Lots of new starts in the new year, maybe changing your transportation company is one for this year
Many clients will say they are happy with their current transportation company. But think about it, are you really happy with them. Are they getting the services right 100% of the time? Or is it a case of they mess up and then offer you a discount or free ride to make everything right and then handle several jobs fine but mess up again and the whole cycle starts again. If this is the case and you want to change, here are some tips that can help make that process easy. You have to look at several factors before making a decision and price should not be the only factor. Look at their qualifications, their equipment, and their staff and procedures.
Many transportation companies say the same things; ‘we are the best’, ‘world class service’, #1 in service’, ‘largest’, ‘biggest’, and the list goes on and on. Do your homework and find out what of these claims are real. Get references and most importantly check these references. Ask around about them; ask hotels, DMCs, CVB’s, check the Better Business Bureau. Yelp is a good starting point but keep in mind they filter good reviews of many companies, so be sure to read all the reviews.
Check that they have all the proper licenses and the insurance that is required. There are many companies that do not own their own vehicles, if they don’t, how do they make sure the vehicle your guests are riding in is safe. Investigate claims of large programs, by this we mean many companies will claim they were the official transportation of a large event like the Olympics but in reality they only handled a few parts of it and had nothing to do with the overall transportation. If they are a “worldwide” transportation provider, who really is handling the service as most will not have vehicles in every city they operate in. In some cases, working with a local supplier would be better as they know their city better which will lead to a smooth service.
The next factor in your decision should be the equipment. Does the company you are looking at own its’ own equipment? This is not always a red flag. Using a company that does not own vehicles may increase the access to more vehicles than those restricted by fleet size. The bad side though could be the company just hands out the service to the lowest bidder and it does not matter the quality of the company they choose. What is the variety of the fleet? Do they have the right mix of sizes and types of vehicles you need? Ask about their maintenance schedules and how often are the vehicles cleaned. Do all the vehicles have the proper safety inspections and displaying the proper decals to show this?
Another issue could be how the company handles a break down or if they are overbooked. Many companies will keep taking bookings figuring they could just hand off any work they cannot handle to another company. If they do it this way, are they giving your service to a qualified company or just whoever is available to do the job?
Staff & Procedures
The staff can be a major factor in your decision too. Start at the top, what experience do the owner(s) have? See how long they have been in the transportation industry, do they belong to associations and active in keeping the industry safe. What about the office staff? Are they trained and experienced? Ask about how new staff is trained and what requirements they may have for filling new positions. Ask about the procedures in house on the booing of the vehicles, what kind of reservation system do they use, dispatch system, and how are changes handled. Will they provide you with confirmations for each service and how detailed are they.
Look into how the chauffeurs are trained and how they dress, are the trained in customer service. Most companies will have certain drivers that are better at corporate clients or will be specified VIP drivers, ask that they be the ones to handle your services.
These are just a few items to consider when choosing a new company. Before you start your process, sit down and think are there any other questions you would like answered also.