3 tips to attract new customers this summer

One of the hardest parts of any successful limo company is customer retention and sales. While specific livery software can help improve the overall operations of your business, it will always take some extra finesse and skill to continue to grow your base. 

Thankfully, it is certainly possible. There are a number of tools and tricks you can use to keep customers coming in, especially as competition heats up in the space. Here are three tips to attract new customers to your limo company this summer:

1. Do some research
The first step toward a larger customer base is a bit of internal research. Specifically, you need to figure out exactly who your target audience is and what they want out of a limo company. While limos are desirable modes of transportation for several big events – proms and weddings, for example – they are still sought after in other areas. Figure out where this is by analyzing your existing customers that come to you year-round. Why are they using your company? Consider sending out surveys to current clients for some feedback. Learn what they like, and then you know what you can highlight in your marketing, promotions and sales efforts.

Looking at your business expenses is a great way to attract new customers.
Looking at your business expenses is a great way to attract new customers.

2. Review your finances
Believe it or not, an introspective look at your company's finances can actually help you attract new customers this summer. For instance, think about your margins. Where does your money go on a monthly or quarterly basis? How much are you investing in employee salaries and benefits? Fleet maintenance? Day-to-day operations? Odds are, there's an expense in there somewhere you can trim or cut. And once you find this expense, that means you now have a larger margin to in turn invest back into your sales and marketing efforts. And that is when you can start to bring in new customers.

3. Offer rewards and perks
Finally, one smart and simple way you can bring in new customers is with a bit of loyalty. Many top companies in all industries have rewards programs – you should as well. For example, you can have a program in place where repeat customers earn discounts. Or, you can host community events for return clients like potluck dinners or charity fundraisers. The possibilities are endless, but the overall message is that you value your customer base. Show them that. Once that happens, new customers will see the value of using your limo company over a competitor, and you'll start to grow this summer. 

4 savvy ways to boost employee engagement

Engagement is critical at top-tier limo companies – that’s why tools like limo dispatch software have become so useful over the years. With that said, what happens when you need to take engagement to the next level? You’ve got the tech basics down – your apps help you run your business from anywhere, at any time – but you know you need to improve the level of engagement your drivers and staff have with your business.

That’s where these four savvy ways to boost employee engagement come into play:

1. It begins with the boss
Think back to an old boss you had at the beginning of your career. Did you consider them a mentor? Were they good at doing their job? Odds are, you have some strong feelings about your previous supervisors, and for good reason. A manager can make or break a job. Therefore, you need to look inwards when you improve employee engagement. Senior leadership have to be supportive, active and engaged if they want their employees to follow suit. Create quality company values and embody them on daily basis. With this role model, it will be a lot harder to cultivate engaged employees within your limo company.

“Remember – engagement starts at the top.”

2. Embrace ideas and change
Few people know your business better than the staff members and drivers on the ground, working daily to deliver high-quality service to your customers. That’s precisely why you should listen to them. Engaged employees know that their voices are being heard. Many have great ideas to bring to the table, from new tech to benefits and rewards. Be comfortable listening to them and embrace what they have to say – this will only make them more engaged.

3. Reward production and quality
Most importantly, you need to actually reward great work – engagement is all about supporting quality, not just creating satisfied employees. For example, you can satisfy your team by paying them more. Will this grow your business? Will this create engagement? Perhaps, but probably not. Instead, you need to focus on top performers. Call out a job well done, highlight positive changes to your culture – connect high performance with your engagement, and you’ll show all employees a direction they should be striving toward.

4. Create a concrete strategy
Finally, you must build a strategy around engagement. Having a few ideas about what you want to do is a great first step, but you truly need to come up with a concrete plan to support your goals. Map out the benchmarks you want your employees to hit, any changes you want to see take place, and so on. Then communicate that clearly with your staff. This will give them clear insight into your expectations and what they can do to improve and become more engaged.

There you have it – four smart ways you can start building a culture of employee engagement within your limo company. Remember – these changes start at the top.


5 tips for saving energy in your limo office

While the majority of your business takes place on the open road, your limousine or livery operation likely still has an office or dispatch center, where staff members utilize limo reservation software and limo dispatch software to send drivers out on assignments.

One notable cost associated with running an office – especially if you are a small or startup company – is energy. The weather can be extreme in this country, with many areas experiencing long cold winters and hot humid summers. Extreme weather drives up the cost of heating and cooling, and that's not to mention the day to day costs of general electricity use.

Thankfully, there are a number of ways to use energy responsibly, in a cost-efficient and environmentally friendly way. So before you run that ac unit all summer long or keep the heating on high this winter, check out the list of five energy saving tips below:

1. HVAC maintenance
Your office will likely have a HVAC system that provides climate control throughout the year. Your HVAC system will be especially busy if your operation is located in a particularly warm or cold part of the nation. Given that HVAC systems are often working continuously, it's easy for them to suffer damage, wear or just generally become less efficient, which in turn could be costing you money. An effective solution, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, is to reach a maintenance agreement with the HVAC provider. Such a contract means that an inspector will come out and assess your system before the summer and winter months to ensure that it's working properly. For this small fee you can make sure that you save a significant amount of money in the long run. 

2. Keep lights off
It can be tempting to keep certain lights on, especially at night to ward off criminals. It's also likely that you have a few employees that are more than a little forgetful when it comes to turning off lights. But as Small Business Trends pointed out, turning off lights is one of the easiest ways to start making a dent in that energy bill. A great way to make sure that lights go off when necessary is to install a lighting system that turns on and off automatically when people walk in and out.

3. Switch off equipment
While this perhaps isn't practical during the week, make sure that all of your electronics – computers, printers, microwaves in the kitchen – are switched off, at the wall, over the weekend and especially on holidays, Conserve Energy Future argued. This is because even though a computer may be switched off, it still uses energy if it's plugged into the wall.

Switching off all outlets is an easy way to lower your energy bill.
Switching off all outlets is an easy way to lower your energy bill.

4. Keep temperatures reasonable
Just because it's boiling hot outside doesn't mean that your office needs to turn into the Arctic. Similarly, if it's cold out you don't necessarily need to crank the heat up to tropical levels. Select a temperature that is reasonable and then ask staff to dress accordingly. For example, an extra layer may be needed in the winter to stave off the chill and conversely your dress code may need to be relaxed in the summer, to accommodate for the warmer temperatures. An ideal room temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit – anything higher or lower, in any season, can add to your bill. Indeed, Conserve Energy Future noted that by adjusting your temperature by just one degree higher or lower than normal – contingent on the season – can save you almost 10 percent on your bill each year.

5. Keep windows closed
This should be a no brainer, but you'd be surprised how many employees will crack open the window for some fresh air. When your HVAC system is running, ensure that all windows remain closed at all times. Loss of heat and cool air through windows makes your system work harder, using more energy in the process, subsequently placing a strain on both the environment and your wallet. 

5 things your drivers shouldn’t discuss with passengers

Socializing can be a significant aspect of working as a limousine or livery driver. While some passengers may wish to sit in silence, read a newspaper or complete work on their laptops, others may wish to strike up a conversation. While a limousine driver should always politely assume that a passenger may want privacy at first, if the customer decides to open up the lines of the communication, then the driver should be encouraged to politely engage.

Simple chit chat may not be as harmless as it seems, however. There are a number of topics of conversation that your drivers should be taught to avoid, as they run the risk of causing offense and damaging your organization's reputation. When onboarding your next round of new employees, be sure to stress that they cannot discuss the following:

1. Politics
We're in the midst of one of the most fraught and contentious election cycles ever, and almost everyone has an opinion on who should be in the White House next. It's so important, however, that your driver fights the urge to discuss his political views, even if the passenger tries to engage him in such a discussion, U.S. News & World Report explained. This is because political talk has the potential to become tense or argumentative quickly if both sides do not agree, and there is ample opportunity for either party to take offense. If your driver articulates a political stance that also implies to some degree that your company may share the same opinion, which again is problematic, as businesses should try to stay as politically neutral as possible. Of course, if your limo booking software reveals that a passenger is a politician open to such discussions, then exceptions can be made! 

"Drivers should refrain from political discussions."

2. Religion
Much like politics, religious conversations are fraught with opportunity for either side to take offense. As About Careers explained, this is because religion is often a highly personal thing for each individual, and not everyone will see eye to eye. That's not to say that your driver shouldn't mention his religious affiliation at all. Rather, deep conversations about the topic should be avoided. 

3. Anything too personal
According to About Careers, your driver should be taught to refrain from asking his passengers anything overly intrusive or personal, especially anything that pertains to dating or sexuality, as the risk of a sexual harassment lawsuit will increase exponentially. Other personal topics that should be avoided include, health, disabilities, personal struggles, drug abuse and so on. Drivers should be able to use their discretion and best judgment as to what may or may not be okay. 

You've just hired a new driver. Now it's time to train him on the topics he should avoid while driving.
You've just hired a new driver. Now it's time to train him on the topics he should avoid while driving.

4. Money
Talking about money in any capacity is a big social faux-pas, Excelle detailed. Such a discussion can make a lot of people uncomfortable, and few passengers will enjoy disclosing their salary to your driver or conversely listening to how much he makes. 

5. Partying
Your driver shouldn't be talking about his partying habits. While social plans are generally a good neutral topic of conversation, your driver should refrain from boasting about how much alcohol he can consume or the last embarrassing thing he did on a night out, Excelle explained. While some passengers may find such a discussion amusing, many others may find it immature and/or take offense. Such behavior also reflects poorly on the company, even if it was conducted while your driver was off the clock. The safest course of action is to refrain from mentioning any behavior that could be considered crass or vulgar.

6 simple tips for improving your company website

It's the digital age and almost every component of running a successful business, big or small, relies on technology. For example, your limousine or livery business will likely utilize limo booking software to take customer reservations and dispatch software to send drivers out on assignment. There's also a chance that your operation now uses driver and passenger smartphone apps, so that customers can book trips conveniently.

Given that technology is becoming more sophisticated and patrons are now able to connect with your business via their smartphones it can be easy to overlook one of your more basic digital marketing tools – your company website. A vast majority of small businesses will have a website, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it is working the way it should. It's important to keep your organization's homepage fresh, up-to-date and easy to use. After all, your site is usually the first place potential new customers will look, and therefore its usability can win or lose you new business. 

So if you're looking to improve the website of your limousine or livery business, check out this list of six handy tips below:

1. Keep it simple
One of the most notable problems that many websites have is that they are overcrowded with information and awkward to use. The information on your page should be presented in a clear and concise way, with as little text as possible. Business News Daily stated that the most prominent points of information should be bolded and spaced out. Also, don't try to convey too much information in one area. It's better to have several shorter and easy to navigate landing spaces than just one or two lengthy pages crowded with text.

2. Make it mobile friendly
As discussed, smartphones are the future in terms of driving up customer engagement with your business. Therefore, if your company website isn't compatible with smartphones, or if it is awkward to use on a mobile, you will have a problem. As Fast Company reported, roughly half of all web-based searches actually first start on a mobile device, so it's important that a customer isn't turned off by your design. The source elaborated that the best way to make your company's website mobile friendly is through a process known as responsive design. Essentially all this means is that the website will shrink in accordance with the size of the smartphone that is being used to access it. Some companies may chose to have a separate mobile friendly website, but Fast Company explained that this can be less effective in terms of search engine optimization. 

"Half of all web-based searches first start on a mobile device."

3. Use white
The use of white on your website is actually a great way to improve the design, HubSpot stated. This is because it generally makes the text on your page easier to read. The source detailed that a white background can help hold a user's attention for longer as the content is usually more vibrant and eye catching. Conversely, darker colors or bright backgrounds can make your information appear less bold and captivating. 

It's important that your website is smartphone friendly.
It's important that your website is smartphone friendly.

4. Keep it new
Update your website as often as possible, whether that's with new content, such as blog posts or videos, or simply new advertisements promoting deals, offers and the like, Fast Company stated. If you neglect to update your website on a routine basis,  you send a message to your customers that you are not relevant or driven. A website with fresh content, however, signals that your business is successful and a leader in your area.

5. Chose the right images
Your website should have plenty of images that represent your company. Whether that's pictures of your fleet of limousines, or more general stock images designed to reflect your services, the images should be bright, captivating and consistent with the goals and values of your operation, Business News Daily stated. The source noted, however, that it's important to be aware of copyright laws, which may prevent you from utilizing certain pictures.

6. Social media
Your company will likely already have a social media presence, and if you don't it's time to build one! However, using social media properly entails more than just the occasional Facebook post or tweet. Your social media pages should be used to entice patrons to visit your company website, Small Business Trends asserted. It's important, therefore, to include clear links to your company's home page on your social media channels, as well as post content that will direct customers back to your site. Indeed, this is another reason why it's vital to keep your site updated with interesting and shareable content.

7 tips for dealing with difficult customers

We’ve all heard the old cliché “the customer is always right.” However, as anyone who has ever worked in a customer service capacity will tell you, that’s definitely not true. Some patrons will be unnecessarily rude or find fault with impeccable service. Some may even get angry or aggressive. While it can be easy to lose your cool in such situations, it’s imperative to remember that the company’s reputation is on the line if you overreact. It’s also vital to know how to stay safe, should a violent confrontation ensue.

That’s why it’s so important to find effective communication-based strategies for dealing with difficult customers in a cool, calm and collected way. This is especially necessary for a limousine or livery business as most of your staff will be out on the road, dealing with customers in a one-on-one capacity. So check out the list of seven tips below and draw up a difficult customer strategy that can be implemented at the company-wide level. It’s time to learn how to deal with with disgruntled customers!

1. Make sure you listen.
An effective way to diffuse a situation and prevent it from escalating it to calmly listen to what the customer is saying. Listening sounds simple enough, but it’s actually hard to do effectively. Most people listen half-heartedly, anticipating their next response. This technique can make you come across as argumentative and defensive. To truly listen, take in what the customer is saying and do not reply until he has finished what he has to say, Inc advised. While you may not agree, by simply listening, you are more open to honest and effective communication, which will more than likely help remedy the dispute.

2. Keep calm.
Again, this sounds like obvious and simple advice, but maintaining a calm facade can be incredibly challenging, especially in the face of overt aggression. And while you may think you are coming across as calm, the tone of your voice or body language may suggest otherwise. Keeping your cool then is in many ways tantamount to a performance. It’s important to monitor how loud your voice is, whether you sound friendly enough and whether you look neutral or annoyed.

“Keeping your cool is in many ways tantamount to a performance.”

The key to calming down an angry customer is to keep a level and even tone of voice, but also to speak firmly. Don’t equivocate or show uncertainty, as this will likely irritate the customer further, Entrepreneur observed. If you appear in control of the situation, he will likely settle down. It’s also necessary to look sympathetic, and not angry. Conversely, if you keep smiling or look too happy, the customer will likely think that you are not taking him seriously. It’s a fine line and a balancing act to get right.

3. Try to be empathetic.
This can again be difficult, especially if you believe the customer is wrong, but displays of empathy can go a long way in resolving a tense situation. Demonstrations of empathy include maintaining eye contact, expressing apologies and stating that you can relate to the customer’s struggle. With a display of empathy, the customer will more than likely calm down and be willing to listen.

4. Explain the situation.
If, for example, the patron is irate about a late pick up or canceled trip, it’s important to be honest and give a clear explanation as to why the situation arose, Chron.com explained. Customers will likely not appreciate unclear excuses. It’s important to be direct, clear and most importantly, apologetic.

Dealing with aggression can be challenging. It's important to remain calm and collected.Dealing with aggression can be challenging. It’s important to remain calm and collected.

5. Negotiate a solution.
If the above tactics are employed, more often than not the customer will be calm enough to begin negotiations for a solution, Inc explained. In such instances it’s important to remember the maxim mentioned earlier – “the customer is always right.” Essentially, do what you have to do to keep him happy, so that he will be more inclined to do business with you in the future and spread the good word about your operation. Whether it’s a free ride, or free monthly pass – whatever you lose in revenue you will make up for in protecting your reputation. After all, nothing can be more damaging to your bottom line than a bad review online or bad word of mouth.

6. Warn the customer.
In rare cases the above advice will fail to calm an aggressive customer. If he continues to get angry and uses aggressive language or behavior, it’s time to calmly issue a warning, Chron.com stated. Make it clear that angry behavior will not be tolerated and that security or the police will be involved if the aggression continues.

7. End the confrontation.
In exceptionally rare cases a customer may refuse to leave or become violent. Should this occur be sure to protect yourself by calling security and/or the police and walking away from the confrontation. No dispute is worth getting injured over.


3 tips for conducting an interview

A key component of the recruitment process is the formal interview. While this stage is usually handled by human resources or hiring managers in large operations, if your limousine or livery service is a small, family-run business, then the responsibility of interviewing new candidates will likely fall on your shoulders.

While it may seem like a straightforward process, conducting a truly effective interview is actually somewhat difficult. Some managers will enter an interview and then leave it without having gained any valuable insights into the candidate in front of them. It’s vital, therefore, to have a game plan in mind before you conduct the interview. There are a number of ways to brush up on and improve your interviewing skills.

Below is a quick guide of three tips for conducting a successful interview:

  1. Preparation is important
    Review the candidate’s resume in depth prior to the interview and also do some additional research online if possible. Check out his LinkedIn page and any business-related news stories you can find about him. Be careful not to explore too much on social media sites such as Facebook, however, as this kind of screening is still something of a legal gray area. From your research develop a set of questions that you think will be useful and relevant. For example, ask him what he enjoyed most about his prior job, and the kinds of destinations he drove to, or if he has any experience with limo software. The Wall Street Journal also advised that it’s a good idea to set up a time-frame or agenda. Have a rough idea of when the interview should be concluded. After all, both you and the candidate will likely have work or other commitments to get back to.

“Review the candidate’s resume in depth prior to the interview.”

  1. Create a friendly atmosphere
    You’ll likely learn more about your candidate if he feels comfortable and relaxed. It’s important, therefore, to hold the interview in a setting that is more conducive to relaxation, Robert Half explained. Perhaps choose a room with comfortable chairs, or an off-site location such as a coffee shop or local restaurant. According to Forbes, it’s also a good idea to start the interview with friendly questions that can help build a rapport. For example, ask the candidate how his journey over was, or where he grew up or went to school. It’s important to exercise caution here though. Certain lines of questioning could later prove to be legally problematic due to laws that protect characteristics such as age, race, gender and sexuality. So, for example, do not ask a candidate about his age or marital status.
There are a number of ways to improve the interview process.

There are a number of ways to improve the interview process.


  1. Make notes and listen
    This should be a no-brainer, but some interviewers spend much of the interview planning their next question in their head, or looking for potential faults with the candidate in front of them. As Forbes noted, it’s important to truly listen to a candidate’s response and ideally make notes. That way you’ll have a much clearer picture of the individual in front of you.  It’s also okay to let the conversation flow in an organic way. If the discussion veers off course, don’t try to bring it back on topic abruptly. To do so would be rude and counterproductive. Guide the conversation in a way that feels natural, but also try your hardest to ensure that you cover all the necessary points.


Background checks key to avoiding a bad hire

There are lots of things to consider when making a new hiring decision for your limo company: job advertisements, interviews, hiring contracts. The whole process can take a significant amount of time, money and effort, and this could pose a problem if you are looking to fill a position quickly. It’s often tempting, therefore, to ditch the background check stage.

But this could prove to be a poor decision for your company. If you skip the necessary background checks, you run the risk of making a bad hire, and such a move can be disastrous, not only for your operation’s bottom line, but also morale and reputation. Background checks, including a criminal background assessment, reference and educational background review are all necessary to ensure that you hire the very best candidates.

Below is a quick list of six reasons why a background check is key to avoiding a bad hire.

Saves you money
Depending on the size and scale of your limousine or livery operation, the cost of hiring a candidate who later proves to be unsuitable can run into the tens of thousands. According to Global HR Research, quoting a Career Builder survey, some 41 percent of employers have stated that making a bad hire had cost their organization over $25,000. Background checks significantly lower the risk of making a bad hire, saving your company money in the long run. With more money in the bank, your company will be able to invest in the very best technology like limo dispatch software.

“41% of employers said a bad hire cost them over $25,000”

Improves candidate quality
As Active Screening observed, conducting detailed background checks will ensure that you’re left with only the very best candidate pool to choose from. This is especially important in today’s competitive marketplace, where many candidates may be vying for your open position. In some cases, depending on the size of your operation, it could even be advisable to enlist the services of a staffing agency. Such organizations often have a vast professional network from which to source only the very best candidates for your open position.

Improves safety and security
Perhaps the most significant benefit of a universal background check is that it can improve the safety and security of your operation. As Hire Right explained, criminal background assessments and drug testing can highlight anything problematic in a candidate’s background. Opting to forego these screening measures increases the risk of hiring a potentially troublesome candidate, which in turn could pose a threat to the security of your business. Certainly, criminal background checks are incredibly vital for limousine and livery companies, because drivers will be interacting, often one-on-one, with customers. The safety of customers while in your care should be paramount, which is why opting out of a criminal background check can be a terrible decision.

Proves credentials
It’s necessary to check that the information presented on a candidate’s resume is accurate and up to date, Chron stated. It’s no surprise that many candidates embellish their credentials to land a position, so a detailed reference check can help confirm that what the candidate is presenting is actually true. Again, this is especially important given that you’re operating a limousine and livery business. All new drivers must have a license and experience. A credential background check can reveal whether a candidate has fabricated the extent of that experience.

Boosts employee retention
Hiring the right candidate for the job, with the help of background checks, can reduce the risk of a high employee turnover, Hire Right noted. With more knowledge about a candidate prior to making the hire, the less chance there is that you’ll want to let that candidate go in the future.

Decreases risk of lawsuits
As mentioned previously, your customers’ safety is in your hands from the moment they step into the limousine until the moment they step out. If your employee harms a customer in any way, either through negligence or criminal actions, you could be legally liable, Active Screening explained. That’s why it’s imperative to thoroughly check a candidate’s professional and criminal history before making a hiring decision.


7 ways to build customer loyalty

In today’s competitive marketplace, building a loyal customer base can be a challenge. This is especially true in the digital age, when ride sharing apps such as Lyft and Uber offer customers a convenient alternative to limousine service. But that doesn’t mean that cultivating and retaining a loyal group of customers is impossible. There are a number of simple ways to keep people coming back to your company time and time again.

Below is quick guide of seven ways to build customer loyalty for your limo or livery service:

Keep standards high
This should be an obvious tip, but a surprising number of companies, especially when operations expand, tend to let standards slide. The best way to ensure ongoing brand loyalty is to provide impeccable service every time, without exception.

Overcompensate for any mistakes
Mistakes happen. Your driver may be late for a pickup through no fault of his own, or the limousine may experience mechanical problems with a passenger on board, or you could accidentally overcharge a customer. The list of potential infractions are endless. And while some mistakes are unavoidable, you can deal with the issues in a way that will impress your customers and likely keep them coming back. The answer is to overcompensate, Inc stated. Whatever the problem is – big or small – go above and beyond to remedy the issue. For example, even if you are 10 minutes late for a pickup, offer the passenger a reduced rate or even a free ride. He or she will remember the gesture and will likely return.

Keep in touch with customers
It’s the age of social media and it’s time to get on board, if you haven’t already. Social platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, are a great way to engage with existing customers and attract new ones. The sites can be used to promote your services and offer deals. Forbes also suggested that an email campaign for your current customer base is a great way to keep people engaged with any company news or promotions that you are offering. Of course, ask the customer’s permission first. Few people enjoy unsolicited promotional emails.

“It’s the age of social media and it’s time to get on board.”

Reward references
Entrepreneur suggested that an effective way to keep customers coming back is to offer rewards or discounts to loyal customers who refer new patrons. The strategy is not only great for impressing current clientele, but it will also help you to build up your overall brand following.

Offer a smartphone app
If your company hasn’t developed an app for smartphones already, then it’s time to do so. In 2016 people value convenience above all else. By developing an easy smartphone app that your customers can use to make bookings, you’ll increase the number of individuals who stay loyal to your brand. For all your smartphone app needs, as well as dispatch software requirements, consider Limo Anywhere. Our passenger mobile apps are second to none in quality, offering users an easy way to book rides, pay fares and track drivers.

Offer a smartphone app for booking. Customers will value the convenience.

Offer a smartphone app for booking. Customers will value the convenience.

Ask for feedback
According to Forbes, it’s wise to ask customers about their experiences with your service. Not only does it demonstrate that you care, but it can also give you pointers for improvement. If a passenger is dissatisfied, make the necessary changes and then demonstrate to the patron that you have heeded his or her advice.

Keep it friendly
Build a rapport with frequent customers. Make an effort to remember their names and small details about their lives. Also put them on your birthday and holiday card list. They’ll appreciate the gesture.


5 tips for growing your limo business in 2016

In the digital age, platforms such as smartphone apps, software programs and the cloud have become integral to the success of any business, big or small. Technology is shifting and expanding at a rapid pace, and companies need to adapt to and embrace change if they want to remain relevant and successful.

Therefore, as we head further into 2016, it’s important to look at your limousine business and devise plans for improvement and growth. Consider expanding your online content marketing strategy for example, or developing a convenient smartphone app for your customers. Certainly, there are a number of ways to harness the power of technology to grow your limousine operations this year. Below is a quick guide to five of the most effective strategies:

Use software
Specialized software programs can help every aspect of your limo business, from dispatching drivers on assignments, to creating a comprehensive booking system for your website. Software platforms are making running a limo business considerably easier and it’s time to embrace the change – if you haven’t already! Consider the services of Limo Anywhere. Our software programs can help with almost every aspect of your business. Our dispatch software can be used to dispatch cars, manage your reservations, your payroll and your customer database. And our online booking software creates an easy online booking system for your customers to use.

Develop a smartphone app
Smartphone apps can be used for pretty much everything these days, from shopping to dating and even banking. We  are glued to our phones and they help manage almost every aspect of our lives. As a recent study from Pew Research Center revealed, a majority of Americans – some 64 percent – now own a smartphone. It should come as no surprise then that smartphone apps can help grow a business. Customers demand ease and convenience, so building an app for your limousine company that will allow your valued customers to make bookings and track reservations will boost the growth and success of your operations considerably.

Keep up with social media
In 2016, staying ahead of the game with social media marketing means doing more than just updating your company’s Facebook page. New social platforms are always emerging, and the preferences of your customer base will likely change. As Small Business Trends reported, platforms such as Snapchat and Periscope, for example, are now incredibly popular. Your company should stay on top of what social networks are hot and develop marketing strategies for each platform accordingly.

A multi-pronged approach to social media marketing that focuses on a number of sites is the best strategy, as different demographics tend to favor certain social media platforms. A survey from Jobcast found that Twitter is favored by young people – 45 percent of its user base is under 30 – while women prefer networks like Facebook and Pinterest. Pinterest is especially popular with women. The vast majority of its users – some 80 percent – are female!

Catering to smartphone users is an effective way to consolidate your customer base.

Catering to smartphone users is an effective way to consolidate your customer base.

Content is key
Content marketing is an effective way to attract new interest and retain a loyal customer base. A content marketing strategy typically involves the creation of a blog that covers articles on an array of topics pertinent to the interests of the customer base, as well as the industry. As Inc. noted, a content marketing strategy shouldn’t be limited to just writing a blog. Press releases, email campaigns and of course social media are all effective ways of keeping your customers informed and engaged.

Invest in customer relationships
Despite all the fantastic advances in technology, it’s important not to lose sight of the thing that matters most – the customer. But that’s not to say that technology can’t help you consolidate relationships with your customer base. Consider sending routine emails to your most valued customers, offering them unique deals or, better still, the occasional freebie! Special promotions can also be advertised on the company website and across social media, the Good Men Project detailed. The key is to keep customers feeling valued. If you focus your attention in this area, your business will likely grow.