If there’s any upside to the COVID slowdown, it’s that many businesses across the world were given a respite from the grind to reset priorities, try new things, and really dig into their operations to identify those areas that are working as well as those that should have been addressed a while ago (if you’re being honest). It seems like everything is under the microscope these days.
Automation—or upgrading a current system—has long been on the list for many companies in our industry. Customers have been demanding more and more, including data reports and faster service at a cheaper rate, and operators in our industry are increasingly embracing remote employees to tackle reservations and dispatch. Our industry has some great software, and seeing what’s available on the marketplace keeps us all competitive and curious about the possibilities, especially as you expand your business opportunities and test new avenues.
In 2017, CoachRail launched after noticing many inefficiencies and gaps with legacy softwares in the coach market. Initially, the software’s primary market was motorcoach operators, but seeing the crossover between bus and limousine, CoachRail stepped up its functionality to include chauffeured transportation and hybrid companies (those using both sedans and motorcoaches) earlier this year.
“We noticed that there was a huge void in the motorcoach market for newer technology solving the problems for providers on a daily basis,” says CoachRail Director Chris Roan. “More recently, we realized that there were a lot of features in our software that would also work in the limousine side of transportation, so we started talking to operators and found some great ideas to make positive changes that would benefit them. We, of course, hope that our software is so good that operators want to use it as their primary across the board, for both charter and limo.”
“Our goal is to provide more efficiency and data so that your passengers can have a better customer service experience.” – Chris Roan
CoachRail (coachrail.com) offers an affiliate network of around 500—as well as reservations and dispatching capabilities (Smart Dispatch). At its core, the software was built using code that is “extremely flexible” to allow modifications that often take days instead of months, according to Roan. For example, CoachRail removed the customer signature requirement at the behest of operators in order to reduce the number of touchpoints at the height of the pandemic.
“People have called our software ‘a breath of fresh air’ because it’s intuitive and easy to use. Customers are typically able to navigate our software after two or three training calls with us,” he says.
Roan says that the ‘wow moment’ for those who demo the software is the automated pricing and ability to send out a quote in real-time to the customer. “CoachRail is deeply integrated with Google’s API, which allows users to have access to Google’s entire address book. That helps us to custom build price books with pre-loaded rates for vehicles, and with those two pieces of data we can automate pricing that’s accurate for that trip,” he says. “Our mission is to change the way things are done on the software side for business management solutions. We are doing our best to ensure that the industry has every chance to recover, and we know that every penny counts, so operators can try the software with no risk or cost.”
Another ‘wow moment’ comes when business owners use the mobile app to manage and dispatch drivers, he says.
CoachRail is also currently working on a couple of integrations to strengthen its affiliate network, which will be available in Q1 of 2021. Roan says that they have also partnered with two of the largest ELD providers in the country to automate tracking so that operators can completely manage their assets in the field. That information can then be shared with the customer so they know the ETA on their vehicle in real time as well as details about their driver or chauffeur.
“Our goal is to provide more efficiency and data so that your passengers can have a better customer service experience. It’s software that’s simple to use and gets the job done, period.” [CD0219]