Travel is among the most important components of any executive’s responsibilities. Meeting with partners, vendors, customers, board members and associates are a major part of your routine, and navigating the logistics never ceases to be a challenge. Many situations, such as delays in airline service and weather episodes, are well beyond your control. However, ground transportation should not be unpredictable or unreliable.
By following the list of steps outlined here, your preplanning will pay big dividends by ensuring that you are able to get to and from your location smoothly. If you are like most people, you have given very little thought to ground transportation. When a bad provider is selected, managing ground transportation can become one of the most time-consuming and frustrating aspects of your journey. The following is a list of what will be covered in this guide:
When frequent travel is a way of life, you should empower yourself to put your itinerary in the hands of a provider you can trust. Identifying a worthy provider that delivers each and every time can ensure you’re never stuck dealing with logistics at the last moment.
Preplanning Considerations for Your Trip
The following are a series of questions that can help you select the best provider:
These questions, along with the rest of this guide, will help you to determine your needs for your transportation company, and guide you to identifying the best provider to meet your needs. As with any vendor relationship, building and maintaining a relationship with your transportation provider will allow you to leverage your buying power, set expectations with your staff on quality of service and ensure consistent billing by minimizing sources.
What to Expect From Your Transportation Provider
While a common belief is that all transportation providers are the same, nothing could be further from the truth. At a minimum, the transportation provider that you choose should offer the following:
24 Hour Service
Your vendor needs to have live support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Many transportation companies outsource their night and weekend support to call centers and answering services. This can often become a point of failure, due to a lack of training and knowledge among the answering service employees. A well-established company will have customer service staff available at all times to handle reservations, questions and changes that need to be made.
While it is important that your team is able to reach customer service 24 hours a day, you also want to choose a service that is willing to provide cell phone numbers for the individual chauffeurs assigned to each trip. While most communication will occur between customer service staff and your team, occasionally it is more expedient to contact the chauffeur directly. In particular, it could be most efficient to call directly after a crowded event where there may be multiple car services performing pickups. Reciprocally, it is also always a best practice to provide the client’s cell phone number in case a situation arises, so the company can get hold of them and inform them of any changes. Finally, you will want to ensure that there is an escalation plan that the provider has established. You will need to know the contact information and the chain of command so that you can escalate any issue.
Does the company you have selected send real-time confirmations via email and integrate with other technology platforms to allow you to choose the method of communication? Some of these platforms may include GPS integration for travel managers, mobile apps for executives or sales teams that are always on the go, or even SMS confirmation to discreetly communicate chauffeur name and cell information while you are in a meeting. A great limousine company will be on the forefront of technology solutions, enabling their clients to choose the method of contact that works best for their companies and staff.
The first thing that you should look for is an up-to-date fleet. Many cities and regions around
the country have regulations requiring that the fleets of ground transportation companies are kept up-to-date. In general, it is always a wise practice to select a vendor who doesn’t field any cars that are over three years old or have more than 300 000 kilometres. Besides the obvious appearance issues of an older vehicle, it is also simply the law of averages that an older vehicle is more likely to break down, which is in direct conflict with having a flawless experience. If the transportation provider has more than 25 vehicles, you can expect they have a staff mechanic and a policy of continual, preventative maintenance on the fleet.
Additionally, fleet diversity is an important consideration. If your team’s annual agenda requires both individual and group transportation, a company with a wide range of vehicles is the best choice. If you only have the need to transport one or two individuals at a time, a less diverse fleet will be sufficient.
Along with the fleet, consider the network of the potential vendor. Many transportation companies have established extensive networks with other providers in various cities throughout the world. There are many customer benefits to these global arrangements. First, all your reservations can be made with one company, regardless of where in the world you will be travelling. Additionally, it gives your team a single point of contact for changes or questions that may arise while travelling. Most importantly, a network ensures that all your transportation is governed by the terms and conditions that you negotiate with your original provider of choice. Finally, all of your billing will be centralized and billing questions can be handled with a point of contact at your original vendor.
Fees are a critical issue to address when choosing a provider. It is unfortunately common for transportation companies to quote a base rate which does not include a myriad of hidden fees. These fees can include, but are not limited to, a fuel surcharge, chauffeur gratuity, airport fees, cleaning fees, parking, tolls and more. It is important to ensure that you are given a transparent quote to avoid any last-minute surprises with the bill. Many companies will quote an “all-inclusive” price but not go into detail as to what all-inclusive means. Unfortunately it means something different depending on the company. As an example, many companies will provide an estimate to the final cost instead of true final cost. They try to get around this by explaining that there are too many variables to give you a true final cost. Truth is that everyone realizes that if they keep the vehicle longer or deviate from the agreed upon manifest that this will affect pricing. You need to make sure you know exactly what is being promised. It is additionally essential to inquire about the fees and restrictions for cancellations, changes and special requests. Most providers will strive to meet the customers’ requirements, whether it is specific brands of bottled water, routing options, or Wi-Fi access in the vehicles.
While good companies strive to minimize any issues, they do occasionally occur. You need to establish up front what the provider’s policy is when an error occurs. Finally, be sure and inquire about their billing schedule. The company should be flexible enough to meet your billing needs. In some cases customers will want to be billed within 24 hours of trip completion, including weekends. In other cases, customers may want monthly invoices in either a summarized or detailed format.
Your transportation provider should have the technology and staff to meet your needs, allowing you to have as easy of an experience as possible. If what you need is customized, asking them for exceptions is an excellent gauge of their overall commitment to the customer experience. Be sure and understand their terms, and whether they offer any discount for quick payment, payment by credit card and which types of cards are accepted. Does the company preauthorize, and what is their policy if a card is declined? Due to the modern process of automatic fraud detection protection put in place by credit card companies, it is not unusual for credit cards to be automatically declined even if the card is current. The last thing you want is a company who fails to pick up your team without first reaching out towards your point of contact to resolve the billing issue in a discrete and professional manner.
The most important experience from the consumer stand point is the reservation process. The process should be simple and there should be multiple reservation methods to fit your needs. You should be able to make a reservation either by phone or company website, whichever you prefer. Once you have provided the necessary information (Name, Pickup Address, Drop off Address and Payment Information) an email should instantly be sent to confirm all of the information. In addition, a reminder email should be sent 24 hours in advance of the trip as additional confirmation. Reservation forms should include areas for making special requests, which should also be reflected in confirmation emails.
Referrals are always a strong indicator of a company’s performance. Surprisingly, while most people feel that references are always going to give a positive review, many times references give an honest opinion and discuss the weak points with a provider. Additionally you should take the time to check the providers at the Better Business Bureau and on social media sites to hear how the public views their reputation and performance.
Now that you’ve done your homework on various providers and narrowed down your list, it is time to take your research to the next level.
Customized to Your Needs
Large Groups and Events
Your transportation solution provider should be just that a provider of solutions. A highly ethical, well established and professional organization can be your navigator through the world of ground transportation. They have years of experience and can share the best practices. But in addition they will listen attentively to your needs and will exceed those needs while being cost competitive and most importantly relieving the logistical demands from you. Professionals from the ground up – from customer service, dispatch, mechanics, to Chauffeurs and a management team who will stand behind their staff to give them the tools necessary to be successful are all key to flawless execution.
Peter Smutný, CEO of Ground Transportation Logistic Management, has several-year an invaluable experience with ground transportation. His journey started as a chauffeur, and now, as CEO, he gives his own experience and knowledge to others to successfully lead his team and it forms the professional transportation company GT LIMO.
About GT LIMO
Spoločnosť Lanot Logistik s.r.o., so sídlom v Bratislave na Slovensku, ponúka servis v oblasti prepravných služieb, prenájom vozidiel a komplexné logistické riešenia pri organizovaní eventov, konferencií a iných udalostí. GT Limousines, GT Sprinters a GT Buses sú rýchlo rastúce a úspešné divízie našej spoločnosti osobnej, ale aj autobusovej dopravy v našom regióne so stovkami spokojných zákazníkov a tisícami vykonaných jázd. Naša kvalita je zastúpená našimi zamestnancami, ktorí sú skúsení a neustále školení špecialisti. Naše technologické pozadie je na veľmi vysokej úrovni a umožňuje nám pracovať so všetkými informáciami, ktoré potrebujeme. Flotila našich Mercedesov je vybraná tak, aby predčila Vaše očakávania. Akonáhle zažijete úroveň spoločnosti GT LIMO, zistíte, že ste urobili skvelé rozhodnutie pri výbere našej spoločnosti ako poskytovateľa pozemnej dopravy. Sme Vám k dispozícii 24 hodín denne a sme schopní splniť každé jedno želanie.
Company Lanot Logistik s.r.o. based in Bratislava Slovakia and offers service in the field of transport services, car rental services and comprehensive logistics solutions in organizing events, conferences and other events. GT Limousines, GT Sprinters and GT Buses are fast growing and the successful divisions of our company of private hire and coach hire in our region with hundreds of satisfied customers and thousands of rides done.
Our quality is represented by our employees, who are experienced and constantly trained professionals. Our technology background is on a very high end standards and enables us to work with all the information that we need. Fleet of our Mercedeses are selected to exceed your expectations with their spotless exterior and leather upholstery interior. Once you will experience the level GT LIMO, you will find that you made a great decision in choosing our company as a provider of land transport. We are available 24 hours daily and we can fulfill your every request.