3 reasons your business should be on Twitter

With the stunning rate at which technology develops these days, it can be hard to keep up with the newest trends, products and platforms. One aspect of the Internet you’ve likely heard of is social media. Sites like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest have been around for years, but are only just now being explored by businesses.

One of the most popular social platforms is Twitter. This service dedicates itself to “microblogging,” restricting users to posts of 140 characters or fewer. This may not sound like a very useful tool for your business, but you’d be surprised at how effective a solid social media strategy including Twitter can be. Here are three reasons you should seriously consider moving your business to Twitter.

Twitter

Twitter has grown from a social space to an invaluable tool for businesses.

 

It’s not about selling, it’s about conversing
Traditional advertising wisdom says that your products and services should be front and center in your communication with potential customers. But business and marketing has changed, and if you adhere to these older conventions you’ll fall behind quickly.

In the age of social media, companies are more concerned about establishing a brand personality than with simply hawking products. Your clients know what services you offer, but what’s really important to consumers these days is what your business is like. Twitter is a great tool for establishing a brand identity outside of just “buy our products,” as it allows you to converse with your customers in real time. In fact, your interactions don’t even have to relate directly to your business. Discussing current events or even pop culture can be a way to get people interested in you not as a company selling a product, but as an entity they can relate to.

U.S. News & World Report suggested the “80/20” rule to govern this: around 80 percent of your Twitter content should relate to issues your audience is interested in, with only 20 percent of your content dedicated to promotions or direct sales tactics.

Feedback is key
You may be surprised to hear that some of the most influential moments in a customer’s interaction with a company occur when there’s a problem. Regardless of your efforts, you’re going to have unsatisfied clients at some point. The trick is to improve communication channels so your clients feel like they have the ability to address their concerns with you.

This is one of the biggest benefits of the instant nature of Twitter. Users can send tweets directly to your account that you can then respond to. This gives a whole new immediacy to the idea of the suggestion box, as you may even receive a tweet from an upset customer while he or she is still in one of your cars! It may seem overwhelming, but it’s a blessing in disguise. This immediate feedback gives you a chance to demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction by replying to these concerns in a timely and professional way. Believe it or not, this type of quick resolution may leave customers with even more of a positive impression than before the problem arose.

You need to connect
Every business needs clients, which means you need to be visible. Fortunately, the days of pounding the pavement are all but over. Now, you can use Twitter to connect with not just prospective clients, but other companies and professionals in your industry who are influencers and thought leaders.

These connections are crucial – not only can they directly increase your client base, but connecting with other businesses via the Web and social media is quickly becoming the new method of networking for organizations. In other words, if you don’t dive into Twitter and start communicating, you’re closing the door on your own success.


 

Communication strategies for the limo business manager

Ever feel like you talk and no one listens at work? As the manager or owner of a limo company, this is not only incredibly frustrating, but it’s also detrimental to your business’ success. But before you blame your employees, consider whether the way you’re communicating is contributing to the problem. Sometimes it may not be that your staff was ignoring what you asked of them, but rather that they simply didn’t understand the expectations that you had.

To ensure that your business is as successful as possible, make sure that you’re communicating clearly with your employees while on the job.

Be direct and specific
As a manager, one of the most important ways you can increase the effectiveness of your communication with employees is to be direct and specific. According to Forbes magazine, vagueness is all too common in the workplace. If you need your employees to do something by the end of the day, don’t just ask them to do it when they have a chance. Tell them what the task is, how you want it done and give them the specific time you need it accomplished by. Being clear when you communicate will eliminate a lot of frustration for everyone involved.

Ask for a summary
If you aren’t sure that your employee understood what you said – or was even listening in the first place – ask him or her to give a summary of what you just said. That way you’ll be sure that your point was communicated and received effectively. This strategy works both ways. If an employee tells you something and you aren’t entirely sure you understood what he or she said, give a recap of the conversation and ask if what you said was accurate.

When you give an employee a task, make sure he or she fully understands the responsibility.

When you give an employee a task, make sure he or she fully understands the responsibility.

Don’t forget to listen 
While clear communication is important, so is listening. To be a good manager, you need to give your employees a voice as well. According to U.S. News & World Report, people are often too busy preparing their own response or interrupting to really listen to what the other person is saying. Give your staff the courtesy of listening well to their concerns and contributions and they will likely do the same when you speak.


 

Grow your limo business with online booking tools

If you’ve been in the limo business for a while, you’re probably accustomed to booking rides for clients over the phone or perhaps even in person. But with increased Internet use in the business world, many limousine services are now taking their booking online using specially designed limo software. Hesitant to change a system that’s worked in the past? Consider these reasons why online booking software is critical for growing your business.

Reach a new demographic
If you’re interested in making your business appeal to the up-and-coming generation of business travelers, online booking is a must. Millennials are accustomed to doing everything from banking to grocery shopping from the convenience of their computer or smartphone. And this demographic is already traveling for business more often than older colleagues, according to Forbes magazine, making them a smart target for expanding your business. Giving your clients the option to book via the Internet will help you compete with rideshare programs and other services that are already online.

Enhance customer service 
Online booking will also enhance the customer service that you are able to provide to your clients. For example, Internet reservation systems can make it easier on customers when they have to make a change to an existing reservation, USA TODAY reported. It also allows people to make reservations outside of normal business hours. Not only will this convenience give your business a reputation for great customer service, but it will also allow clients to book with you who are not necessarily available to call before your office closes.

Travelers will appreciate the flexibility provided by online booking.

Travelers will appreciate the flexibility provided by online booking.

Spend time growing your business 
Once you’ve successfully implemented your online booking software, the program will take care of a lot of the work that you may have done in the past. This will free you up to spend time on more entrepreneurial pursuits in growing your limo business.

If the thought of offering online booking sounds intimidating, don’t panic. When you use software from Limo Anywhere, not only will we help you turn your website into a state-of-the-art online reservation system, but we will also be available to provide support every step of the way. Call our free information hotline at 888-888-0302 or visit our website for more information.


 

Five ways to appeal to business travelers

According to the Global Business Travel Association, global business travel spending is expected to hit a record $1.25 trillion USD in 2015. That’s a 6.5 percent increase from 2014. As the owner or manager of a limo service, that makes business travelers a highly desirable market for your company.

To increase the success and profits of your business, use these five tips to attract road warriors to your service.

Offer an incentive
If you want to attract business travelers, let them know that you’re interested. Consider running a promotion for business travelers who use your service for the first time or plan a marketing campaign that specifically targets local businesses.

Provide flexibility
Business travel is stressful, so any flexibility that you can provide your clients will be appreciated. If you are picking up your client at the airport, ask for the flight information so that your driver can track the flight and be ready when the plane lands. A business traveler who is running late may be inconvenient for your limo service, but working with his or her schedule will foster good will that will likely win you a return trip.

Mix business and pleasure 
While your clients may be traveling for business, that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to be transported in comfort. Forbes magazine reported that 9 in 10 people mix pleasure into every business trip that they embark on. Providing your clients with a little extra comfort will go a long way in creating customer satisfaction. Whether you provide a large, luxurious back seat or a refreshing bottle of sparkling water, little perks will make the experience an enjoyable one for the road warrior.

Make sure that the cars in your fleet offer plenty of room for business travelers who want to work while in transit.

Make sure that the cars in your fleet offer plenty of room for business travelers who want to work while in transit.

Ensure privacy
Most business travelers appreciate their privacy. Make sure that your chauffeurs are trained to be friendly, but maintain professional boundaries. You should additionally take measures to ensure that the privacy of your clients’ travel information and credit card numbers are protected.

Give something extra
When catering to business travelers, you may encounter some clients from out of town. Be sure that your chauffeurs are familiar with local restaurants, bars and other hotspots so they can make recommendations for travelers who are new to the area. Your customers will appreciate the extra service.


 

Train your chauffeurs in customer service

While you may be the one pulling the strings for your limo service, your chauffeurs are the face of your company. For better or for worse, your drivers are the ones that your clients interact with most frequently, so the impression they’re left with is impacted by the service that your chauffeurs provide. To ensure that this impression is a favorable one, use these strategies to train your drivers in the finer points of customer service.

Make service a priority
If customer service is a priority in your limo business – and it should be – it’s important to emphasize that to your employees from the start. Create a training program for all new hires to help them master the customer service climate of your company.

When designing this program, the Small Business Chronicle recommended first identifying the needs of your clients. Knowing what your customers expect from a chauffeur will help you train your employees in a way that will create a positive experience. It may be helpful to hand out feedback cards or create a survey to learn more about the expectations of your clientele.

The format of your training program should be tailored to meet the needs of your company. If you see areas that need significant improvement, consider hiring a professional to give a seminar, or purchase or create training videos. Even if you believe that your employees are doing well in the area of customer service, you should at least write down your standards and make sure that your chauffeurs are familiar with the expectations. Have each person study and sign a copy, or hang a framed copy in an easily accessible location.

Ask clients for feedback to improve your customer service.

Ask clients for feedback to improve your customer service.

Look for ways to improve
Once you’ve created a training program, your work isn’t done. You should always be looking for ways to improve your company’s client experience. Regularly review the performance of your staff, whether by observing them in action or asking for feedback from customers. If you identify common areas for improvement, hold a staff meeting to discuss the issues.

Your business may benefit from occasionally providing incentives for great customer service. Consider creating an employee of the month program where the chauffeur with the best client feedback gets a gift card, extra long lunch break or other reward.


 

Three ways limo software can help your business

Twenty years ago you didn’t need a computer to run a business. A decade ago you still may have been able to get away without one. But today you aren’t doing yourself any favors if you aren’t using a computer to run your company. According to the Small Business Chronicle, businesses that are not using computers are at a disadvantage compared to their competitors.

When it comes to expanding your business, investing in limo software is a strategic move for increasing efficiency and organization. If you haven’t tried using software as part of your business strategy, consider these three reasons to use the technology in your company.

Access your information anywhere
While there’s nothing necessarily wrong with keeping all of your business information with pen and paper, the method doesn’t have the benefits offered by business software. By using cloud-based limo software to keep your company’s financial and client records, you’re able to access them at any time and place from a computer. That can be incredibly convenient when you’re traveling for business or need to check a number after hours from your home.

Increase organization 
Tired of thumbing through files to find the information that you’re looking for? Organizing your business with limo software allows you to find the information that you need with just a click of a mouse. It can be especially helpful for your finances. Fox News reported that businesses can benefit from being able to dump data straight into spreadsheets or compare numbers from previous years, which are harder to do when your records are on paper.

File cabinets can be a thing of the past when you use limo software.

File cabinets can be a thing of the past when you use limo software.

Use your time wisely 
As a business owner or manager, your time is valuable. Consequently, you shouldn’t be spending most of the day on administrative tasks. Limo software makes administrative tasks simpler and less time-consuming, giving you more time to focus on growing your business.

At Limo Anywhere, we are proud to offer you the perfect software solution for your limo business needs. Our software helps you manage customer invoices, process payments, organize client information, manage rides and more. Contact us for a free demonstration to see if Limo Anywhere software is right for you.


 

The importance of closing the deal

While it’s important to have business strategies for creating new leads and courting new clients, it won’t make an impact on your bottom line until you close the deal. When you’ve identified a potential client and piqued interest in your services, what you do next is critical.

First, CBS News recommended looking at closing a deal as a series of points rather than one ultimate decision. Instead of pushing for that final yes, come up with a series of goals, such as determining who the decision-maker is and getting an opportunity to make a pitch. Focusing only on closing the deal can make you seem too aggressive.

During this process, Entrepreneur magazine reported that it is important to negotiate from a place of strength, rather than a place of greed or need. Be confident in your product. When managers are too desperate to make a sale, they can slash the price too early, giving the potential client the upper hand. It’s much harder to raise prices later on, so don’t be afraid to ask for a fair deal.

Getting face time with a company's decision-maker is a good step toward landing a sale.

Getting face time with a company’s decision-maker is a good step toward landing a sale.

It may seem gimmicky, but the Houston Chronicle reported that it doesn’t hurt to throw in something for free. An offer as small as 10 percent off their first ride or a free product may be just enough to sweeten the deal for potential clients who are hesitating before signing. Just make sure that you make it clear that the offer is only good if they sign that same day.

And don’t forget the finishing touches: a confident smile and firm handshake. If you seem at ease, your potential clients will be as well.


 

How to increase customer referrals

Even with the increased use of the internet in advertising, there’s still something to be said for promoting your limo company by word-of-mouth. Few things sell people on a business as effectively as a recommendation from someone that they trust. To expand your client base, increase the number of referrals you receive from your current customers.

Be specific
Entrepreneur magazine reported that a best practice when asking for a referral is to try to narrow your focus. Instead of asking, “Do you know anyone who would like to hear more about our services?” ask, “Do you have any colleagues who you think would be interested in using a limo service?” When you ask more generally, your customers will likely be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of people that they know and no one person will stand out. Narrowing the field will force your customers to think of specific people that they know, increasing the likelihood that a particular name or two will come to mind.

It’s also important to be specific about how you would like referrals. Do you have a form for customers to fill out? Is there an option on your website? Ensuring that your customers know how you want the referral will increase the odds that they’ll actually follow through.

When a customer compliments your business, it can be the perfect time to ask for a referral.

When a customer compliments your business, it can be the perfect time to ask for a referral.

Be generous
Providing incentives for referrals can be an extremely effective strategy. Forbes magazine reported that that two words are key: serious value. Offer your customers something that they actually want and will use, whether it’s a gift card to a popular local restaurant or a discount on their next ride. Don’t be afraid to try offering different incentives to see which your customers respond to best.

For the best results, create a time limit to whatever benefit you’re offering. If you offer a $50 rebate for referrals during a particular week, your customers will be less likely to forget than if it’s an open-ended possibility.

Be thankful
If you want referrals, it’s important to to thank customers who recommend your business to others. Whether it’s a gift or a hand-written note, be sure that they know how much you appreciate their confidence in your limo service. It may be tempting to just send out an automated email, but taking that extra step with a hand-written thank you will create a much better impression, further fostering that relationship.

When you receive a new client, make sure to ask how they heard about your business. If they were referred by another customer, take the time to properly thank that client. They will likely be impressed that you put in the effort to recognize them and be more likely to continue sending referrals your way in the future. Your customers are the strongest testimony to the services you provide, so be sure that they know they are valued.


 

Four ways to use social media to grow your business

Social media isn’t just a good way to reconnect with old friends. It’s also an extremely powerful tool for business growth. Effective social media use can help you connect with current and potential clients and improve the visibility of your business.

1. Choose popular platforms
An important step for using social media to grow your business is to identify the platforms your audience is using, The Huffington Post reported. To increase your visibility to potential clients, you need to create a presence wherever they spend their time. Don’t hesitate to ask clients what kind of social media they use and whether they would find it helpful to connect with your business through that platform. You also might want to consider advertising on those platforms to make sure your online marketing is reaching your target audience.

2. Connect with your audience
Social media is a great way to connect with both current and potential clients. Engage your target audience by posting content that asks questions. Forbes magazine reported that users more likely to engage with a post when it poses a question. Social media creates the opportunity to connect with your audience apart from the time when they’re using your services.

social media engagement

Out of sight doesn’t have to mean out of mind. Use social media to engage with your audience from their computers.

3. Create valuable content
An effective way to build trust in your company is to provide content that is valuable to your followers. For example, as a limo company, you might want to create a post with tips for business travel to engage potential clients in that audience. Look at what your competition is doing to engage possible customers and make sure that you’re doing it better. According to Forbes magazine, having the best content will help bring in more customers and money to your business.

4. Ask for feedback
If you aren’t asking for feedback via social media channels you aren’t using the technology efficiently. Posts are a great place to ask clients what they think of your services and see if they have any suggestions for how you can improve as a business. You can also create surveys that can be completed online and promote the link to the questionnaire on a post encouraging customers to share their thoughts with you.


 

Five tips for detailing your limousines

For a limo service, appearance is everything. Consequently, detailing is an important part of ensuring a great customer experience. Careful detailing can go a long way in making sure that the cars in your fleet are in tip-top condition between regular washings.

Taking your detailing in-house can save money and give you greater control over the process. To make sure the job is done right, use these five tips for results that are sure to impress your clients.

1. Invest in a steam-cleaning machine

If you own several cars, a steam-cleaning machine is worth consideration. Steam cleaning is really one of the most effective ways to clean your carpets and any fabric upholstery, and it’s possible to find machines that will get the job done without breaking the bank.

2. Pay attention to interior details

Attention to detail will really set you apart from the crowd. Consumer Reports recommended using household items like makeup brushes, skewers and cotton swabs to clean hard to reach places like vents, cup holders and crevices. Use compressed air to clean out ducts.

detailing

3. Use the right materials

For washing the exterior, be sure that you’re using the best materials. You really can’t get away with using a single cloth or brush if you want to do the job right. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, use a stiff brush for the metal on the wheels, rags on the body, smaller brushes for areas like the headlights and side mirrors and a cotton cloth or chamois to dry. Avoid streaking on the windows by using newspaper rather than paper towels.

“Two coats of wax is considered best practice by professionals.”

4. Wax with care

When it comes to waxing, it’s important to avoid direct sunlight. Choose a cloudy day or park in the shade when you want to wash and wax the exterior to make sure that your car doesn’t dry too quickly, leaving streaks on the surface. To do the job like a professional, Popular Mechanics reported that two coats of wax is best practice.

Get some wax on rubber trim? Popular Mechanics recommended removing the stain using a little bit of peanut butter and a soft toothbrush. The oils will dissolve the wax, lifting the stain.

5. Repeat, repeat, repeat 
The simplest tip for successful detailing? Repetition. Even with the best care, your limos are going to come back from trips covered with dirt and other signs of the road. While a deep cleaning may not be necessary between every single ride, frequent attention to the details will help your cars to impress customers and stand the test of time.