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In the last decade, the chauffeured transportation industry has seen a boom in company name changes that include terms such as “Worldwide,” “Global,” and “International.”
LCT Publisher Sara Eastwood-McLean has even suggested that the word “Galactic” be used to illustrate the casual and exaggerated use of the above terms. After all, if you provide luxury sedan service to a future spaceport where clients board sub-orbital supersonic jets, why not call yourself “Chauffeured Services Galactic?”
Houston operator Erich Reindl says developing a global clientele requires much attention to detail. It is an endeavor for the serious-minded only.
Providing an occasional ride abroad or farming-in an order from another country doesn’t necessarily qualify an operation as “worldwide” in scope. Companies with extensive experience arranging regular trans-national transportation work hard to develop their networks, and serve as instructive models for operators of all fleet sizes who aspire to serve a truly global clientele.
Growing the business
Arrow Limousine Nationwide, based in Red Bank, N.J., has not changed its name to fit its global efforts, but certainly has made a name for itself in the global transportation market. Kevin Callinan, sales and client services manager for Arrow, says that the growth has been gradual. “The key to any good, sustained growth in our industry has been patience,” Callinan says. “Our primary concern was to vet our affiliates and establish a comfort level before offering the service to all of our clients.”
For Kris Korkian, CEO of Australia-based Penguin Cars and Limousines, reaching exclusive agreements with companies was key to building worldwide business. Penguin provides service in the United Kingdom, U.S., and Hong Kong. It advertises that it provides service to more than 100 airports. Korkian says his face-to-face meetings with affiliate managers and directors of companies such as Tristar Worldwide Chauffeur Services, Music Express, LimoLink, and LimoRes were important. He notes that most of those meetings took place at LCT’s International Show in Las Vegas, but he also has relied on business trips during the last two years to establish affiliate relationships. Korkian also attributes web presence to helping build the business.
“We do regularly market on Google and Yahoo via Adwords targeting specific international markets such as the U.S., U.K., and Canada,” Korkian says. He adds that the company also targets global travel agencies using Constant Contact marketing software.
Another step to growth is to attend conventions and association meetings, says Joe Ironi of Global Alliance Worldwide Chauffeured Services Ltd. of Toronto. “We began to develop the affiliate relationships of people we could trust with our VIPs,” he says. One simple way Ironi discovered in developing global business was to just ask clients, “Do you require a chauffeur in your destination city?”
“At the beginning the response was, ‘You can do that?’ Now it is just second nature,” he says. Ironi also uses blast emails.
United Worldwide Private Car co-founders Jason Dornhoffer and Terry Murtaugh treat arriving clients from foreign nations as if they belong in their Boston backyard.
For Avanti International based in Houston, providing global service was a natural extension of the business since it serves many Fortune 500 firms with headquarters in Houston. These companies work in a global environment. “It was a combination of offering the service to the client and the willingness of the client to try and see how it works,” says Avanti’s Austrian-born CEO Erich Reindl.
Boston-based United Worldwide Private Car has worked consistently to develop inbound work for clients seeking service in the Boston area, which is dominated by financial institutions. Founders Jason Dornhoffer and Terry Murtaugh have strived to instill a value in their staff to treat global clients as if they were in-house clients. This includes creating signs bearing the logos of the affiliates sending the work so that clients feel more at ease when arriving at airports.