Operations

Constant, Consistent Service Helps Operator Succeed

Posted on January 24, 2018
Johnathan Wilner, president of HLS Worldwide Transportation
Johnathan Wilner, president of HLS Worldwide Transportation

EDISON, N.J. — What first drew you to the world of luxury transportation? Was it the shiny new cars? Perhaps your company is a family owned business and you’re following in a relative’s footsteps? Jonathan Wilner, president of HLS Worldwide Transportation (dba Harrington Limo), says it was a combination of those factors that lead him to continue the legacy of his father and grandfather.

Falling In Love With Service

The company was started in 1923 by Wilner’s grandfather, and provided limousine services to funeral homes for families to get to church and cemeteries. Although Wilner was drawn to the vehicles, it was the uniformity of the chauffeurs’ appearance that intrigued him.

He later fell for the “providing service” aspect of the business; part of what makes it true “luxury.”

“Our clients look to us to make their logistical needs happen flawlessly. No detail can be missed for a special trip. Our chauffeurs know where they are going without GPS and are always early.”

He’s since passed on his enthusiasm for stellar service to his team. “I never feel they don’t give their all in everything they do,” he says. “There will always be a few outliers who are just there for a paycheck and get sloppy, which makes for a tougher clean up. But we are always looking for the best chauffeurs and office staff who just want to provide the best experience for the client.”

Some of the company’s best chauffeurs never knew this was what they wanted to do for a living, but have fallen in love with and take pride in being as professional as possible. “Don’t let anyone fool you. This isn’t an easy job, and the rewards come — although few and far between. But when they do, you feel it, and you know you did it right!”

List of Lessons

For anyone who’s inspired enough to start their own company, Wilner suggests the importance of having an idea of how you would like to structure your business. There are questions you have to ask yourself before setting out.

Are you going to be local or global? Will you be able to have someone available 24/7/365 to answer the phone and handle any last minute or early morning reservations? Do you have the technology required to run a business in the 21st century? “So many smaller operators are following the big guys with cloud reservations; this allows them to do their work from anywhere provided there is internet access,” he says.

“Your team of chauffeurs and office staff will either make or break you. It’s often said you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink; well, it’s the same with your employees. They need to want to provide good service. It really needs to be in their blood. Otherwise, they will fail you or just simply make it harder for you to succeed. I have a team who isn't afraid of hard work, and I thank them for that.”

Expanding Into New Markets

Although the company started in the funeral industry, Wilner realizes it’s a slowly dwindling market and is working hard to bring on new corporate clients. “We are always working on underselling and over delivering to our clients,” he says. He believes this is a much wiser route than constantly touting “we are the best.”

“Anyone who knows anything understands this concept of never failing doesn’t exist; because sooner or later, it will happen. We will always do our best and work hard to provide any service they need as perfectly as possible.”

Related Topics: customer service, family businesses, funeral business, New Jersey operators, WebXclusive

Comments ( 0 )
More Stories