What separates a client from a brand loyalist?
I am continually amazed with the advancements in technology and the opportunities that the Internet provides. We are truly deep into the Information Age. So much information is out there and it?s just a mouse click away. Most people realize this and are logging on to the Internet in order to satisfy almost all their needs. There was a Microsoft commercial about a year ago that showed people locked in an unfurnished house, and all they could do was use the Internet to order items that they needed. Granted this was a commercial and it was promoting Microsoft, but the idea that it was conveying was powerful. You no longer have to interact with a live person to obtain goods and services.
This is kind of a scary thought. But, many companies are encouraging people to use the Web to conduct their business. In an effort to keep up with this trend and be more efficient, many airlines prefer that their passengers purchase e-tickets though the Internet instead of a traditional ticket. The business traveler is doing this too. It goes to figure that the more familiar people get with booking their air travel arraignments online, the more they?re going to want to book ALL their travel needs online. Limousine companies that don?t offer a Web site or start taking reservations through the Web are going to be left behind.
However, many operators are afraid of taking that first step when it comes to technology. There?s a comfort that comes in continuing with a system that?s already in place. Franklin Roosevelt said, ?there are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.? Success can?t be achieved by standing still.
Recently, I spoke with Dan Sharry, vice president of marketing and sales at InterRide, about this very topic. He explained that the trepidation comes from the ?migration vision.?
Even if operators see that there?s a benefit, a concern that crops up is the process of migrating from one system to another - moving from a comfortable way of doing things to a more technologically-advanced system. Operators know what the end vision is and the feel that it?s the way to go, but the journey from here to there is what scares them.
This should not be the reason to halt progress, especially with the economy the way it is. Technology, whether it be the Internet or updated software programs, is a tool that can help your business be more efficient and cost effective. You can save both time and money by utilizing the advancements of technology.
An example of one operator that is using technology to his advantage is David Seelinger of Empire International. One mainframe computer links all of Empire?s offices together. The company?s one toll-free number uses the same technology as Caller ID in order to route the call to the closest office. His chauffeurs use two-way alpha/numeric communication systems on software that Empire created.
This is just one example. I know that there are other operators out there that are successfully embracing technology and becoming more efficient. However, it?s those operators that aren?t quite there yet - the ones that aren?t sure about making the jump. Let me just say that if you want to be successful, then embracing technology is inevitable. The time to start toward the future is now! Otherwise, you?re bound to be left in the dust.
What separates a client from a brand loyalist?
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