surprise this week when I called one of my affiliates to make a change to an order, and in the middle of the business day, I got voicemail. Talk about being angry! I was furious. I thought about what might happen if the purpose of my call was to locate the chauffeur for a waiting passenger. When I did get the call back some 20 minutes later, I was thrilled to hear a dog barking in the background and a baby crying! How very professional.

Maybe a better way to advertise would be to say, services offered 24/7 rather than advertising that you are “open” 24/7 — unless you truly are available live to handle calls and take care of business at any time. Don’t be the guy that says he does it but only goes halfway. — Jim Luff, LCT contributing editor

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