Livery Coach users often promote their software’s real-time Web reservations, reporting capabilities and seamless GPS and flight tracking integration to potential clients.
While the product works well as a sales and marketing tool and allows operators to run their businesses more efficiently, many consider the quick response time to customer service issues to be the system’s best feature.
“I like that it’s easy to use and allows me to operate my business all in one package,” says Robert Vaughan, president of Best Transportation in Huntington Beach, Calif. “But none of that would matter without the support you get. They are open to suggestions and will tweak the program, as needed, to give you what you need.”
Julie Herring, president of Julie’s Limousine in Clearwater, Fla., agrees. “They are real responsive, which is essential when you’re running your entire business on a software product.”
Livery Coach’s focus on customer service stems from Dennis Adams, president of Celebrity Limousine in Malvern, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia, was listed as number 72 among LCT’s 75 largest fleets in North America.
According to Adams, his personal experiences with software and customer feedback have influenced the evolution of Livery Coach. He purchased the rights to the program in 1999 from the original owners, who folded under the weight of frustrated and angry customers who complained the system didn’t hold up to the stress of a busy limousine operation. Adams had been one of those customers. He bought the software to run his company and while he saw great potential in the overall product, he knew there were bugs to work out, particularly in the operating platform.
Livery Coach Software was reintroduced to the industry at the 2001 LCT show in Las Vegas. It had been completely re-engineered and the code was now rewritten in Visual Basic 6.0 to operate on a Microsoft SQL Database, thus eliminating the restrictions and problems of the original operating system.
A high-level coder from Internet provider NetZero named An Vo, was brought in as lead developer to fix the program. Vo became part owner of the company and a team of customer support specialists were hired, headed by David Hirsch, to field calls and fix software issues.
To keep up with the needs of his clients, Adams built an online community where users can participate in forums to discuss topics related to the product. His online customer support section, www.liverycoach.com, gives answers to frequently asked questions and allows users to submit requests for live assistance.
The latest feature of the software, called Livery to Livery, connects operators in a virtual network for farming in and out jobs and is a free service to existing users. “Livery to Livery is easy to operate and built into the system,” explains Adams. “It’s a ready-made network with 50-plus cities already in place.”
Livery Coach is also compatible with other software systems on the market, including Saturn and Savoya, broadening the network to several hundred cities.
By the end of the year, a number of additional features will be in place. Adams is currently developing seamless integration with accounting packages commonly used by mid-size and larger companies. The product already works with Peachtree and Quick Books.
Another feature will allow users to create their own historical reports. The software currently offers more than 100 reports for sales, marketing, performance and vehicle maintenance.
“The thing we pride ourselves most on is our response time to questions and bugs,” Adams notes. “No software is totally free of bugs, but when one is found in our software – and our customers will attest to this – we jump on it in 24 hours or less.”