When you book your travel, how often do you think ahead about your ground transportation? Though many travelers book rental cars in advance, very few plan ahead for car service from the airport to the hotel, or from the hotel to that critical meeting that spurred their travel in the first place. Instead, they stand in line at the taxi queue with a sea of travelers who also did not plan ahead, nervously hoping they will get to their meeting on time. But even though on average, ground transportation makes up only 4% of a company’s overall travel spend — it shouldn’t be a costly, labor-intensive afterthought. Time is money, as they say, so doesn’t it make sense for you — and for your co-travelers — to streamline your travel and get right on to the business at hand?
I hate to admit it, but I used to be a fixture in the cab line. My background is in customer loyalty — heading up world-class rewards, offers and marketing programs at global enterprises. My job had me on the road frequently, but I rarely spent even a moment thinking ahead about cars, buses or limos. What I did think about (always) was how my organization could build loyalty among its customer base. Travel, as we all know, is a personal (even emotional) industry. A good travel experience goes unnoticed, while a bad one may never be forgotten. Building a series of great travel experiences is critical to building loyalty with your customers.
With Deem, our goal is to enable our partners to deliver a best-in-class experience to their customers, while growing their own revenue streams. By integrating Deem Ground (formerly GGA) into the Deem family of offerings, we now offer an integrated door-to-door travel solution for our small- and medium-sized businesses and corporate clients — seamlessly bringing efficiencies to our partners while providing our end users with a faster, easier, more reliable way to get to their destination on time and with great value. Deem Ground enables ground transportation commerce by connecting buyers and sellers. We deliver a more robust and reliable Ground automation solution to our corporate clients and TMC partners. For our large network of merchants, we deliver cost savings as well as ways to build their customer bases. And we promise that our upcoming enhancements, such as mobile, will encourage ground transportation to become a more integral part of the trip planning process. The end result: long-lasting loyalty amongst our clients, merchants and the users who appreciate and benefit from that added value.
More than 6,000 people are traveling to the GBTA convention in Boston as we speak. Many will try to hail a cab at Logan, and $30 later will arrive at the Boston Convention Center, potentially late. Our Group Ground offering, powered by Pow Wow Smart, will soon help meeting and event planners efficiently arrange and manage ground transportation for groups of any size, automating ‘cab sharing,’ car service reservations and bus transport across an organization. I encourage any meeting planners to ask me about this fabulous new service.
For those of you who will be at GBTA this week, I would love to meet you, so please stop by booth 718. I am excited to discuss how we can offer the best full service ground solution for buyers who are looking to engage their users and fulfill ground solution for buyers who are looking to engage their users and fulfill on their ground transportation needs. I am also looking forward to working together with our merchants on ways to build their business and manage their costs. Not only will Deem Ground help merchants run their business more efficiently, but it will create happier users who just keep coming back.
Amy E. Harris is SVP & General Manager, Deem Ground.