From Chauffeur To Affiliate Manager: An Operator’s Story

Lexi Tucker
Posted on February 6, 2019
Natalie Brown, affiliate sales manager for Kaan Royal Limousine (KRL)

Natalie Brown, affiliate sales manager for Kaan Royal Limousine (KRL)

DALLAS, Texas — Natalie Brown, affiliate sales manager for Kaan Royal Limousine (KRL), originally had a background in criminal justice as a parole officer for 15 years. About 12 years ago, she became a private driver for a family, and then officially moved into the luxury transportation business six years ago.

Starting as an entry level chauffeur, she worked her way up the chain of command. She received the Rookie of the Year award her first year in the position, and achieved the title of Chauffer of the Year thereafter. A quick learner, she excelled in understanding the nuances of the industry, and was promoted to the role of affiliate manager two years ago after serving as quality coach and chauffeur trainer. “To succeed in a predominately male-dominated industry has been an honor,” she says.

Affiliate Wins And Woes

The hardest part of the job is trying to reach the “highest apple in the tree,” Brown says. “I don’t want the low hanging fruit; I want to capture those who are well respected and we can show and shine to. That’s our motto: We show we can do a great job, and shine while we’re doing it.”

On the flip side, the easiest part has been building great partnerships with other companies. “If you show them you’re willing to help save them when they get a last minute reservation and prove yourself, it shows you’re reliable. You want to be the company they know will say ‘Yes, you call us and we’ll make it happen.’” She attributes a lot of her success in forging strong bonds to the LCT shows. At the 2018 International LCT Show, she came back with a huge stack of business cards and connections. “You have to work those networking opportunities.”

Company Roots

Kaan Royal Limousine was founded 12 years ago by owner Sahin Kutuk. The company was first called A+ Limousine, and was developed into Kaan Royal Limousine as a small company with a large approach. To stand out from others, the staff conducts outreach to their clients to ensure top-quality service. They follow up with calls and emails to see if all rides go as smoothly as possible, and make notes about each ride to see if they can improve the experience next time. “Maybe this time they wanted to stop for Starbucks or they had a Pepsi in hand when they got in the car. We create a profile and make sure we have what they need on hand next time.”

The company runs eight vehicles — sedans, SUVs, and Sprinters — and has affiliate partnerships to take care of client requests for larger vehicles such as stretch limousines, party buses, and motorcoaches. Their business is 60% corporate and 40% retail, most of which includes repeat CEO transfers and roadshows. They’ve also gained a partnership with the city of Dallas where they help in site visits. “Our chauffeurs sell our service, but the city as well.”

Future Growth

Over the years she’s been with KRL, Brown has learned it takes an owner willing to trust and connect with a team of people who have the same goals and ambitions to create a superior company culture.

“If you have an owner who is not willing to give a bit of himself so others can buy into what they are selling, which is a company that prides itself on doing a great job, you won’t have a successful team,” she says. “If you want a great business, you have to surround yourself with people who have the same focus and mindset.”

In January, the company was named 2018 Affiliate of the Year through its partnership with Ride Centric, a transportation management company. In the near future, they hope to increase their fleet size by adding more Sprinters, which are in high demand. Hiring more staff is also on the list, as they are always looking to find people who understand impeccable customer service.

“The transportation industry has had hardships, but the best is yet to come if we continue to work as a well-oiled machine and keep our customer base first.”

Related Topics: affiliate networks, customer service, Dallas operators, eNews Exclusive, operator profiles, Texas operators

Lexi Tucker Senior Editor
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