What separates a client from a brand loyalist?
SECAUCUS, N.J. — A website that connects customers with the vehicles and service levels they choose while allowing operators to sell use of dormant vehicles will formally launch Oct. 15 as a portal that its creator calls “Limos.com on steroids.”
BeTransported.com, a separate company started by Empire CLS Worldwide Chauffeured Services Chairman and CEO David Seelinger, is already accepting applications from chauffeured transportation vendors — estimated to start off with 300 by Oct. 15.
What is the concept?
The concept is straightforward: A customer names a location, hours, and vehicle choice, and vendors then fulfill the order — with a guaranteed price and premium level of service.
“This is a portal for vendors to discount depressed inventory, like on hotels.com,” Seelinger told LCT. “It’s Limos.com on steroids.” Just like a customer can find a four-diamond hotel room discounted 50% on hotels.com, a chauffeured client will be able to benefit from operators who would rather run a vehicle at a reduced rate than let it sit idle, Seelinger explained.
What makes it SEO-savvy?
One distinctive technological advantage of BeTransported.com will be its SEO rankings based on 400 keywords used in common Google search combinations. BeTransported.com teamed up with a firm to help it identify the words that will put the site into the first or second rankings of organic searches.
“We’re confident that come October, based on the majority of keywords for our industry, that we’ll be in the first or second search position,” Seelinger said. “We’re hoping to drive a tremendous amount of traffic to the site. When you look at other companies, most of them dont do the SEO necessary to make their sites ultra-successful.”
What are customer benefits?
Customers of BeTransported.com will have the assurance of high quality levels provided by participating vendors vetted by the team at EmpireCLS, the largest chauffeured transportation company in the U.S. based on vehicles. Riders are guaranteeing a level of service, regardless of market, that includes uniformed, knowledgeable chauffeurs, clean vehicles, and clean, late model vehicles, Seelinger said.
The customer also will be charged one rate, one time billed to a credit card, instead of dual charges meted out by competing services. Other shopping models split the charge 30 days apart between the time the customer reserves a ride and the time the participating chauffeured vendor bills for the service on its end. That results in two charges on a credit card a month apart, which is a hassle for corporate clients who have to expense their travel costs, Seelinger said.
“We will be the vendor of record guaranteeing the consumer that whatever price you pick, unless there is a deviation, that is rate you will pay,” Seelinger said. “The vendor goes in to audit rates, accepts that rate, and we then bill customer’s credit card and pass through to the vendor the amount of money they are charging for the rates.”
The site offers different types of log-ins for corporate, individual, and leisure travel clients, but there is no different in the rates charged to customers.
What is the revenue model?
BeTransported.com will operate on a commission-based revenue model that Seelinger estimates will be 10-15% of the base fare. The company will process all transactions for vendors and consumers, and then forward revenue to participating operators after taking its commission cut. “It’s no different than dealing with a travel agency and an agency commission,” he said.
Operator members can either upload their rate tables onto the site or choose to use the BeTransported.com rating structure based on concentric radial rate zones via bingmaps.com.
Conservative revenue projections show that BeTransported.com will garner $10 million in annual revenue during its first year, Seelinger estimated.
Which operators can participate?
BeTransported.com is open to all chauffeured transportation companies that meet quality standards. As of this week, about 400 operators nationwide have contacted the service as possible interested participants. EmpireCLS affiliates, which are already vetted based on the company’s quality standards, have the option to join BeTransported.com but are not required to, Seelinger said.
What is the technology vision of BeTransported.com?
BeTransported.com will operate on the technology model of cloud computing, which will be based on the EmpireCLS proprietary software that facilitates a private cloud platform. Cloud computing spares users the need to get stand-alone software that has to be integrated and continuously upgraded with new versions.
In a related development, Seelinger plans to market EmpireCLS software to chauffeured transportation operators next year via a separate but affiliated company called MadKota Technologies. Seelinger said the software will be able to “manage a limousine company from A-Z,” including reservations, dispatch, billing, contact management, MS office communicator, VoiP protocols, and mobile device application interactions with dispatch functions that will instantly register and detail all the “time stamps” that are part of the chauffeured pick-up, transport, and drop-off sequence. This will result in the most accurate billing possible, saving time and money for everyone involved.
— Martin Romjue, LCT editor
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