As ride-share services Uber and Lyft have exploded onto the transportation scene in major cities across the world in recent years, it certainly has shaken up the industry.
These new players have capitalized on the rapid availability of mobile technology and the consumer’s appetite and demand for technological interaction to set up services rather than more traditional means of communication. Google’s Waze also plans a major push into the market.
While these companies’ leaders had the foresight to base much of their ventures on technological innovation in acquiring customers, other aspects of their operation were even more radical. While traditional taxi and luxury car services would invest their capital often into a fleet of vehicles, Uber and Lyft have sought to basically go without that investment, instead relying on full-time drivers to use their own vehicles to hook up those in need of a lift to the airport, or home from a bar early in the morning.
Whether these drivers are operating as a side-hustle for extra cash or more as full-time independent contractor drivers, this development has brought about seismic change to transportation, especially in major metropolitan areas.
One of the age-old questions in business: Does new and different mean better?
Amid this time of sea-change, it’s pertinent to reflect on this question: What actually makes for an exceptional transportation company?
When something is shiny and new or has saturated social media and even the news, it’s easy to overlook the players who have been in the game much longer.
But that doesn’t mean long-established players, like Top Notch Transportation, a greater Phoenix limousine service, really deserve to be discounted. Competition can be positive because it can force everyone in the market to up their game and provide a higher level of service.
It also can reinforce the high quality that certain transportation companies have established in communities historically over time. In reflecting upon what makes an exceptional transportation company, a deeper look can reveal that what’s often cheapest and or easiest to grab via your smartphone may not be the best fit for your transportation needs — especially because there are so many different occasions and scenarios that lend a need to hiring a transportation company.
So maybe new and different are better, but can also make it clear the traditional options provide trusted quality and better service.
With that in mind, it seems reasonable that an exceptional transportation company meets three criteria — all of which set it apart from competition, new and old:
- Luxury and Status
Relying on a service for transportation often quite simply boils down to the fact that you need to reach your destination safely and on time. Maybe this is a given, or an idea that’s taken for granted, but obviously if your ride doesn’t show up, is late, or the vehicle breaks down, then it defeats the purpose and creates bigger problems. You missed your flight. You didn’t show up for an important meeting with a client. Or even: it ruined your chance to share a memory at a special occasion.
Being dependable entails everything from having a quality line of vehicles to credible and experienced drivers to take care of you.
That’s where limousine services tend to have an advantage, especially over ride-share services that rely on contractors to use their own vehicles. These professional drivers often have years of experience, and limousine services have rigorous hiring practices and standards because the drivers need to be dependable and able to handle an expensive fleet of vehicles.
Top Notch Transportation, for example, along with its nearby subsidiary Scottsdale Limo Company, has made it a priority to keep the newest and nicest fleet in Arizona. The variety of vehicles not only give clients the ability to select the best option that will work for them based on size, type of trip, etc., but they also send a message that these vehicles are safe and dependable. After all, what’s the point of paying and entrusting someone to get you somewhere if there’s a chance it might not work out?
In the question and debate in the transportation service market today, as with the dependability question, among accessibility there is a tendency to over-simplify the discussion. There are many more reasons to need a transportation company than just a one-time taxi-type trip or a ride home from the bars late at night.
In their ability to provide a variety of vehicles for clients’ variety of needs, limousine services offer the greatest scalability and flexibility in this transportation industry. This competitive advantage is vital.
For example, in a destination like Arizona that provides so many opportunities for tourism and events year-round, a limousine service could fill so many needs for people in the area attending things where parking can be a premium, or it might be more fun to let someone else do the driving in a larger limo, SUV or bus to allow for entertaining on the way.
That could include:
- Spring Training baseball games and events
- Arizona Cardinals NFL football
- Championship football: including the Super Bowl or the College Football Playoff National Championship Game
- The Fiesta Bowl and Cactus Bowl
- The NCAA’s Final Four
- Barrett-Jackson auctions
- PGA Tour’s Waste Management Phoenix Open
- Salt River Tubing excursions
- Trips to Sedona
- Summertime waterholes
- Casino tours across the state
- Vineyard and wine tours across the state
- During the holiday season, tours to see Christmas lights
Ride-share services like Uber and Lyft, upon their entry into the market, did force transportation companies to up their game, especially with using technology to book reservations and rides online. As limousine companies like Top Notch Transportation caught up on the technology, their level of service and quality became evident, and the newer tech companies that often boasted of their network are being pushed back onto equal footing.
Aside from special events and point-of-service technology, an exceptional transportation company should be inclusive and accessible to serve anyone. Especially in a retirement destination, this includes having drivers and a fleet that best suits elderly clients. This would include senior discounts and specially trained drivers to handle the elderly as well as properly equipped vehicles.
A limousine service — based on its ability to control qualification standards for its drivers and diversify its fleet — would be in the best position to provide accessibility to clients and more broadly meet their transportation needs for all types.
Luxurious and memorable
In addition to being dependable and accessible, the last important tenet of an exceptional transportation company should be the ability to provide a luxurious and memorable experience. As mentioned with the flood of ride-share services that has changed the market, once more traditional taxi and limousine services were forced to improve their technology and service angle, the importance of level of service one could provide became the key factor again in the industry.
A large segment of clientele in the transportation industry is in fact looking for a high-end experience. Even if it’s simply a trip to the airport, it’s nice to have a large and comfortable vehicle to relax in or even be able to work in on the way during a business trip. However, there’s also something more that differentiates using a limousine service: Status.
On a business trip to either meet or perhaps entertain clients or potential clients, using a limousine can establish an image of credibility and distinction. Once you roll up in a black sedan, SUV or limo, your client knows you mean business and will go the extra mile to take care of them.
Even outside of the business arena, a limo service signifies a status at a family or entertainment event. You went the extra mile for your loved ones and want them to know they are taken care of. It may seem slightly superficial, but most people tend to operate on image. If you have your priorities in line and can back up how much you care, there’s also no harm in letting others know about it.
Because the luxury and status of a limousine service starts at the top level, it adds an air of distinction to any transportation need you might have:
- Airport pickup and drop off service
- Corporate and Executive transportation services
- Bachelor and Bachelorette parties
- Date nights / Night on the town / Dining in style
- Sweet Sixteens
- Church trips/tours
- Dancing / Parties
- Newborn Ride Home
- Wine Tours
- Seasonal events
- Sporting events
The more the world of transportation has changed, the more people will realize that the core pieces of the business have stayed the same. To be the best and the exception, a transportation company must be dependable, accessible and impressionable and luxurious.
The new players might be getting the buzz, but when you think more about what is really crucial, a chauffeur / limousine service makes the most sense for any transportation need you, your business, or your loved ones might have and deserve.
To speak with one of our passionate, talented Top Notchers about anything transportation related, simply call us at 602-505-5453.