Operations

New Jersey Operator Adapts To Client Desires

Lexi Tucker
Posted on June 19, 2019
Mark Luxe, chief operations officer of Luxe Limo Service

Mark Luxe, chief operations officer of Luxe Limo Service

MARLBORO, N.J. — As a kid, Mark Luxe, chief operations officer of Luxe Limo Service, wanted to be a bus driver. While he may have fallen into the world of luxury transportation instead, he still has a passion for his work, and although it can be hard at times, he enjoys it every day.

Making It In America

After working as a radio and nightclub DJ in his home country of Russia, he moved to the U.S. in 1996 to work for a car and limo service. He started his own company in 1997 called 13th Avenue Car and Limo Service in Brooklyn, and ended up selling it in 1999.

From there, he got involved in the food and trucking business, but came back to luxury transportation in 2013 when one of his close friends was trying to build a shuttle service between Washington, D.C. and New Jersey.

The friend had bought a Sprinter, but didn’t know how to get more business with it. Luxe offered his help, and quickly noticed there was a need for good, honest, and reliable black car service in the area. “Shuttles alone wouldn’t pay the bills, so six years later here we are,” he says. “Most of our clients I know personally and often call and thank them for their business. I’ll also ask what they like or dislike about the service. That way we know what we have to tweak.”

He says clients often complement the company on safety, trust, reliability, quality of service, honesty, and the fact it feels like they have a relationship with the people who run it. “We feel the pain of a lot of our clients who have dealt with dishonest companies in the past that wouldn’t answer phone calls or send receipts on time. This helps us a lot because we do the opposite and gain that business.”

Right Fleet For The Right Clients

Luxe Limo Service runs six vehicles, all of which are between model year 2017 and 2019. They include the Lincoln Continental, Lincoln MKT, Ford Expedition, Ford Transit, and a First Class Customs built Mercedes-Benz limo style Sprinter van. They plan on adding one more SUV soon. “We’ve been farming out a lot, so it’s time. I like to keep everything in house as much as possible,” he says.

One of the most important lessons he learned when first getting started was learning what your clients are looking for. “It took a while to figure out what our fleet make up should be based on our clientele. We once bought a Mercedes-Benz S Class for one of our big clients, only for him to say although he could afford it, he didn’t want to show up to work or a meeting in a car that would give his employees the wrong impression,” he says. He also makes sure to get in the backseat of every car before he buys it to make sure it will be a good fit.

The company started out doing mainly retail, but he soon realized after speaking to Anton Kirichenko, owner of Motor City Limousine in Detroit, Mich., that corporate business bring in the money. Now, their business is made up of 85% corporate and 15% retail work. They are also slowly building an affiliate network, as it takes time to find operators who truly share the same values and reputation.

Mentorship Makes All The Difference

He credits meeting Bill Faeth in 2016 and joining Limo University with helping him become a better operator. “I like to be different, and I think he does things differently. That’s why I resonated with him.”

In 2018, he came across Ed Stapleton Jr.’s Limo Profits podcast series. Former New Jersey operator Bill Atkins was once a guest, and Luxe said he was so enraptured he must have listened to it 20 times. “He had so much to offer and very interesting approaches, so I reached out to him.” The late industry consultant and educator Tom Mazza, also a former operator, also helped guide him down his current path.

Finally, he doesn’t comment much on limo Facebook groups, but he reads many of the posts and learns from other’s mistakes and victories. “At the end of the day, you have to make a decision based on your own clients and situation, but it helps to try and apply what has worked for others.”

Continuing Growth

A few words of advice he offers other operators are to listen to your clients, be honest if you can’t do something as an affiliate, and know your numbers.

“Don’t be afraid to talk to your clients and ask what they like. Ask the chauffeurs to listen, pay attention, and keep notes about what clients like in terms of temperature in the vehicle, the kind of coffee they like, or a certain kind of food they enjoy,” he says. “They spend a lot of money with you, so it’s important to show you notice and appreciate their business.”

In the future, he plans to go with the flow and grow. He hopes to build relationships that lead to strong affiliations with other companies, expand his fleet as demand increases, and execute new ideas he jotted down from past educational sessions. “I’d be nowhere without my amazing team, so the thanks really has to go to them.”

Related Topics: customer service, eNews Exclusive, industry education, New Jersey operators, operator profiles

Lexi Tucker Senior Editor
Comments ( 1 )
  • NATHAN FROM NASHVILLE

     | about 3 months ago

    Mark is a genuine gentleman. I always feel respected and appreciated doing business with Luxe Limo. Nice article.

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