What separates a client from a brand loyalist?
Disruptive Innovation — The process of developing new products or services to replace existing technologies and gain a competitive advantage.
Uber is the most talked about topic in our industry. I have been in this industry for a while and haven’t seen anything “upset the masses” quite like Uber. I think some people are afraid of it while others just don’t understand it and how it will affect their business. Whether you approve of Uber or not, no one is arguing the fact that Uber is a great piece of technology, a game changer and is spreading like wildfire.
Uber has the branding down, as we have all seen how quickly the company has grown. I think Uber’s biggest mistake is how it went about setting up operations in each market. I understand that when you are a new business, with great initial traction, you need to facilitate those trips, otherwise you will be forgotten and your clients will go back to using taxis or car services as they did before. If Uber had gotten the proper licenses and insurance, and used licensed and permitted companies or operators, etc., it would have infiltrated our industry to a point that I don’t think we could even fathom.
Fortunately, for all of us, they didn’t and we now have the opportunity to fight and make them illegal. We as an industry made it harder on ourselves; we gave and continue to give them vehicles. Some of the larger companies in Atlanta provided multiple vehicles during their launch for months and some companies still do Uber work. I wouldn’t even return their calls. If the larger companies didn’t give them vehicles in the beginning, it would have made it much more difficult, if not impossible, for Uber to launch in Atlanta.
We must be careful in how we try to banish Uber. Associations nationwide are fighting to get rid of Uber. The main reason is that Uber is an on-demand service while we are legally not allowed to provide that. I cannot speak for all cities, but as far as I am aware, that is the case in most. On-demand service makes you a taxi. If we are successful in banning Uber on the premise that it supplies on-demand service, are we not digging our own grave in a way? We all agree that technology is pushing our industry forward and our clients are asking, some requiring, such technological advancements. Topper Worldwide, along with many of the other larger companies, already has apps for our clients. The next version of these apps will have the same technology as Uber, where the client can see the vehicle tracking in real time. Some software providers are already developing an on-demand module to offer to its clients as well. I believe some limousine companies are sitting on this on-demand technology and updated apps that show vehicle tracking in real time because they are waiting to see what specifications are illegal about Uber’s operation. If such technology is ruled illegal, then we as an industry just took one step forward and three steps back. Use of any similar technology will then mean you are operating illegally.
At the end of the day, there will be innovative technologies that come along for any industry. As a business owner, you need to pay attention to Uber and take some notes. How did they get so much brand recognition in such a short time? How have they been able to amass so many users? How are they able to cut out the office staff that all of us have and still provide a similar service?
You need to ensure that your company is nimble enough to “keep up with the Joneses” and are able to provide your clients with the technology they need. Technology is not only a tool to keep existing clients happy and attract new ones, but the right technology will increase the efficiency of your operation.
Danny Bacher is the CEO of Topper Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation in Atlanta, Ga., and a member of the LCT Fast 40 group of innovative leaders. He can be reached at [email protected]
What separates a client from a brand loyalist?
Mike Remedios is tasked with transforming the app-driven chauffeured service network.
Why fly or take the bus? This car can take you where you need to go, enabling you to work, sleep, or relax.
Self-driving vehicles are still quite a way from being able to ditch the human version of self.
The OEM hopes someday its self-driving Sienna minivans will be equipped with autonomous tech.
Valsoft Corp. acquired the longtime luxury transportation operation technology provider in a recent deal.
Commentary: For people hoping to rely on vehicles to do all of their driving, it’s too early to completely check out.
The driver testing the autonomous vehicle was streaming a TV program at the time of the accident.
AUG. LCT: Here’s how to ease one of the most difficult transitions your operations may ever have to make.
AUG LCT: Summit attendees geeked out into hipster techies for three days as they dissected luxury transportation’s No. 1 challenge.
AUG. LCT: Before vehicles can ditch the drivers, government and manufacturers face plenty of challenges to bring it all about.
AUG. LCT: After April 1, 2018, drivers found out of compliance with electronic logging devices could be ordered out of service. Is your service at risk?
By using low-speed vehicles and limiting their range, the Coast service has decreased the number of tech challenges.
While companies are interacting constantly with artificial intelligence every day, the technology now transcends the office space.
No more arguing over whether passengers will watch romcom, sci-fi, or action adventure.
The world's No. 1 online marketplace and trader for professional chauffeured and chartered vehicles, including all types of motorcoaches, buses, vans, stretch limousines, sedans, SUVs, exotics, and classics. New and used vehicles are available from sellers across the nation.
The best online networker to find quality affiliates worldwide and market your company.
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.