Whether you book party buses for events or manage a black car fleet catering to business travelers, your limousine operation has a lot of competition. You already know that. So, you, your drivers, and the rest of the team have to do everything they possibly can to beat out the competitors.
1. Rude Service or Lack of Professionalism
If you’re serious about your job, you should understand that limo customers expect a high level of professionalism. In the industry of luxury transportation, your consumers won’t return if they aren’t completely satisfied with the service you provide. Delivering a quality experience starts with a polished look, warm greeting, and professional manners. It’s always better to go overboard with politeness and customer service than to have a disgruntled passenger.
“First trip to the city so I hired a limo to pick my family up from the airport. The driver was rude and made us wait in the heat for 15 minutes before getting out of his car to identify himself.”– Anonymous unhappy limo customer in New York
“This company is terrible from the incompetent, and rude drivers and phone reps to the substandard service and apparent mismanagement stay away. It’s better to ride a horse to where you’re going.”– Anonymous unhappy limo customer in Houston
2. Safety Concerns
Passengers should never doubt if they are in good hands or not. Safety is no joke. From ensuring that your drivers have a valid license and are up to date on their screenings, to making sure that your passengers are buckled in at all times, safety should be top priority. If you need proof that customers won’t return to an operator who they don’t trust, just read what this single-star reviewer said:
“I should have trusted the reviews; it was a terrible experience. The driver was 40 minutes late because of a mechanical issue. We were understanding and still excited to go for a ride. We got two miles down the road and the vehicle completely broke down. We were stranded and had to call an Uber. Aside from the total breakdown, the vehicle was clearly in bad shape. I can’t believe they were transporting people in it. Completely unprofessional.”– Anonymous unhappy limo customer in Dallas
3. Unkempt Fleet
Drivers can be as charming as you want, but if they show up to pick up clients with a limousine that is not in tip-top shape, those efforts are lost. Part of the limo experience is luxury and polish and clients are not willing to settle for less. The reputation of your fleet service will suffer if, for example, clients smell smoke when they enter the vehicle, the heat or air conditioning are not working well, or if trash is forgotten in the compartments. If a black car is dirty or uncomfortable, customers will speak up.
“Not a very clean limo and the interiors reeked of cigarette smoke. The A/C in the limo was very bad and everyone was sweating our entire ride to our hotel from the airport.”– Anonymous unhappy limo customer in Las Vegas
“Yuck. The vehicle was sticky and the driver smelled.”– Anonymous unhappy limo customer in New York
4. No Shows
There’s no explanation needed here. There’s no excuse for a no show in your customer’s mind. This is how one disgruntled customer put it:
“5:00 am pick up for 14 adults going to the airport. No one showed. No one was able to be contacted. We had to drive ourselves to in order to not miss our flight. Absolutely inexcusable!! Never ever again will I call on this company; trust me on this!”– Anonymous unhappy limo customer in Chicago
There’s no way around it; punctuality is a big one, folks. This goes back to professionalism too. You need to be on time, for pick-ups and drop-offs. Never keep a client waiting in the cold (or heat) for more than five minutes before you arrive; 10 minutes is pushing it, and 15 is borderline inexcusable. Try not to keep your passengers waiting at all, because they may never forgive you.
One customer waiting at the JFK airport describes this missed opportunity as:
“I get my bags and call number when I arrived. I was told to exit the terminal to middle lane and that driver would be right there; 15 mins later, I call again and they connect me to the driver. He tells me he’ll be there in 3 mins, he was pulling in. I call a third time 15 minutes later, still no driver; they claim he’s stuck in traffic at the airport and he’s one minute away. Everyone else from my flight had gotten picked up; I saw no traffic. Another 15 minutes later, I called a FOURTH time to inform them that I was taking a cab since I had waited for 45 minutes.”– Anonymous unhappy limo customer in New York
6. Lack of Response
Taking too long to get back to customers about availability and undue confusion during the limousine reservation process is a good way to make customers look for a different service provider. If customers have to email or call multiple times to get a response, that’s not good customer service. Respond promptly and be available for questions, schedule changes, and keep fleet schedules organized so that you avoid overbooking.
Just look at this one-star review on Google for an un-named limo service:
“Over the phone, they said they had availability and discussed pricing. I sent the info, which they misread and then told me there was no availability. I messaged them because they had the wrong dates. Then the company said that they did have limousines available. Next, they proposed different prices than what was discussed on the phone. I emailed them right away to correct. I received no response. So, I emailed again with the info and, this time, they said all the limos were booked.”– Anonymous unhappy limo customer in New York
“I contacted this company because a friend recommended it. I called twice and both times the receptionist told me she’d call back. I never heard back from them. Took my business elsewhere.”– Anonymous unhappy limo customer in California
7. Payment Problems
Make sure you have clear payment policies and procedures in place, because clients hate it when payment processing gets messed up. Over-charging, double charging, or inability to process some payment methods can make your fleet operation look incompetent or untrustworthy.
If you don’t believe me, just read what this customer wrote:
“Very bad experience. I paid twice for a transfer service – once directly to the driver on the day of arrival and then the company made and extra charge to my credit card. I have sent several e-mails asking for my money back, but nobody answered!”– Anonymous unhappy limo customer in Boston
Avoid the Problems that Your Customers Hate the Most
Whatever city you serve, get set up with LimoLive24 and get peace of mind that your customers will have a positive experience. Our agents are trained to be polite and professional, keep your coach booking system and schedules on point, and help your drivers to be on time with our integrated limousine dispatch service. With a limo answering service, you can be sure that customers are getting responded to in a timely manner while you focus on the other aspects of your business. Join LL24 to work with a dedicated limo call center that integrates directly with the limousine management software or chauffeur dispatch system you are already using and gain impeccable limo booking and livery dispatch.
Related article: How to Get Customers for a Limo Business.