Are Clients Won Or Lost Before They Get In The Car?

Bill Faeth
Posted on July 3, 2018

If you want to win over clients before they even get into your vehicle, ask them if they would like to customize or eliminate any of the text communications about their ride status. (image: LCT)

If you want to win over clients before they even get into your vehicle, ask them if they would like to customize or eliminate any of the text communications about their ride status. (image: LCT)

I don’t know the answer to the headline question, and neither do you, but I sure don’t want to risk it.

Really Bill? It’s all about the in-car experience, the chauffeur, and the cleanliness of the vehicle interior.

I beg to differ. The client doesn’t really care how much time you spent diligently applying tire shine to all four of the tires before your sedan or 8-passenger left the garage.

Sure, having a clean vehicle and well-trained chauffeurs are very important. I am not trying to marginalize their value, but I do want to get your attention because most operators in our industry are not focusing enough on the pre-trip experience.

Three Key Parts To A Luxury Ride

As I see it, there are three components to executing a trip at a luxury level.
1. Pre-trip: This includes every interaction with your client before they get into the back of your vehicles.
2. In-car: The time the client is actually using the vehicle.
3. Post-trip: All communication after the passenger exits the vehicle from their first trip until they start the communication process for their second trip.

Most invest 90% of their efforts into No. 2. I am a strong believer the combination of No. 1 and No. 3 are just as important, if not more so than No. 1 on its own.

For the sake of this article, we will focus on No. 1 (pre-trip). If you want to see No. 2 and 3, then stay tuned for following LCT issues.

The Pre-Trip Experience

The pre-trip experience starts with the first touchpoint. This could be a multitude of sources including: Your website, a personal introduction at a networking event, your Facebook page, and more.

As operators and business owners, we will never know where the client acquisition process starts. Only the clients know that information as they control that moment. So, we must always be prepared to provide value from the get-go.

What is value? I believe it starts with giving your new client the power to make decisions. This means letting them know you can customize their service delivery, communication, and follow up post-trip. Every software platform in the industry will allow you to do this, but I see few operators allowing new clients the power to customize their interactions with the company.

Customize Your Communication

Customizing communication is critical to the pre-trip experience. Most operators use text messages and email confirmations, chauffeur details, and trip status updates, but they don’t let me determine how many communications will be sent to my phone or inbox and when I want to receive them.

This is the McDonald’s way, and I want you to be Burger King, because I want it “MY WAY.” And so do your clients. This is really simple.

Take a few minutes (I mean two to three, not 10) when your client is booking their first trip and…
Inform them of your communication process. “We will send you an email confirmation immediately, a 24-hour reminder, and chauffeur contact info six hours prior to your trip via email.”

“We will send you an SMS when your chauffeur is EN ROUTE, ON LOCATION, and at the time of PICK UP.” This is six communications. I only want one.

Now ask your new client if he would like to customize or eliminate any of these communications. Ask if the client prefers any specific amenities in the vehicle.

Does your client want to be picked up at a specific location (airport, office, home)?

These are very simple questions to ask your new client and actually implement with today’s software.

By executing on the pre-trip inquiries and new client setup process I outlined, you are showing the client what he or she can expect during the in-car portion. Not only have you primed them to interact with your company and workforce, but you have also started to win their trust by actually providing a custom experience. This will serve to reduce cancellations and make the chauffeur’s job easier.

Way to go Burger King!

Bill Faeth is the founder of Limo University (www.LimoGrowth.com), Inbound Marketing Agents (www.inboundmarketingagents.com), and 23 additional startups, including Silver Oak Transportation of Nashville, Tenn. As a successful former operator and active advocate for the industry, Bill continues to invest into educating and training operators on how to grow, manage and sustain a more profitable business. You can reach Bill at [email protected]

Related Topics: Bill Faeth, client feedback, client markets, communications, customer service, Profit Motives, text messaging, trip tracking

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