The Backup Plan July 2014

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How To Pick An Executive Car Service (Part III)

Posted On: July 31, 2014

How to Pick an Executive Car Service

(Part III)


 

This concludes our three part tutorial on how to pick an executive car service.  These final three quesions are last but not least and number 17 may be the most important of all.  We hope that this information has been useful and education, and if any question have been left unanswered please feel free to give us a call at any time or email me directly at jkulick@allstarlimo.com.  Thank you.

15)   How much liability insurance does the company carry?  Is the passenger protected in the unfortunate event of an accident or injury?

16)   Are all the vehicles and drivers in compliance with the local DOT laws.  Do they have the proper insurances and Taxi and Limousine Commission licensing required to operate in the area? 

17)   After asking and investigating all of these questions go online and read the customer reviews.  What type of reputation does the company have?  Are they reliable?  People can falsify information and while customers may exaggerate, often times what their experience is not too far off from reality.

 

Any company looking to provide executive car service should answer these questions or some variation of them correctly and honestly.  All Star Limousine does all of these things are we are proud to be able to provide premier executive car service to some of the largest companies in the New York Metro area.  Consistency of service and flawless transportation are what we pride ourselves on.  When we pick you up we won’t let you down call us 24/7/365 and see for yourself!

 

All Star Limousine is a Long Island, New York based company with an extensive global reach; we provide expert Wedding, Special Event and Executive Travel services throughout the Tri-State area and the world. We have over 30 years of experience in the travel industry; our attention to detail, 2014 top-of-the-line vehicles and professional trained Chauffeurs set us apart from the rest!

 by Jarrad Kulick

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How To Pick An Executive Car Service (Part II)

Posted On: July 30, 2014

How To Pick An Executive Car Service (Part II)


 

7)   What type of insurance does the company carry?  It is important that the company owns all of their vehicles and insures all of their vehicles.  This provides them with an element of control and will also allow them to guarantee a certain level of service.  In addition in the case of an accident or mishap the proper insurance is in place.

8)   What amenities do these vehicles come equipped with?  Any vehicle rented out and used to transport VIPs should have drive cams and back ups cameras for safety, they should have real time GPS and as much technology available as possible in an effort to maximize comfort and efficiency.  The car should have an iPad in it for use by the customer and the driver; the vehicle of course should have an EZ pass.  The car should also have a tracking device installed so that the route that it is taking and the exact location can be immediately identified at all times.

9)   How quickly can I book a vehicle?  If necessary can I make arrangement for the same day?  For corporate travel often times arrangements must be made last minute, sometimes at the very last minute.  All Star Limousine has vehicles and drivers on stand by at several of the major hubs in the NY metro area.  They have drivers at LGA, JFK and Penn Station so that customers can book what is called a “ready now”, a last minute reservation that can be executed immediately.

10)    The company should have a streamlined and fast booking process.  The reservations should be able to be made online, or by phone and should be able to be confirmed instantly.  The reservation process should be able to be fully customized and profiles for each company and each traveler should be detailed and up to date.  These profiles should include information such as favored drivers or vehicles, home addresses and contact numbers and any other information that could be used to create a more pleasurable experience for the customer.

11)   Ask how long the company has been in business.  A company that has only been around a short period of time is something to beware of.

12)   Do not leave large deposits; a true executive car service should not require you to leave a large sum of money prior to the execution of the service.

13)   Make sure that the company does not sub contract out your work.  The term in the industry is “Farming out” you absolutely do not want a company to farm out your transfer, especially when it comes to corporate work.  You then have another company operating in the contracted companies name who may or may not care if the job goes well.

14)   Does the company have a back up plan?  In the event of unforeseen or unavoidable circumstance does the company have a counter measure?  God forbid the driver is hit by another car on the way to a pick up or has a blow out what kind of back up plan does the company have?  Do they have vehicles on stand by?  Do they have extra cars and drivers available?

 

All Star Limousine is a Long Island, New York based company with an extensive global reach; we provide expert Wedding, Special Event and Executive Travel services throughout the Tri-State area and the world. We have over 30 years of experience in the travel industry; our attention to detail, 2014 top-of-the-line vehicles and professional trained Chauffeurs set us apart from the rest!

 by Jarrad Kulick

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How To Pick An Executive Car Service (Part I)

Posted On: July 29, 2014

How To Pick An Executive Car Service (Part I)


 

 

Corporate travel is a very important aspect of business; think about it, if you can’t get to work nothing gets done, production stops.  Following this logic if a corporation is using an executive car service the transportation company must be 100% reliable.  If the car is late you will be late, if the car breaks down you miss your appointment.  It is important to select the right car service for your company, and below are 17 questions to ask when investigating the possibility of hiring an executive car service for your corporate travel needs.

 

1)   Ask the company what their hours of operation are.  A reliable executive car service will have true 24/7/365 dispatch and will not forward their calls to a call center.  This way if there is an issue or a question or a last minute change of plans (as there often can be in business) a call can be made at any time to make adjustments.

2)   The type of communication technology used is important.   It is illegal in most places to talk on your cell phone while driving.  A good company will have each of their drivers equipped with two way radios and iPads with the intention of streamlining communication.  This helps expedite the sharing of information and eliminates mis-communication over the phone.

3)   The type of confirmations and customer communication the company offers.  There is seldom such a thing as too much confirmation.  A job must be confirmed at least twice.  An alert should also be sent when the vehicle is on location or has arrived at the pre determined pick up spot.  This alert and the confirmation should be sent several ways, email, verbally over the phone and via text message.

4)   The vehicles are of course extremely important.  What type of vehicles does the company carry?  Do they offer a variety?  How new are they?  A company should also have a rapid turnaround time, in other words they should be replacing their vehicles at least every 18 months.  This guarantees clean, new cars with little chance for mechanical error.

5)   What type of maintenance does the company perform on their vehicles?  Do they have an on site mechanic?  Where are the vehicles kept?  Does the company have an indoor facility to protect their fleet from the elements?  Cars should be kept indoors and a company should have a mechanic on site at all times and on call 24/7.  With a quick turnaround time their vehicles should be under manufactures warrantee and should be serviced by the company that built them.  This way you know the car service is not sending their vehicles to the unknown neighborhood mechanic who may or may not be capable of correcting any problems.  The company should of course perform routine maintenance on all of their vehicles to maximize efficiency and performance.

6)   What is their hiring process for chauffeurs?  How are drivers selected and trained?  What do they wear?  Corporate chauffeurs should wear black suits and should be thoroughly vetted and tested for logistical and geographic knowledge.  They should have all of the proper licensing and have taken all the necessary training courses required to be a professional chauffeur.  They should be intimately familiar with the areas that they service as well as be trained in communications and customer service.  They should be drug tested and background checked and properly insured by the company they work for. 

 

All Star Limousine is a Long Island, New York based company with an extensive global reach; we provide expert Wedding, Special Event and Executive Travel services throughout the Tri-State area and the world. We have over 30 years of experience in the travel industry; our attention to detail, 2014 top-of-the-line vehicles and professional trained Chauffeurs set us apart from the rest!

 by Jarrad Kulick

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Common Workplace Mistakes

Posted On: July 25, 2014

Common Workplace Mistakes


 

 

So many of us today consider ourselves careerists, dedicated and engaged employees looking to climb that corporate ladder.  Some us us boast that we haven’t taken a sick day since 1989, or even though we get two weeks of PTO we only took two days last year.  In our minds these may seem like the type of things our bosses want to hear but in reality they can be very counter productive.  Below are several things research has shown actually decrease productivity some of these may surprise you.

 

Taking your time getting to work, hitting the snooze button a few extra times isn’t doing you any favors.  Get in to work early, even if you don’t have a set schedule.  Employers tend to take stock of their people earlier in the day and note those that seem to be in place during the morning hours.  Also arriving to work ahead of schedule gives you a few moments to gather your thoughts and not frantically begin to work.

 

Do something other then check your email when you first get to work.  Research has shown that checking your email first thing in the morning actually reduces productivity.  It is easy for one to get bogged down in a sea of digital mail, attack a goal orientated issue first thing as getting something done, even something small, at the start of your day is the best way to get going.

 

Try not to multitask unnecessarily.  Many of us like to take on five or six tasks simultaneously but your brain is not designed to handle that type of workload.  It is fine to do a few menial things at once but give your full and undivided attention to the jobs that need it.

 

Sitting is the new fast food, if you work in an office and you are at your desk all day make sure you stand and stretch or walk around for a few moments.  Not only is sitting bad for your body in general it drastically reduces productivity and gives your body a false sense of being relaxed or “switched off”.

 

Take breaks and go on vacation.  We need to experience what we are working for.  It is important to decompress and put work aside.  This will allow your body to recharge and when you return to work you will have a fresh perspective and a new sense of purpose.

 

Make sure you do the things you like.  Develop or pursue a hobby, have a drink, read a book.  Nurturing your creative interests has been shown to drastically increase productivity.  Investing your mental energies in something not work related has been shown to make you a better worker.

 

Some of these things may seem like slacking off, but I assure you they are not.  It is absolutely necessary to maximize production and some of the best ways to do so are listed above.  Take time off when you need it, do not multitask unnecessarily, and take care of yourself physically and mentally.  Avoid these common workplace mistakes and watch your productivity soar.

 

All Star Limousine is a Long Island, New York based company with an extensive global reach; we provide expert Wedding, Special Event and Executive Travel services throughout the Tri-State area and the world. We have over 30 years of experience in the travel industry; our attention to detail, 2014 top-of-the-line vehicles and professional trained Chauffeurs set us apart from the rest!

 

by Jarrad Kulick

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How to Choose a Limousine Service for Your Wedding (Part Two)

Posted On: July 23, 2014

How to Choose a Limousine Service for Your Wedding (Part Two)


 

Ask about the company’s chauffeurs.  A wedding chauffeur should do more then just drive that day.  They should coordinate with the photographer, they should help with your dress, they should take the flowers from the church, they should help the guys with their boutonnieres and pocket squares, they should help hold doors at the church and help arrange the pew bows during the ceremony.  That is only the beginning, your driver is there to help facilitate the day and keep you on schedule, he or she should be experienced and professional and dressed in a black tuxedo.  Your limousine driver will be with you during some of the more stressful moments of your wedding day and they should know their job, they should be intimately familiar with the logistics of your day as well as the geographic areas that they are servicing.  The last thing you want to happen on your wedding day is to get lost on the way to the church.

 

If you are interested in renting an antique or vintage vehicle as a lead car make sure you go and look at the vehicle you are interest in.  We have all heard the horror stories about these vehicles breaking down, having no heat or AC or not showing up at all and shockingly this happens often.  The reason is that these vehicles are very expensive and difficult to maintain, the only way to properly do it is to put new engines and electrical systems into these vehicles, this way preventative maintenance can be performed and reliability and functionality can be guaranteed.  These vehicles should be housed indoors, not under an awning or some tarp and they should either have the interiors redone regularly and or be detailed weekly.  A real antique will not be inexpensive, these vehicles cost upwards of $100,000 to purchase and then almost half that again to properly refurbish.  If someone offers you a cheap vintage vehicle beware, as you will be better off omitting that aspect of your transportation as opposed to taking the chance on something that is likely to show up looking like a rusting hunk of metal or not show up at all.

 

Research the company, as you should with all your wedding vendors, read the online reviews past brides and grooms have left about the business.  This will give you the truest information about how a company operates, how long it’s been in business and how it handles it’s problems.  It is true that it is impossible to please everyone, some people are just extremely difficult and the law of averages dictates that sooner or later something will not go 100% according to plan.  Does the company have a back up plan?  Do they guarantee a customer’s satisfaction?  These are questions that should be answered by asking the right people and doing the proper research.

 

Ultimately the transportation on the day of your wedding is as important as everything else.  It should be booked early, after the potential companies have been researched thoroughly.  You should make sure you visit your limousine company and see their operation, check out their vehicles and ask about their drivers.  Professionalism, quality and experience are absolutely paramount for providing good service on the day of your wedding.  A hiccup with the transportation on your big day has the potential to ruin everything, put the required time into booking your wedding limousine!

 

All Star Limousine is a Long Island, New York based company with an extensive global reach; we provide expert Wedding, Special Event and Executive Travel services throughout the Tri-State area and the world. We have over 30 years of experience in the travel industry; our attention to detail, 2014 top-of-the-line vehicles and professional trained Chauffeurs set us apart from the rest!

 

by Jarrad Kulick

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How To Choose A Limousine Service For Your Wedding

Posted On: July 18, 2014

How to Choose a Limousine Service for Your Wedding (Part One)


 

Your wedding day is quite possibly the most important day of your life.  For many this is the day they have dreamt of since they were children.  With that said as great a day as it can be it can also be an incredibly stressful event to plan and to execute.  So many different elements and facets  and involved and it all costs so much money.  The photography, the DJ, the Venue, the dress, and of course the transportation.  Often times the transportation arrangements for your wedding day are saved until the end of the planning process.  Unfortunately it seems to be something that is not highly prioritized.  It is important to understand that without the limousine company your not going anywhere or doing anything, and that a snag in the logistics of your day has the potential to ruin everything.

 

This article is not meant to instill fear it is designed primarily to inform and to make future brides and grooms aware of the potential dangers of booking a less then reliable car service for their wedding.   Several things to look out for when booking limousines for your wedding include unprofessional establishments and representatives.  If you go to the limousine company and its based out of someone’s garage or they ask to meet you in a parking lot to show you the vehicle run the other way.  Without a proper base of operations a service cannot run 24/7/365 last minute changes cannot be made and god forbid there is a problem who is there to address it?  This is a luxury service that takes money to guarantee a satisfactory experience, a small operation is fine for a night out on the town or maybe for your prom (although I would put me kids in a vehicle that was dispatched out of someone’s garage) but definitely not for your wedding.

 

Make sure the company owns and insures all its vehicles.  This might sound stupid but there is a term in the industry called “Farming Out” this means sub-contracting out a job to another company or an independent operator.  You do not want someone farming out your wedding transportation. Primarily this is because then you have another company operating under the first companies name and they don’t’ care if something goes wrong because it is not their reputation at stake.  In addition a job gets farmed out normally because a company over books at the last minute and then scrambles to get a job covered, sometimes they will take any vehicle they can find regardless of the make or condition.

 

When you go to visit the company (and make sure you go to visit the limousine company, this is not something that should not be booked over the phone) make sure you see the vehicles that you are contracting for.   Many companies advertise vehicles they do not even own or carry and then switch them out at the last minute saying that they had a mechanical failure or some type of problem and then send you whatever they have available.  The idea is to get you in the door and get your money by making false promises, and then when the day of comes around you have no choice or recourse but to take whatever they give you.

 

All Star Limousine is a Long Island, New York based company with an extensive global reach; we provide expert Wedding, Special Event and Executive Travel services throughout the Tri-State area and the world. We have over 30 years of experience in the travel industry; our attention to detail, 2014 top-of-the-line vehicles and professional trained Chauffeurs set us apart from the rest!

 by Jarrad Kulick

 

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The Customer Experience

Posted On: July 17, 2014

The Customer Experience


 

 

The customer experience is not only about how the customer feels about a particular product or service after the purchase, technically it is defined as “The sum of all experiences a customer has with a supplier of goods and/or services, over the duration of their relationship with that supplier.  This can include awareness, discovery, attraction, interaction, purchase, use cultivation and advocacy.  It can also be used to mean an individual experience over one transaction.”  So in reality the customer experience begins well before the sale and continues long after, sometimes spanning years or even generations as the relationship between consumer and supplier builds, grows and proceeds.

 

The customer experience begins when the customer has an interest or a need for your product, when they research it online and make their first contact with your customer.  Was their email replied to quickly?  Was the receptionist kind and informative?  Going forward did the sales representative make you feel good about your purchase?  Did he bully you into making a decision?  After the purchase was the product or service everything you thought it would be?  Did it exceed your expectations?  Would you tell a friend about it?  All of these questions are what makes up the customer experience, and it is important for any company looking to maintain a good reputation to make sure that all of the elements involved in the customer experience are viewed as positive.

 

As difficult as it may be it is absolutely vital that your customer is satisfied every step of the way.  From there very first interaction with the business to when their friend they referred comes back and thanks them for the recommendation, it needs to be seamless.  It can be difficult to manage the customer experience across all of the channels and throughout the entirety of the relationship but this is what separates the great business from the simply good ones.

 

All Star Limousine is a Long Island, New York based company with an extensive global reach; we provide expert Wedding, Special Event and Executive Travel services throughout the Tri-State area and the world. We have over 30 years of experience in the travel industry; our attention to detail, 2014 top-of-the-line vehicles and professional trained Chauffeurs set us apart from the rest!

 by Jarrad Kulick

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Delivering (Keeping Promises)

Posted On: July 16, 2014

Delivering (Keeping Promises)


 

One undeniably important aspect of business is delivering what your clients expect.  In fact, this might be the most important aspect of business.  You need to do what you say you are going to do and to keep your promises.  If a customer buys something you are selling and is disappointed or feels that he or she has been mislead in some way the negative impact on your business is incalculable.  That person then goes and tells their ten friends how bad your product or service is and then those ten people go tell their ten friends and so on and so forth.  On the other side exceeding expectations and doing more then what is promised will cement you as extraordinary in the minds of your clients.

 

You are much better off under promising and over delivering, but then you run into the issue of failing to make the sale in the first place.  There is also the fact that some people will just never be satisfied, some people are impossible to please.  So what then is the answer, how can we make sure that we keep our promises?  It comes down to one thing really, a great service or an incredible product.  You can do all the marketing in the world, have monsters on your sales team and in the end it means nothing if what they are selling isn’t living up to customers expectations.  On the other hand even a mediocre sales team can build a successful company with the right product.

 

You need to find that balance between promises and execution, and if your service or product has the ability to exceed expectations you are in good shape.  Constantly refining your methods or your product in an effort to make it the best that it can be is a good step on the way to success.  Making sure your marketing and sales team has a complete and thorough understanding of what they are promoting is also very important.  In the end it comes down to having something great that the people want and need, because a great product will ultimately sell itself.

 

All Star Limousine is a Long Island, New York based company with an extensive global reach; we provide expert Wedding, Special Event and Executive Travel services throughout the Tri-State area and the world. We have over 30 years of experience in the travel industry; our attention to detail, 2014 top-of-the-line vehicles and professional trained Chauffeurs set us apart from the rest!

 by Jarrad Kulick

 

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