Operations

No Trust, No Affiliate Relationship

Posted on July 11, 2017

Michelle Miller, vice president of Elite Coach Limousine, Inc.
Michelle Miller, vice president of Elite Coach Limousine, Inc.

PITTSBURGH, Penn. — In the affiliate business, a chauffeured transportation company is considered professional only if you can trust them completely with your client.

Michelle Miller, vice president of Elite Coach Limousine, Inc., says when picking another business to work with, confidence in their ability to treat your customer right (and vice versa) is a vital part of the relationship.

“Once you’ve given that trust, you need to believe in their ability to get the job done,” Miller says. “If you’re giving this work to us, we will treat that client as well as, if not better than, one of our own. We’re all transportation companies who understand how important that is.”

Of Elite Coach Limousine’s affiliate work, farm-in accounts for 80%, and farm-out 20%. Flexibility is the key to accommodating special needs and requests, including modifications of times, sending confirmations, and getting chauffer confirmations out 24 hours before the trip instead of four, Miller says.

“We are very transparent, and our business model has always been hands-on,” she says. Leadership is accessible and easy to reach, and office staff always sends over detailed confirmation sheets so there are no hidden charges or surprises. “Our chauffeurs are also able to give any information to an affiliate that calls, and respect the client relationship with the affiliate.”

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Clients are using and relying on relationships and connections to guide them in finding a company that offers that same kind of relationship wherever they are traveling, she says. Clients are more comfortable dealing directly with the people they know.

“It’s not so much price based as it is service based; if people are just looking at price, just because they pay more it doesn’t mean they’re getting the best service. Just like if you pay less it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting worse service.”

The company signed up for LCT Connect because it is a good way to get its name out to individuals who are either starting off in the affiliate business or may not have a relationship with a company that can offer them any kind of vehicle they may need.

“Instead of aimlessly calling around and looking for individuals who are going to answer their phone or have the right equipment, they’ll be able to find everything we have listed on our profile. We pull a lot of business based on our versatility.”

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