Bringing Your Vehicles Up to the Present

TeamTimeCar.com-BTTF_DeLorean_Time_Machine-OtoGodfrey.com-JMortonPhoto.com-07

“Where we’re going to we don’t need roads.”

With one sentence, Doc Brown and Back to the Future predicted a future of flying cars by 2015. But here we are in 2017 where we very much still need roads on which to drive our earth-bound cars.

Maybe your current fleet doesn’t have a flying car or even a flux capacitor, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a number of technological updates that you can make to get yourself Up to the Present for your customers.

  • WiFi Hotspots – Your travelers want to be able to treat your vehicles like a mobile office and continue their projects to and from their destination without racking up exorbitant data fees. Additionally, having your vehicles act as their own hotspot hub allows drivers to stay connected to navigation systems. You can make the experience of riding with your company all the more enjoyable by offering premium music streaming on Spotify and Pandora.
  • Video Screens – Incorporating headrest video screens into your vehicles will let your clients stay connected not only to their work but also to their play. On longer rides, Netflix and other video services can be offered as an added incentive for booking with your service.
  • Improved Safety Features – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that more than 90% of traffic accidents are the result of human factors. To help reduce human error, you can employ additional safety features.
    • Rearview Cameras
    • Blind Spot Monitors
    • Parking Sensors
  • Navigation Systems –A number of companies allow seamless GPS and Fleet Management as an all-in-one service. Not only will you have a better understanding of where your drivers are and how and when they’ll get to their destination, but also your passengers will have the peace of mind that they are going to get where they’re going on time.
  • Limo Anywhere Passenger Apps – One of the best things you can do for yourself is use the tools that are already at your disposal to their fullest potential. The Passenger App allows your travelers to check prices, confirm availability, and book their trips right from their smart phone. They also have the ability to receive status updates and see where they are on their trip from start to finish. Passengers will also be able to easily manage their billing information and other account preferences, all on the go.
  • Driver Apps – Limo Anywhere’s free Driver Anywhere app lets drivers manage their trips from assignment to close out in real time. You can streamline your dispatch process by using the app rather than relying on texts, phone calls, and emails. You can also track the progress of each trip while receiving updates during the ride. Payment is simplified because drivers can process credit cards at the end of the trip.

Other popular driver apps can make your chauffeur’s job easier. Waze is a community-based navigation system that compiles reports from other drivers to alert and reroute you in case of traffic or accidents. Google Maps’ interface is a bit easier to use and incorporates a lot of data from Waze. GasBuddy locates the cheapest prices for gas in your location. And it may seem a little silly, but someday it will be a relief to your driver or customers if the Flush Toilet Finder app is installed on your tablets!

The technological tools to enhance your customers’ experiences are within your reach. As Doc Brown told Marty McFly in Back to Future III, “Your future is whatever you make it, so make it a good one.”

How to use the Hover Feature

Want to learn about the most efficient ways to find relevant information in Limo Anywhere? This post will show you how to discover all there is to know about the Hover feature.

When viewing the Dispatch Grid, you may notice that a yellow pop-up window appears when the mouse is held over certain areas. This is the Hover Feature and it can make finding information much easier and faster. There are eight instances where this piece of technology can help you:

  • Passenger Contact Info
  • Driver Contact Info
  • Billing Contact Info
  • Booking Contact Info
  • Affiliate Contact Info
  • Car Info
  • Passenger Priority Level
  • Passenger Notes
  • Trip Notes

How to use the Hover feature

All columns must first be visible on the Dispatch Grid in order to use the Hover Feature. Click on the blue Grid Setup link at the top of the Dispatch Grid.

How to use the Hover feature

Select the above columns by checking the box on the left of each item. To sort the columns, click and drag them into the order you prefer. Be sure to click on Update Dispatch Grid Fields when you are satisfied with your options. Next, select the My Prefs tab.

How to use the Hover feature

In the fifth section, use the drop-down menus to select Yes to each of the hover options available.

How to use the Hover feature

To take full advantage of the hover feature within Limo Anywhere, be sure to fill out all relevant information when setting up Driver Profiles and when completing new Accounts. Be sure to collect phone number(s) and email address(es) for drivers, passengers, booking contacts, billing contacts, and affiliates. This information will show up in the yellow pop-up window when hovering over a driver’s name or a passenger’s name, or when hovering over any other contact associated with a given trip.

Additionally, for Account set up, collect any specific passenger preferences or special billing information and enter it into Preferences/Trip Notes on the main page of the user account. This will show in the yellow pop-up window when hovering over the Passenger Priority Level & Notes column and/or the Trip Notes column. If you have specific notes in the Trip Notes area in a Reservation, this information will show up in the Trip Notes column on the Dispatch Grid.

If you are not currently set up to use the hover feature, be sure to give it a try. It will save you lots of time and allow easy access to relevant information.

How to Use the Batch Edit Feature

Using technology today can be challenging. With all of the unending updates, it can be difficult to keep up. And navigating through the hidden nooks and crannies that typically control the end-user experience in a given software can feel overwhelming. Most companies don’t have the resources to commit an employee to learning all there is to know about software, let alone hire a dedicated IT person. It is our goal at Limo Anywhere to share information about our most overlooked features and shed light on some simple practices that will increase your productivity and give you a more fulfilling user experience.

In this blog, you’ll learn about the Batch Edit feature, which will help you schedule and make changes more quickly.

To activate the Batch Update feature, first go to the Dispatch Grid (click on the Dispatch Icon – Red Car).

How to Use the Batch Edit Feature

Next, click on the first of three blue links located at the top of the grid, called Grid Setup. This will open a window where you will be able to adjust many different features and settings for the Dispatch Grid.

How to Use the Batch Edit Feature

For now, go to the tab titled My Prefs.

How to Use the Batch Edit Feature

Scroll to the bottom of the page and you will see that the second to the last option is Enable Batch Update. Set the drop-down menu to Yes. Click the button at the very bottom of the window that reads, Update Dispatch Grid Fields. Close out of the window in the upper right.

How to Use the Batch Edit Feature

You will now see a new column at the far left on your Dispatch Grid, with a small checkbox available for each trip listed. You may now select several trips at a time and quickly adjust Status, Vehicle Type, Driver, or Car.

How to Use the Batch Edit Feature

Imagine that one of your drivers has called out of work sick. You could select all of those trips assigned to that driver and make one change (change the status to unassigned until you find a replacement) and then click on Batch Update Trips. Or if you had a car unexpectedly go out of service, first sort your grid by car, select all trips having that assigned car and quickly choose a replacement using this feature.

How to Use the Batch Edit Feature

For scheduling, move drivers and cars around until you are comfortable with all of your assignments. Then, when ready, use the very top checkbox in the Title Row of the Dispatch Grid to select ALL trips within the grid. Easily set the status to Dispatched (or Assigned, depending on your company terminology), click on Batch Update Trips, and watch as all of your trips are sent out to drivers. Voila!

Limo Anywhere Acquired by Marcou Transportation Group

We’re excited to announce that Limo Anywhere has been acquired by Marcou Transportation Group.

As the limousine industry has changed in recent years, Limo Anywhere has focused on advancing, modernizing, and extending our core product, while continually looking for opportunities to partner with large brands to improve our value proposition and favorably position you, our customer, within a rapidly evolving industry landscape.

Marcou Transportation Group owns many of the most successful brands in ground transportation, including Boston Coach, Dav El, and GroundLink. We believe Marcou is a perfectly suited partner to Limo Anywhere and our customers, and believe their deep industry expertise will be a significant asset as we continue to develop the Limo Anywhere product portfolio.

Under Marcou ownership, Limo Anywhere will continue to operate as a standalone service. However, this acquisition will also allow us to more aggressively execute on bringing industry-leading technology and service to you, our customers, while expanding our integration and capabilities set with many of the flagship Marcou brands.

Our team is available via phone and e-mail to answer any questions and discuss this exciting development further. We hope you’re as excited as we are for the future of Limo Anywhere!


 

Automate Limo Anywhere tasks using Zapier

Nearly a year ago, the team at Limo Anywhere began looking for a solution to our most intractable problem: how do we help reduce friction between the multiple software solutions used by larger Limo Anywhere customers? The most obvious manifestation of this problem is with our high demand for a QuickBooks integration, but we have found a much bigger set of needs: it affects all facets of ride and account management, including the “big three” custom needs of CRM, accounting, and reporting needs.

In 2015, the team discovered Zapier, a task automation platform that allows software applications to talk to each other seamlessly. With our Zapier integration, Limo Anywhere can connect to literally hundreds of popular software applications, including popular names such as QuickBooks, SalesForce, Facebook, and MailChimp. And as of December 15th, Limo Anywhere is an officially approved Zapier integration partner!

What can you do with Zapier?

Currently, there are three “triggers” in Limo Anywhere which automatically can prompt an “action” in any Zapier-connected software application. The “triggers” are 1) creating a reservation in Limo Anywhere, 2) creating a quote in Limo Anywhere, and 3) creating an account in Limo Anywhere. The integration allows these triggers to automatically prompt the same action to be taken in a partner application. See below for examples:

  1. Any new account created in Limo Anywhere can automatically create an account in MailChimp
  2. Any reservation created in Limo Anywhere can automatically create a new record in Zoho for reporting purposes
  3. Any quote created in Limo Anwhere can automatically create a lead in SalesForce

For more information on configuring and setting up Zapier, see our help documentation, and make sure to check out some of the pre-made Zaps and more information on Zapier here.

Can I see an example of how Zapier works?

Get started with Limo Anywhere automation by trying one of these pre-made examples today!

What’s coming with Zapier?

We intend to aggressively build upon this initial integration, adding a full suite of “triggers” for the entire ride management and account management life cycles, with the hopes of completely eliminating manual entry for Zapier-connected applications.

We hope you give Zapier a shot! We believe this platform is “the future” for Limo Anywhere customers, and hope all of our users take full advantage of this awesome functionality.


 

13 creative ways to reward your employees this holiday season

Now that we're fully immersed in the holiday season, it's the perfect time to recognize your hard working employees. With even the slightest kind gesture, you can show them how much you appreciate them and how they're a huge asset to your growing business.

Making a move, on your part, could even motivate your employees to stay in business with you. A survey by Glassdoor found that more than 50 percent of respondents would stay longer if the boss expressed his or her appreciation.

Recognizing your workers could seal your fate as a business owner. Looking for a creative way to reward them around Christmas and New Year's? Here are 13 ideas:

1. Be more than a boss
You shouldn't just be the person your employees are intimidated by – you should be looked at as a confidant, too. Inc. Magazine recommended taking interest in your employees and being more than just their boss. Show that you're interested in what they do outside of work – it'll form a new bond between the two of you. 

2. Show them the kind of respect you'd expect
Contrary to popular belief, the customer is not always right. Recognize your employees through a hard situation and always have their backs. They deserve the same amount of respect you'd expect in return.

3. Write a thank you letter
A genuine token of appreciation, in the form of kind written words, can move mountains. Sit down and write personalized thank you letters for each one of your team members. Highlight what they've done – specifically – to help the company grow.

Write thank you letters to your employees to show how much you appreciate their hard work.
Write thank you letters to your employees to show how much you appreciate their hard work.

4. Send home a personal Christmas card
Much like a thank you letter, sending a Christmas card to your employees' homes shows you're grateful for their hard work, especially around the holidays.

5. Encourage them with a brag board
Any time your workers make a great impression on customers, it deserves to be showcased for the company to see. Create a brag board and hang up positive reviews and feedback your team members have received.

"Throw an after-hours party with an open bar and endless appetizers."

6. Throw a holiday party
Your employees will likely be celebrating with their families this Christmas, but no one can ever attend too many holiday celebrations. Throw an after-hours party with an open bar and endless appetizers for the company to enjoy.

7. Provide a catered lunch
If you can't swing a holiday party after work, just provide a catered lunch during office hours.

8. Brighten their mornings with a cup of coffee
Before your employees head home for the holidays, choose a day to provide them with their morning cup of joe. Give each worker his or her choice of specialty coffee, or grab a carafe of gourmet brew to share with everyone.

9. Give the gift of flexible hours
It's the most wonderful time of the year, but it's also the most hectic. By giving the gift of flexible hours, you're showing your team members that you care enough to offer more time to do last-minute gift shopping, travel home for the holidays or simply spend time relaxing during this chaotic time.

Offer your employees the option to work flexible hours during the holiday season.
Offer your employees the option to work flexible hours during the holiday season.

10. Hand out an extra paid day off
If you want to take a step further, surprise your workers with an extra paid day off. Just send an email or make a phone call the night before. Much like the trusty meteorologist who just called to announce a snow day for the kids, you're going to make each team member's night.

11. Provide company swag
Want to give your workers a brand-inspired present? Insperity recommended handing out company apparel. This is a simple and inexpensive, yet thoughtful way to say thank you around the holidays.

12. Give out a holiday bonus
You can give out dozens of trinkets, kind words and meals to your employees, but they likely won't react in the same manner if they received a monetary holiday bonus instead. You know your workers have spent plenty of their hard-earned paycheck on Christmas gifts this year – so consider giving them a little extra.

13. Offer a raise
If an employee has hit incredible numbers for your business since January, now's the perfect time to consider that raise. Think of the joy and light you'd bring to his and her life – a raise around Christmas time means a stress-free holiday season, which few and far between can come by.

5 ways to cut costs for your limo business

As a business owner, you know that following a strict budget is key for success, especially while you're still establishing yourself. But between supplying a fleet, taking care of maintenance costs and fueling your limos, the bills are going to add up fast. So how can you cut back while improving your monthly revenue? It's simple – just follow these tips:

1. Cut your fleet size
Consider the current size of your fleet. Do you use all of your limousines on a regular basis? Do you need more than a few to fulfill business? If not, Noobpreneur.com suggested cutting a few from your roster. That'll save you about $5,000 per vehicle! Not to mention the money you'll make by selling it.

2. Encourage fuel efficiency
Fuel might not be as costly as it was in the past, but it's still an expense you can't exactly avoid. To make sure you're getting the most bang for your buck, encourage your drivers to be more conscious about fuel efficiency. Driving the speed limit, getting the limos serviced regularly and adding minimal weight to the cabin can ensure an improvement in your fleet's fuel economy, according to American Limousine Sales. 

3. Keep up with maintenance services
When you neglect to maintenance your vehicles on a regular basis, they're more likely to breakdown and cost a fortune to restore. Make sure you're taking the limos in for oil changes, tire rotations, belt replacements and other necessary services. Consult your mechanic for a proper fleet maintenance service schedule.

4. Educate your drivers to make wise decisions
Your drivers are going to make a lot of decisions while they're on the road. To prepare them, you need to train each chauffeur properly. Transportation management consultant Andy Ahern told Truckinginfo.com that educating your drivers will help them make thousands of decisions that affect variable costs on a daily basis.

"Think of them as general manager or president of their own business, then think about the tools and training you need to provide them," he said.

Set high standards and goals for your employees so you can rest assured knowing they're respecting your budget, but more importantly, your company as a whole.

5. Start using limo software
Growing your revenue should be just as important as cutting costs for your limo business. If those are both your top priorities, then it's time to consider using Limo Anywhere. For a low monthly cost, we can help you take your business to the next level. With the software, you can connect with your passengers via mobile app and communicate with drivers while they're on the road.

You can streamline your entire business by managing your scheduling, dispatch and booking, all in one place. Furthermore, you'll build your global network without putting a dent in your budget. Save money and grow your business by choosing the preferred software of over 4,000 livery services: Limo Anywhere.

6 tips for improving customer service in your limo business

In order to become a successful limo business, your chauffeurs need to be masters of quality and customer service. The way your staff members interact with your clients has a large impact on the fate of your company. By hiring passionate drivers who take pride in work ethic, you'll provide customer service that's nothing short of impressive.

Your customers have chosen your company over others for a reason. Prove to them that they made the right decision by training your drivers properly and providing an untouchable experience to your clients. Here are six tips for improving customer service in your limo business:

1. Determine strict employee company policies
Above anything, you need to set strict company policies and make certain your drivers understand these rules across the board. Consistency between chauffeurs is key and the difference between making a return on investment and losing clients.

2. Teach your drivers to be approachable and available
Your drivers should be reachable at any given moment when they're on the clock. Forbes contributor Sunday Steinkitchner said this is one of the easiest ways to build strong relationships with your customers. Teach the importance of being approachable and available to keep your chauffeurs from making a bad impression for the company.

Your customers will return if they have a great experience with the driver.
Your customers will return if they have a great experience with the driver.

3. Utilize social media outlets
Make the face of your company attractive, approachable and high-quality. To make this happen, consider revamping your Facebook page and other social media outlets. These public sites are great sources of information for your new potential customers to get an idea of how you run your limo business. Keep your pages updated and relevant to gain new clients and always encourage customer engagement.

4. Ask for feedback
Whether you set up a comment section on your website or ask users to provide concerns on your Facebook page, you should always be interested in receiving feedback from customers. This allows you to get a better understanding of where your company excels and where you need to make improvements. This also strengthens the relationship your company has with clients, as long as you take the feedback and learn from it.

Take customer feedback seriously and learn from it.
Take customer feedback seriously and learn from it.

5.  Always take responsibility for wrong doings
Once customers express their concerns, make certain your drivers understand the importance of taking responsibility for their actions. Not only will this impress passengers, it'll likely push your staff members to work harder and make improvements for the company. 

6. Provide quality limo software
If you want to grow your business and increase consumer interactivity, you need to consider limo software. Limo Anywhere, for example, allows you to turn your business into a user-friendly gateway to your services. Customers can make reservations through the software, which allows you to keep track of booking, scheduling and dispatch. Your passengers will be able to communicate with drivers and track ride progress before getting picked up. All in all, limo software can help you build your global network, increase user productivity and help you maintain high standards and relationships with your clients.

So what are you waiting for? Click here to learn about how your business would benefit from Limo Anywhere.

8 qualities of an impressive employee

Before welcoming any new team members to your business, it's important to set employee standards. There are a number of traits that make the ideal candidate for any company. As you interview potential staff members, be on the lookout for someone who possesses the following qualities:

1. Leadership
Does the candidate seem like someone who will bring a lot of new ideas to the table? If he or she shows that the willingness to invest in the future of the company, Forbes contributor Ken Sundheim said the person will make a great fit.

2. Intelligence
The potential team member should have a great understanding of the industry. If he or she already knows a thing or two about your company, that's a bonus.

3. Confidence
A confident employee will take on the tasks and difficult issues other team members are not comfortable with.

A confident employee will show an impressive resume and discuss past work.
A confident employee will show an impressive resume and discuss past work.

4. Ambition
If the candidate has an ambitious personality, he or she will be more likely to come up with monumental ideas that help your company grow.

5. Integrity
If you don't hire a team of honest employees, your company could lose credibility. Find someone who has strong moral principles and will bring authenticity to your business.

6. Discipline-oriented
Every work day isn't going to be a piece of cake, and the interviewee needs to know that. According to the Houston Chronicle, an employee who is discipline-oriented is committed to the company and determined to complete assignments, rain or shine.

7. The ability to work with a team
Get an understanding of his or her past experience and find out how well he or she works with a team. Great social skills – with other employees and outside clients – are a must.

8. Focus-driven
A person who is self-motivated and thrives on proving other people wrong makes the ideal candidate, according to Inc. Magazine contributor Jeff Haden. An impressive employee is someone who is always willing to go above and beyond for the company.