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 firstname.lastname@example.org for next issue’s question.
TOPIC: Since the pandemic, what new requests have your corporate clients been making (amenities, types of vehicles, pricing, “green” options, etc.)? Have there been any changes in RFPs? Have their service requirements changed?
With the pandemic, changes in corporate customer requests have included clients requesting SUVs instead of sedans so they are not too close to their associates. Also, we have several passengers requesting all chauffeurs to wear mask; we now do this on all trips. We’ve also had requests that we screen drivers to make sure they’re feeling well. This is also now done on all trips. Lastly, we’ve had a few requests for the chauffeur to wear gloves.
Christine Bennett, President
Showcase Limousine in Boise, Idaho
We have not had any special requests other than accommodating mask preferences for chauffeurs. Everything else has been very much the same.
Nick Boccio, General Manager
Buffalo Limousine in Buffalo, N.Y.
Corporate clients have reduced the amount of traveling a lot and, but when they do travel, they tend to book at the last second. During this difficult time, we have never lost contact with our clients, so they already know that safety and application of protocols have been, and still are, our utmost priority. While they are aware of our fleet/amenities, pricing seems to be not so important as the safety for a quality service.
Marina Brugnaro, President
New International Limousine in Venice, Italy
The only change in RFP I have seen is they want us to maintain the same rates for the next four years. In today’s environment, this is a bit difficult. One company was shocked as I told them that we will only do six-month pricing and see how things with their company are before discussing pricing for 2022. For most of RFPs, prospective clients do not care about year of the vehicle, but they have asked us to include how we reduce our carbon footprint. For us in Seattle, we use rainwater to wash our fleet. When sending out RFPs, make the procurement person think of you as a partner rather than another company sending in a request.
Jess Sandhu, Director of Operations
A&A Limousine & Bus Service in Kenmore, Wash.
Since the pandemic, a few corporate clients have requested information regarding our COVID safety protocols. We also find that due to social distancing, our clients are requesting a Sprinter van for what normally would require an SUV. Regarding RFPs—mainly for flight crew transportation—we have found that they are requesting larger vehicles for social distancing. We occasionally are asked if our chauffeurs are vaccinated. As a DH2 safety protocol practice, we continue to mandate our chauffeurs to wear masks. We also continue to sanitize our vehicles pre- and post-rides.
Nancy Vargas, CEO
DH2 Limousine in Jamaica, N.Y.
We’ve loved hearing your answers to our benchmarking questions—but we always welcome suggestions for future topics, too!
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