Marketing my executive car was hit and miss until I understood how to attract business passengers. Joining a networking group was the most beneficial step. It helped me comprehend how business customers are not gained overnight. It takes time, effort and the building of trust before receiving referrals. You have to find the right gap in the market too. Business customers can be valuable – in some ways, they are like a set of car keys and would you give your keys to a stranger?
The Right Image
Attracting business customers to a chauffeur driven car service needs the right image. It has to instill trust. A good quality business card will aid this. So too will an email address with your brand or business name (not a gmail account). Another essential is a nice web site to reinforce your message. Above all though, your branding should set you apart from any competitors and differentiate your service.
Working with a business customer is different to a consumer. The requirements are different. Business passengers travel more often and need to stay sharp. Fatigue and jet-lag are real issues for them. Airports are not such thrilling places either, especially if a long-haul flight crosses time zones. Being away from family and operating in stressful environments is not fun.
Typically, a business passenger may be an executive within a corporation. It takes time to reach this level and they like recognition by the travel class they are entitled to. The efficiency of your service and comfort of your car is more important than having the cheapest price. Business passengers will want to associate with a high quality service.
Business passengers will strike up a different type of conversation. They might be interested in the UK economy or what is currently going on in the news headlines. What is more, presentation when collecting a customer’s customer can be a deal breaker. You might be the face and first impression of a £multi-million business.
Dealing business-to-business is known as B2B in marketing terms. Once you start to build a portfolio of companies though it can bring regular work. It can keep you busy all year round not just seasonally. It is a little ironic. A business relationship can generate more revenue despite being less intense on your marketing costs. B2B requires less marketing once you are working together.
Establishing a relationship with a business customer can be challenging. Most of the time, a customer will not switch suppliers unless there is a real need to. It takes time to set up a new supplier. They will need to be vetted, added to a supplier system and then they will need to be issued a purchase order number. This allows budgets to be set, controlled and potentially analysed.
So how did DrivenByQ differentiate itself? Well, fifteen years ago when just starting out, email was a big deal. It was quickly replacing fax machines and the Internet was growing too. We knew we didn’t have the budget for new cars so we really had to deliver on customer service. We did this by responding quickly to emails. Today it is easy with mobile technology but smartphones were still esoteric in 2005 so it gave us an edge.
The older cars we had didn’t necessarily clinch the deal. Instead, it was the package we provided. It proved very successful in how to attract business passengers to a chauffeur driven car service. From making the first phone call to the right person or sending an introductory email. Everything reassured the customer that DrivenByQ could deliver on what it had promised.
The attention had to be the same, right the way through to the invoice. Everything had to be at the same level. It had to be an executive service for everyone – whether they were a passenger or not. After all, once you work with a corporate customer you quickly learn who the most important person is in terms of building relationships.
In the corporate world there is a special person within an organization. If you are supplying a corporate chauffeur service you will know them well. They are the Executive Assistant. These are the people who book the bulk of journeys for business passengers. They are also the individual who has influence over a chosen supplier.
The EA (Executive Assistant) is a special breed. They are super organised. They are very astute and they like to work with people who aid their cause. If you can grow to understand the work ethic of PA (Personal Assistant) or EA then you are well on the way to learning how to attract business passengers to a chauffeur driven car service.
Attracting business passengers in B2B marketing terms doesn’t happen overnight. It is a slow process which requires a specific approach. First you need an introduction, then you need to build trust and then maybe you will receive an opportunity to shine. Having a fancy web site and the latest technology is nice but it is the old fashioned approach to people and customer service which really helps in how to attract business passengers.