Driving Transactions
Wednesday, July 24, 2024

You asked for it and we listened. In this column, we ask operators of all sizes and from all walks of the industry a question about their business and report their answers so you can assess how your own company compares to your peers. If you would like to participate, please email Rob Smentek at rob@chauffeurdriven.com for next issue’s question.

TOPIC: What are the most important pieces of technology you use in your business?

Benchmark and Best Practices The most important piece of technology we use in our business is the Lead Quote Close (LQC) feature with AddOns. This tool allows us to offer dynamic pricing to our clients while streamlining and enhancing our reservation process. With LQC, we can provide accurate quotes quickly, improving customer satisfaction and conversion rates. The AddOns feature enables us to customize our services to meet specific client needs, ensuring a more personalized experience.

Additionally, we leverage ChatGPT to rewrite policy procedures, automate website inquiries, and respond to Google reviews. This not only saves time but also ensures consistency and accuracy in our communications. ChatGPT helps us maintain a high standard of customer service by providing timely and well-crafted responses to inquiries and feedback.
Kirk Bagger, Corporate Travel Manager & CEO
Captains Car Service in Cleveland, Ohio

Benchmark and Best Practices We utilize a few basic/standard technologies in our operation such as dispatch software, a driver app connected to the dispatch software, and telematics in the vehicles. The dispatch software is the absolute most important piece of technology since we can get by without the driver app and the telematics (GPS is important, but camera is a bonus). We rely on dispatch software for most of the daily functions. It is foundational for our operation, and I’d assume that is the case for other operators.
Nick Boccio, General Manager
Buffalo Limousine in Buffalo, N.Y.

Benchmark and Best Practices One of the most significant advancements we’ve implemented is the integration of live GPS linked to our reservation confirmation system. This not only enhances the efficiency of our fleet management but also ensures precise tracking and timely service for our customers. Moreover, utilization of dash cameras across all our vehicles has been a game-changer in mitigating risks and reducing insurance claims. The footage captured by these cameras has saved us thousands of dollars by providing irrefutable evidence in case of incidents. Looking ahead, we’re excited about our latest investment in AI VOIP phones. These state-of-the-art communication devices are set to revolutionize our inbound call handling, making interactions with our customers more efficient and seamless.

Technology continues to be a driving force behind our success, enabling us to deliver exceptional service while staying ahead of industry trends.
Alex Darbahani, Founder/CEO
KLS Worldwide in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Benchmark and Best Practices There are many pieces of technology that play a major role in providing world-class customer service. The most important, however, is our Santa Cruz system, which provides reservation, dispatch, and accounting tools and functions designed to lower costs. Santa Cruz combines the most widely used communication technologies including mobile phones and tablets, digital telephony systems, GPS, and corporate self-service booking tools. Other important pieces of technology include Ring Central and our Raven dashcams that we use to ensure passenger safety and exercise a duty of care for our employees and clients.
Harry Dhillon, President
Ecko Worldwide Transportation in Santa Clara, Calif.

Benchmark and Best Practices We are very excited to share some new technology that we have deployed within our operation over the past few years…and it has been a real game changer for us. It is called The Quote Bot. Our AI quote bot is a new and engaging way for customers to not only get real-time quotes online, but also book and confirm on the spot without any human interaction. On the backend of the software, it is jam-packed with invaluable features that we heavily utilize daily. These include a sales CRM, automated marketing emails/SMS, marketing dashboard to track our ROI on our PPC campaigns, dynamic pricing, a customer review tool that allows customers to rate our service after every trip, geofencing capabilities ... and I could go on and on. The latest feature that The Quote Bot has begun releasing is a new phone integration so that our customers can now also quote and book right over the phone, fully automated.
Michael Dozier, President/CEO
Signature Transportation Services in Nashville, Tenn.

Benchmark and Best Practices We have been focusing on comprehensive InfoSec programs to continue providing stewardship for our customer data. As cybersecurity threats evolve and increase year over year, we are committed to protecting our customers’ data by fortifying our systems, procedures, and policies against cybersecurity threats such as phishing, malware, ransomware, and hacking. We believe we must be vigilant by adopting a proactive and all-encompassing approach to cybersecurity to continue to earn the trust our customers have placed in us.
Weilun Feng, CSO
Dav El/BostonCoach in Everett, Mass.

Benchmark and Best Practices Our whole business life has been changed by our bus quoter. We can give all-inclusive bus (and small vehicle) quotes instantly online. Customers and our staff love it. We can train unfamiliar staff in less than a minute to give quotes on all our vehicle types across multiple states for up to 15 trips.

In a close second place is CheckInCaller.com, also developed in-house, which calls and checks on staff before trips start around the clock, automatically, and alerts us of any potential delay in ample time to recover. It is completely automated.

These technologies have allowed us to eliminate two office positions and increase remote work-from-home options. They have had an incredibly positive effect on the lifestyles of our remaining staff.
Dan Goff, General Manager
A Goff Limousine & Bus in Ruckersville, Va.

Benchmark and Best Practices Technology has become a huge part of our operational success. Every aspect of our process works in conjunction with the others. All the parts and pieces make up the entire technology package. We have implemented reservation software that communicates with GPS software that communicates with fuel cards that in turn talk to our fleet management software. It truly takes a village of hard-working technology to complete the loop of successful transportation operations. Explore what’s available and works best for you, your company, and its projected growth.
Len Joseph, President
On The Town Limousines in Frederick, Md.

Benchmark and Best Practices Both GNET and Samsara are both key technological software we use daily. GNET allows us to send bookings from our system directly into their system as well as get status updates, GPS location, and driver and vehicle information.

Samsara is key for vehicle tracking, hours of service, speeding and idle alerts, and vehicle diagnostic issues.
Mark Kini, President
Boston Chauffeur in Peabody, Mass.

Benchmark and Best Practices The most important pieces of technology I use in my business are my iPhone with 1TB storage and our software from Volcano Soluciones. These two tools are essential for my daily operations. With my iPhone, I can manage communications, send payment links, handle marketing, and perform various other tasks on the go. The extensive storage ensures that I have access to all necessary files and applications wherever I am.

Our software from Volcano Soluciones is equally crucial. It allows me to manage sales, operations, billing, and email marketing seamlessly. It’s a comprehensive platform that covers all aspects of my business operations. Together, these tools enable me to run my business efficiently and effectively. I can’t imagine managing my work without them.
Rodrigo Medina Marsan, CEO
Ibiza VIP Bus in Ibiza, Spain

For our company, the backend dispatch software is the most valuable piece of tech, for sure.
Adilson Pereira, CEO
AP Luxury Limousines in Garden City, N.Y.

Benchmark and Best Practices As our industry evolves, integrating advanced technologies has become essential for maintaining competitiveness and efficiency. GNet/AddOns are an excellent example of how technological solutions can streamline our operations. This platform provides comprehensive training modules that are crucial for ensuring our staff is well-equipped with the latest skills and knowledge. Further, by utilizing PAX Training, we can ensure that our drivers and staff are consistently trained to the highest standards, promoting safety, efficiency, and customer satisfaction.
Robert Rodríguez, President/CEO
First Class Destination Solutions in Carolina, Puerto Rico

Benchmark and Best Practices The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about this question is cell phones. They have become such an integral part of all our daily lives so much that it’s hard to think of something more important than instant information and communication with clients and chauffeurs. However, after giving it more thought I remembered starting out in the industry when cell phones were less common and unreliable, when payphones and fax machines were the standard. During that time, the most important piece of technology was limousine software. Reservation, dispatch, and billing accuracy are the foundations for high-end service, and without quality industry software there would be no way to maintain the high level of accuracy and customer service we pride ourselves on.
Jason Santiago, General Manager
Exclusive Sedan in Newhall, Calif.

Benchmark and Best Practices Technology has become the number one focus of our attention in this post-COVID world. We are all trying to do more with less. Automation through various technological advances is allowing us to streamline processes and allow office staff to focus on customer care and sales.
Jason Sharenow, COO
Broadway Elite Chauffeured Services Worldwide in East Hanover, N.J.

Benchmark and Best Practices The most important piece of technology we use in our business is our dispatch software, which is the engine of our business. However, there are other technology platforms we use 24/7. The technology within our dispatch software not only helps to assign rides, but it’s also the engine of all the back-end features such as billing, invoicing, and credit card processing, etc.

We use Samsara not only to view our vehicles but also utilize the safety features to ensure our safety trainer is on top of chauffeur driver safety performance. For instance, we receive alerts on hard stops, speeding, and more.

For communication, Slack is a great tool to communicate internally with the team and WhatsApp is a great tool to communicate with affiliates and chauffeurs. Furthermore, we find Zoom to be an efficient tool for team and business meetings. Of course, Google Drive is effective for communication as well as for working on documents in real time with the team.

Personally, I also enjoy Calendly, which helps me streamline my business meetings while I’m networking. I got introduced to Calendly in 2020 during the pandemic and haven’t looked back!
Nancy Vargas, CEO
DH2 Limousine in Jamaica, N.Y.

Benchmark and Best Practices Regarding technology, our primary tool is our software system, LimoAnywhere, which we utilize extensively. Following that, Samsara is essential for its comprehensive features including DVIRs, hours of service logging, camera systems, and a customized safety program. This program monitors and tracks driver safety scores based on their driving habits.
Scott Woodruff, President
Majestic Limousine & Coach in Des Moines, Iowa

Benchmark and Best Practices From a management perspective, our main dispatching and fleet management system is LimoAnywhere. This cloud-based platform allows us to efficiently schedule, route, and track our fleet of vehicles to provide high-quality service to our clients.

For collecting payments from customers, we rely on Stripe as our payment gateway as it provides a seamless and secure way for us to accept credit/debit card payments, as well as support for alternative payment methods like Apple Pay and Google Pay. Its robust fraud detection and compliance features are crucial for our business.

When it comes to making payments to our global network of vendors and suppliers, we utilize AirWallex. This platform enables us to make fast, low-cost international payments in multiple currencies, which is essential for our operations spanning different regions.

These three technologies form the core of our technology stack and allow us to effectively manage our dispatching, payments, and vendor relationships across our business. They have been instrumental in driving efficiency, reducing operational costs, and providing a seamless experience for both our customers and partners.
Amy Yan, Co-Founder and Managing Partner
AmyExpress in Kowloon, Hong Kong

We’ve loved hearing your answers to our benchmarking questions—but we always welcome suggestions for future topics, too!
Send an email to rob@chauffeurdriven.com you just might see your query answered in our next e-News.