Tech Isn’t The Only Key To Growth

Lexi Tucker
Posted on September 20, 2017
Terry Murtaugh, co-founder of United Private Car

Terry Murtaugh, co-founder of United Private Car

BOSTON, Mass. — With as much talk as there is when it comes to the importance of keeping your company up-to-date on the latest technology, it’s vital to remember the reason clients still use chauffeured transportation instead of TNCs: Impeccable customer service. Terry Murtaugh, co-founder of United Private Car, is adamant his company’s admirable growth is the product of just that.

Earning Accolades

2017 marks the company’s third consecutive year on the Inc. 5000 list. Murtaugh insists the honor is the result of his stellar team, as well as a testament to the service they provide their clients. “We do not invest a great deal of money on marketing or advertising—our growth is a result of our co-founder Jason Dornhoffer’s sales efforts as well as referrals. We also have to give credit to our partners in the industry that we represent in our market. Because of them, our farm-in business increased 7% in 2016,” he says.

Murtaugh started United Private Car in 2006 along with his best friend Dornhoffer. Like many other operators, they started with one car, but grew steadily. With Murtaugh’s experience in the industry and Dornhoffer’s sales background, they were able to focus more heavily on providing great service than implementing tech to run things for them. “That’s not to say technology isn’t important; we still rely on it heavily. It’s great and helps you operate more efficiently, but some companies rely on it to a fault. At the end of the day, clients prefer a focus on service,” says Murtaugh.

Putting In The Work, Taking In The Experience

Murtaugh hadn’t always wanted to be in the chauffeured transportation industry, but rather stumbled into it by accident. He bumped into a friend one New Year’s Eve who was driving a big, black stretch limo and wearing a suit. “I thought he looked great and like he was really enjoying the job,” Murtaugh recounts. He applied at the same company and was hired as a chauffeur in 1995.

After staying with that company for 10 years, he experienced being a dispatcher and general manager as well. “It was a great industry education, and after I became a part of it I knew it was where I belonged,” he says.

United Private Car now runs 20 vehicles, including the Lincoln MKT and Continental, Chevrolet Suburban, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, and the Ford E-350 passenger van because they still get a request for one every once in a while and are very hard to find.

Continuing Education

Although they are always working toward success, Murtaugh says the company’s biggest achievement so far is continuing to grow the company year over year since they first started, creating many jobs, providing an incredibly high level of customer service to clients and affiliates, and having fun doing it all.

Over the years, they’ve learned plenty of valuable lessons. “Some call them mistakes, we call them lessons. We do our research and make educated decisions based on facts and surround ourselves with smart people who share our passion for the industry,” Murtaugh says.

The company started working with Strategy Leaders, a consulting firm, several months ago, and it has since helped them learn more about their numbers to make better decisions when it comes to purchasing, spending, and budgeting. “As we were growing, we tended to jump right on the latest tech and vehicle trends without waiting to see if those were the smartest decisions for us to make at that time,” Murtaugh explains.

In the future, Murtaugh hopes the company will continue to grow at a steady pace without losing the touch of personalized service. They are also looking into other revenue streams, and plan on purchasing larger vehicles like minibuses and motorcoaches. “We book a lot of that kind of work now and are finding the demand is really there, so it’s time to start adding those vehicles to our fleet,” he says.

Related Topics: affiliate networks, Boston operators, customer service, eNews Exclusive, honors and awards, Massachusetts operators, operator profiles, technology

Lexi Tucker Senior Editor
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