Six Reasons Limo Companies Fail at Corporate Transportation

July 10, 2014

- Posted by Stephen Chapek


Corporate ground transportation is an essential vendor provided service for any busy company. Busy executives have meetings to attend to, sales calls, factory and clients visits to make; all of these needs have to be taken care of, often on a weekly basis.

Yet while corporate transportation may not get top-of-mind share very often, it’s when things don’t go right that the category usually gets the most attention. Which is kind of a shame because when it’s done right, good corporate transportation can really enhance the working lives and schedules of your executive staff, as well as project a positive and powerful image for your company.

Despite the fact this area offers great opportunities for both client and vendor, it’s surprising that all too often, the local quality of these services vary widely. It just goes to show the importance of carefully selecting a capable vendor to take care of your transportation needs.

Speaking generally, there are a couple of areas where corporate transportation vendors sometimes fall down on the job. In order to help you avoid these pitfalls, let’s explore this topic a bit further so you can be forewarned and forearmed with some good advice when it comes time to order these services.

Six reasons limo companies fail

1. They focus only an A to B transportation.

Getting from A to B is really the essence of what this service is about, so at first glance, it doesn’t seem like an oversight. But providing good corporate transportation is much more than just driving a route and dropping off passengers.

The problem with transportation vendors is when they define their mission too narrowly. They focus on executing the job at hand, which is important, but they forget that at the end of the day, they are dealing with live passengers, and what they take away from the service won’t be the memory of getting to the airport on time, but how they were treated, and what the customer service experience was like. So in the end, it’s the customer service dimension that will win customer loyalty, and also provide future revenue for the transportation provider.

If you’ve ever use this type of service before, you know getting to your destination on time can be a hassle, and busy executives don’t want to spend their energy worrying about whether their transportation will fail them. Keeping that in mind, transportation vendors also want to get the trip done as fast as possible. From their perspective, the sooner a trip is done, and the quicker the turnover, the quicker they can focus on the next trip, and making money for their bottom line.

However, while the client may want a quick trip as well, they also don’t want to feel rushed, or feel like they are being ignored or forgotten as passengers, just because the trip may be a quick, short-distance transfer.

Sometimes, the journey itself is also as important as the destination. In this regard, customer service is all-important. Even for the quick airport transfer, a quality executive transportation provider will not forget that the company still has 30 to 60 minutes, or however long the drive lasts, to make a good impression on the customers, and leave them wanting more!

A quality transportation provider should do whatever it takes to provide the environment wherein the client can relax on their way somewhere and feel like they are being taken care of, so they don’t have to fret and can start to focus on the bigger picture issues that are really animating their day.

2. They don’t work at enhancing an executive’s productivity, or creating a value-added environment.

Let’s face it, despite the corporate transportation price and image, most limos and sedans that one could find are crowded and don’t provide mobile office technology. Car based limos used in executive transportation just don’t have the space you need to really stretch out or get work done, despite being bigger than the average family car. That’s why the industry has been migrating to larger vehicles, like SUVs or vans. While this helps with the space issue, a car or SUV still isn’t the most ideal place to get work done.

A good counterpoint to this is the luxury van. Even more to the point, at Brilliant Transportation, our luxury vans were built specifically with the needs of traveling and working executive in mind.

Our luxury vans, exclusively provided custom converted Mercedes Sprinter vans have been configured as a mobile office, offering you all the elbow room and mobile technology you would need to stay in touch with the home office and thereby extending your productivity on the road.

In the Brilliant Van, executives have access to stowable desk surfaces, cabin storage space, roomy, adjustable chairs, mobile WiFi, satellite TV and radio as well as large TV screens which they can plug their laptop into. Having these extra features makes all the difference in terms of productivity.

3. The vendor fails to focus sufficiently on the details.

It’s the little things that matter most in life right? Same with running corporate transportation. There are those little niggling details that have to be satisfied or else the trip could end in disaster. Have you ever been faced with a situation where you ordered corporate transportation and they didn’t show up at the appointed time or place? This could be a problem!

It’s not that they forgot; they just didn’t get the details right. Maybe they mixed up 6 AM versus 6 PM, or they had the wrong date entirely, or showed up to the wrong entrance at a very large hotel or convention center. Whatever the excuse, when details aren’t respected, a trip can become a failure. Don’t let that happen to you.

Make sure that the vendor has all of your basic reservation information correct before the reservation is set to take place. At the very latest, you should check in 24-28 hours before your trip to reconfirm every relevant detail.

Quality transportation vendors will recognize this need and be on the same page as the client. They should send out a re-confirmed trip sheet or trip order at least 24 hours before the trip, giving the client a chance to review every detail.

4. The vehicles you ordered are not up to par.

Make sure the vehicles are up to par. For corporate transportation, comfort, convenience and yes, even image, are important. If you’re using a good quality service and they’re charging you above market prices, then you deserve to be transported in the nicest vehicle available.

It should be a new or late model vehicle in your class category: a sedan, van, SUV or mini-coach. The vehicles should be spotless and immaculately maintained. You should feel like you’re riding in a new vehicle, even when it isn’t.

This issue also goes to the point of your transportation being on top of the details. Just like they need to handle your client and trip information with the utmost care, they need to also do the same to their physical assets as well.

Of course, in transportation this fact can’t be overstated. The service is literally the transportation, so if the vehicles aren’t working well, or there are important features the passenger can’t use, like on board mobile phones, or satellite TVs, WiFi, or whatever, then not only are you losing important functionality, but you aren’t getting what you paid for.

Another consideration that goes beyond the cosmetic issues, a poorly maintained vehicle could do much worse on your trip: it might break down, leaving you stranded somewhere when you’re supposed to be on your way from New York to Boston! You can’t afford to wait for another vehicle to get there at this point. Your day is ruined.

5. They need to excel at communication, and take an active stance in nurturing and growing the corporate relationship.

This particular point is larger in scope than the trip at hand. Assuming you need corporate transportation, you’re going to need it more than once. If fact, you transportation needs spread over a large company could be quite substantial. So you’re not really interested in doing, one-off trips one at a time.

Instead, you need a bona fide corporate transportation partner, who can grow with your company and scale accordingly. The best way to handle this is to take your time, finding the right partner who can accommodate your needs over the long run. But that doesn’t always mean going with the biggest, most corporate transportation vendor possible.

Sometimes your needs can be better met by working with a smaller, more local company that will provide you with more attention, and who can customize to your business, and grow as you do. These types of symbiotic relationships are often the most productive, and the most durable.

Having a dynamic vendor relationship also means being flexible when dealing with customer needs. If they have last minute travel to arrange, or need something unusual or exotic at the last minute, the vendor should be willing to entertain all possibilities, and do whatever it takes to make the client happy, and get their transportation needs met.

6. Not putting people first, both on the client and company side.

Successful businesses, and successful transportation companies know that in order to thrive, they need to invest and reinvest in the company, and that includes buying new vehicles, but also following the main point here, investing and training in their employees so that they are fully equipped to do their jobs, and their service and performance are all consistently top-notch.

At the end of the day, it’s really the employees who are carrying the company on it’s back, who are serving the customers, who are creating the impression that the service is built upon, and who are getting the work done.

Well-trained employees make customers happy. And well trained employees also make for a happy and productive workplace, and thereby set up a virtuous cycle of caring and continuous improvement.

A company that has first rate vehicles, or even a great online reservation system, but which doesn’t fully invest in and empower their employees, will not succeed over the long run.

There are just too many avenues where failure can take root if your company doesn’t have good people in the job. And good employees aren’t just found, they are trained and shaped to be who they become. Having capable, invested, and happy employees is the best way to ensure long-term success.

Brilliant Transportation understand all of the above issues intimately. We know that success can’t be taken for granted and that getting to the top of the mountain requires a multi-pronged approach. You need the top notch vehicles with unique features, you need well-trained and dedicated employees, and you need a management culture and systems that recognize the importance of small, but critical details.

All of these ingredients are necessary for success, and for serving the customer in the best manner possible. And that’s why we work so hard to make sure your trips come off flawlessly. Because seamless transportation is no accident! It takes a lot of forethought, planning and execution, and we’re ready to do it for you.

To find out how we can elevate your next trip, contact one of our reservation staff at Brilliant Transportation at 1-800-543-1001.

The Executive Administrator's Guide to Luxury Transportation

Topics: Corporate Transportation

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