Looking ahead, O’Hare-Midway Limousine Service will join other legitimate service providers in addressing “faux services”. These can range from the Uber app company to the dozens of brokers that have set up shop and call themselves limousine services in Chicago and around the United States. Simply stated, most operators aren’t concerned about these companies, or even the fact that they steal business from real services. The real issue is that these companies mislead their target market by pretending to be legitimate services. When it comes to side-by-side comparisons, well…there IS no comparison. A legitimate limo service will have an office, employees, insurance, and proper licensing. If any of these is missing, clients are at risk. You won’t find this in a brokers advertising.
An often overlooked and underappreciated part of our business, chauffeurs are getting more difficult to find, and keep. In an industry with differing rules and expectations, the “limo driver” is a constant. Finding a chauffeur is a process. The ability to find ones way around is only the beginning; there is also customer service, safe driving, and payment processing to be considered. Chauffeurs have a lot to contend with between, traffic, weather, airports, and angry customers. All this for minimal pay (plus gratuity) with little or no benefits. Chauffeurs with OML work on commission, so their ability to earn money is easily affected by their ability to get around. They also must contend with the price of fuel, tolls, and other costs, which is enough to scare a lot of people away. We feel that we have some of the best chauffeurs in the industry, but finding new ones to replace those that leave is a constant challenge.
As I enter my next decade of service, I’m very positive about where we’re headed. There will be more changes, and OML will adapt to them. We’ll see new technologies, vehicle types, and partners. We’ll win some new customers, lose a few as well. About the only thing that seems certain is that – the more things change, the more they stay the same. This means that we will still be the company you call when you need quality ground transportation here…or anywhere.
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