Where Have All The Good Ones Gone?
What has changed in our society over the past several years, that has changed our culture so much, that we are willing to accept mediocrity? There was a time in the not so distant past, that everyone was on the “Value” bandwagon and talked about professionalism, reliability, being meticulous and providing exceptional experiences……. Being in the limousine and chauffeured services industry, I have become quite sensitive to expecting quality service and delivering quality service. Recently, I took a group to a large Northeast Ohio outdoor concert venue, looking around the Limousine Lot, it was impressive to me the number of limousines, sedans, vans and buses that had gathered. It never ceases to amaze me how large my industry has grown since the early 1990’s when I first started as a chauffeur. As I looked around, I noticed a prevailing trend that to me is disturbing, more and more of my counterparts which I refuse to call chauffeurs, but rather, drivers have no desire to be professional or live up to the decorum that my generation had become accustomed to in the “Chauffeured Transportation” Industry. I saw “drivers” in Bermuda shorts and straw hats, tennis shoes and golf shirts, one driver was wearing a tank top, ripped shorts, flip flops and a baseball cap! At first, it was difficult for me to separate out who were passengers and who actually was supposed to be the safe, sober ride home for the night? I guess the purpose of my above rant is this: Why has our society become so willing to sacrifice class and elegance (The Limousine/Chauffeured Transportation Industry) for what amounts to cheap? If you want a cheap service, why wouldn’t you call a van service? Unfortunately, our local industry in Northeast Ohio has sacrificed service, professionalism and class for $cheap$ hourly rates, tricky surcharges and bundled pricing in an effort to simply compete on price. As I review the Internet and see limousine reviews I notice one recurring theme……….. Lack of professionalism, embarrassing! It is apparent that our customers are starting to realize….. the price they paid, was exactly that cheap…… What’s wrong with being on the “Higher Side of Reasonable” and providing a value driven, professional service that represents our industry in a respectable manner? I believe, if you offer a GREAT professional service at a reasonable rate and deliver upon your commitments to your client, and obviously dress professionally, everyone wins! Positive memories are created, Kodak moments are created with the mystery suit and tie chauffeur and their enjoyable experience creates more business for our industry as a whole! Today, I challenge every Limousine and Chauffeured transportation company in Northeast Ohio………. Press your black suits, break out your ties, shine your shoes and shine! Our customers deserve a greater value than our industry as a whole is delivering…….