President of White Towel Services Jason Stark.
In Japan, there’s a saying that translates to “the customer is God.” Those who know anything about the luxury ground transportation industry understand their customers expect to be treated in such a way.
Sure, you might have bottled water at the ready or perhaps a dish of mints, but so do all the other companies. What can you do to really wow your clients? One option is investing in refreshment towels.
Jason Stark, president of White Towel Services, worked in the Japanese travel and customer service industries for 12 years and learned a lot along the way. He spent a much of his time traveling in Asia, and came across the concept of the warm/cool towel while he was in the area. After thinking about it, he decided it would be a perfect product to introduce to businesses in the U.S.
Based off of the Japanese oshibori hand towel, Stark’s basic concept stayed the same: White Towel Services offers towels made of cotton cloth that can be served either hot or cold. He tweaked the concept for American customers by adding essential oils to the mix. As steam comes off of the towel, so does a relaxing sent that engages a client’s senses. This creates aromatherapeutic value and makes for a stronger customer experience overall.
The towels are sanitized, individually wrapped, and come in a variety of sizes and scents. Customers can choose from eight, nine, 10 or 12-inch square styles, as well as lemon, lavender, peach/mango or unscented. As far as the transportation industry goes, Stark says the most popular choice is the nine-inch, lemon scented towel.
“These towels are the perfect fit for this industry because, even though the price point is relatively low, it offers an instant feeling of first-class service. If someone is traveling, no matter what they’ve been doing or what they are going to do, a nice hot towel on a cool day or cool towel on a hot day is going to make them feel instantly like they are being treated like a VIP,” Stark says.
Terry Cotton Refreshment Towels are pre-moistened, 100% cotton towels that can be served hot or cold. They are available in many scents and sizes.
White Towel Services works with large motorcoach operations in Canada and some American limousine companies as well. The company exhibited Feb. 29 to March 2 on the show floor of the International LCT Show in Las Vegas.
But Stark didn’t originally decide to market to the transportation industry, although he knew it would be a good fit. “We don’t have a large sales force, and we prefer to let the product grow organically. Within the last year or so, we noticed a lot of transportation and coach companies using the product. That’s why we started going to more of the trade shows —we wanted to educate ourselves more about the industry,” Stark says.
The company makes its products themselves in Fort Worth, Texas, and therefore has a lot of flexibility with the packaging of each individual towel.
“It’s a product that can be used not only to make your customer feel as if they are being treated like a VIP, but if the company decides to have us personalize it and put their own logo on the individual wrapper, a client that’s riding with them might take a towel or two with them and use it at other times when they are traveling. That way, they will be reminded of the company’s name long after they’ve left the vehicle,” Stark says.
The feedback has been nothing but positive. However, something customers have requested is an easier way to heat and cool the towels — and like any good business man, Stark has promptly acted on this request. White Towel Services is near the end of producing small, portable, heating units that are no bigger than a lunchbox and plug into the vehicle’s cigarette lighter. Production is expected to be finished about three to four months from now.
For more information on the various products available, click here.