Private and public school transportation is a potential niche market operators may consider since it can drive business and brand growth.
I recently had the chance to visit Exclusive Sedan Service, which is run by founder Ron Stein and his son, Brandan. As I walked through the front doors of their office, I was greeted by a big sign that read “Exclusive Sedan Service Welcomes Lexi Tucker.” Way to make a girl feel wanted!
Now, I don’t know if this was just a coincidence, but the sign was also in my favorite color. Mind you, this was all for someone who wasn’t even a prospective client. This was a good sign (no pun intended).
As I walked down a narrow hallway, I noted little plaques with familiar movie titles and large posters with famous actor’s autographs. Clearly, these guys did a lot of business with major studios (later, I’d discover it made up about 60% of their runs). As a fan of the entertainment industry, my nervousness began to turn into excitement.
When I found Ron’s office, he immediately stood up and greeted me with a warm handshake. We then took a walk around the building while he explained the origins of the company as well as their business philosophy.
Founded in 1980 as Exclusive Limousine Service, the business began to expand quickly. By 1983, the company had changed its name to Exclusive Sedan Service (ESS) and in 1998, Brandan joined the company and was promoted to vice-president of operations in 2005. With three shifts and 24/7 service, their success didn’t surprise me.
One thing that did surprise me was the family’s passion for what they do, as well as the strong bond between father and son. Ron has a huge personalized surfboard, a Father’s Day gift from Brandan, proudly displayed in his office. When we reached Brandan’s office on our tour, Ron made a point of explaining why it was larger than his own: he had worked hard and earned it.
From baby seats meticulously sanitized after every ride, to gifts of homemade eggnog at Christmas time, I could tell the Steins know what sets chauffeured transportation apart from careless TNCs — love and appreciation of their customers.
It was apparent clients weren’t the only focus here, though. Ron hosts summer events like baseball game outings and barbeques for his staff and considers them family. This is probably why everyone I met, from dispatchers to accountants to reservationists, greeted me with huge, genuine smiles. How could they not when they are made to feel like they aren’t just cogs in the wheel?
After we had lunch together, both the Steins gave me a big bear hug goodbye and had me follow them to my freeway exit (even though it was out of their own way) on my way back home.
Their kindness got me thinking: A common concern we hear at LCT is how difficult it is to find, hire, and keep good chauffeurs. To remedy this, maybe you should be looking at yourself first. Why would someone want to work for your company? Will they just be treated like employees, or will they be part of your family?
Related Topics: California operators, employee benefits, employee management, employee perks, employee recruitment, employee retention, LCT editor, Lexi Tucker, operations, operator profiles, recruiting chauffeurs, Ron Stein, Think Fast Blog
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