Welcome to LCT’s 20th Anniversary Issue, and if you remember those early issues, or still have your copies, congratulations to you as well on celebrating nearly two decades with us.
Since I’ve only been with Bobit Publishing since 1991, I had to go back to my magazine archives to dig up the first issues of LCT (which back then was Limousine & Chauffeur). Interestingly enough, the more I read through them, the more I was reminded of the here and now! Even though the magazine’s esthetic has changed dramatically, the trends are different and the people look a bit younger, the editorial topics have a very familiar ring.
The editor’s note in the July/August issue, which was actually the first issue produced at Bobit Publishing (the first three magazines were created by David Heinzman and Ann Stanley before selling the venture to us), is titled, “The Tradition of Service.” Editor John Kilroy points out that in talking with successful operators he found that the one common quality among them was their attitude toward the way the business owners viewed their work and the quality of their service. One statement Mr. Kilroy makes in his editorial that I particularly like is, “Limousine companies provide service the likes of which have not really been seen in many other fields since the 1930s. The operator who understands this value will have a much greater chance at success.” The final moral to John’s story is, “While service [that by Old World traditional standards] seems out-of-date at times, it is by no means out of demand.”
As you move into 2003 and ride along with LCT while we recap the glory of 1983 to the present in a new department called Profiles of 20 Years, you’ll notice that out theme has stayed the same. Our world, and yours, is all about the service. No matter how smart or business savvy you are, it’s the quality of the experience that brings business back to your doorstep. Customers’ demands may shift the style of the limousine you operate (case in point, in 1983 the 45-inch with center console and velour seating was touted as the ultimate in limousine length and luxury), but the growth of our business hinges on how the customer feels after a chauffeured-driven trip.
Here’s another important note to remember this year. In tight economic times, companies cut out most frills, which in turn impacts customer service. Look around at how much “help” has been taken away from us as customers. It’s an ATM-banking-and-bag-your-own-groceries world we live in. However, in truth, people long for the days when there was team service at the gas station. I believe this presents opportunity in the service fields. Take good care of your clients. Be on time all the time. Make sure your drivers are impeccably groomed. Pamper passengers with special amenities. Be proud of what you do and honor the age-old tradition of what makes us a true chauffeured transportation industry. In other words, provide exceptional service. Take this point to heart and you’ll be reading about, “The Tradition of Service” in our editorial notes in another 20 years and that’s our promise!
May the New Year be prosperous and good to you.