Imagine you are meeting someone for the very first time and you are about to give them your business. You go to shake their hand and they give you a cold-dead fish handshake. Or even worse, they hold on to your hand 10 seconds too long. Limo Reservation taking is the initial handshake you get before doing business and often times, the first impression of your company. If that handshake is broken, I promise you, you are losing clients.
There are many aspects that we, as limousine companies, must constantly be improving. One detail that gets overlooked quite frequently is one of the most important, taking reservations! Many limo companies have great service, great vehicles, and great pricing but are losing clients from the gate. Here are 5 ways to help you improve your limo reservation taking system.
1. Ask your clients how They like to book trips?
Every client is different. Some clients prefer the standard phone call while others try anything to avoid speaking with anyone at all. Ask your clients what they prefer. It’s very simple. If you find that the majority of your clients would prefer booking through a downloaded app, well it’s time to get an app. If you find the majority prefer speaking with someone on the phone, find a way to get them to a customer service rep faster.
2. Offer multiple ways for clients to make reservations…
Communicate to your clients that you have multiple ways they can book trips. Create an online reservation system, a template they can download and email, or even a web based app. At our company, 9Seven Executive, we have a dedicated cell phone that stays with our reservation department because several of our biggest clients prefer to text.
3. Become a secret shopper for your own company. (Or hire a company to do it for you)
Have a friend call your customer service to make a reservation. See how long it takes to complete from start to finish. (You may be surprised) If it takes longer than 5 minutes to make a reservation, there is something very wrong. Restaurants hire secret shoppers to get true feedback all of the time, why aren’t limousine companies doing this? Hire a secret shopper to give you a review of their entire service from reservations to billing.
4. Review, audit and streamline your reservation Process…
Procedures and protocols are a necessity for every limo/car service company. They are what keep a company organized and efficient. Unfortunately some companies can tend to over complicate those procedures that can waste a clients time. Take a line by line look at your reservation procedures to see if there is any information you can streamline.
5. Create a quick and simple process for repeat clients to book trips…
I understand there is quite a bit of information to obtain during the reservation process. But would anybody use Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn if you had to enter your email, telephone, address, city, state, zip, mothers maiden name, username and password Every Time you logged in? Probably not. So why do you make your regular clients do the same thing? Simplify the process for your repeat clients to give them ease of access.
Remember that taking reservations quickly and efficiently is like the first hand shake of your business deal. Make sure yours isn’t the cold dead fish.