Limo service making most of database

Meet Roz, airport limousine operator and aspiring database marketer.If you live within a 100-mile radius of Toronto, you will undoubtedly remember Dec. 11, 1992 as the morning you awoke to find all the snow in the world on your driveway.AirportI had...

Meet Roz, airport limousine operator and aspiring database marketer.

If you live within a 100-mile radius of Toronto, you will undoubtedly remember Dec. 11, 1992 as the morning you awoke to find all the snow in the world on your driveway.

Airport

I had meetings in New York starting that day, so, with a reckless sense of optimism, I decided to head for Pearson International Airport in the west end of the city.

I figured that although the flights would be late, they would eventually take off. And, besides, I had plans to meet two associates at the Admiral’s Club.

‘Hi, my name is Roz,’ she said, hand extended to take my suitbag. ‘What’s yours?’

‘David,’ I replied.

After all the predictable small talk, mostly about the worst storm in Toronto in the past 40 years, Roz inquired:

‘So, David, what do you do?’

I told her of my interest in database marketing.

‘I have all my customers on a database,’ Roz said. ‘I know every phone number and address. I know every customer’s spouse or significant other.

‘I know how everyone takes their coffee and, mornings, I arrive at the front door with a fresh, hot cup just the way they like it,’ she said.

‘No one else in my area does that.

‘I try to run a highly personalized business, and I simply could not do it without my database. It’s a small thing, but I just need to ask my customers for the basic information once. I think people appreciate that.’

We talked more.

Five databases

Actually, Roz has five separate databases on her home office computer and print-outs in her limo: Toronto-area customers, out-of-town customers, corporate accounts, travel agents and local business prospects (700 in all.)

The fields in her database are basic, effective: lastname, firstname, address, entrycode, hometel, bustel, coffee, price/h, price/b.

The latter two refer to the flat rate price she charges, consistently, between Pearson International and the customer’s home or office.

In about two years, Roz has built her business, Airborne Limousine Services, to the point at which she now has several part-time, contracted drivers, in addition to herself, to handle all the calls.

Roz figures this pesky recession is the right time to keep prices down and build up her loyal customer base.

Keep in touch

She uses her databases to keep in touch with her customers, seek referrals, and build up the company’s prospect file.

‘I like to send something to my customers about every six months,’ Roz says.

A recent mailing to about 200 Toronto-area customers offered a straight 10% off during July and August, and a 10% discount card for the subsequent months.

New customers

he mailing produced two new corporate accounts, about 20 new, steady referred customers, and calls from some people that she had not seen in a while. (‘They had just mislaid my card,’ Roz said.)

The next customer mailing is in the works.

‘I try to make the airport run fun for my customers, and that is the theme of my next customer mailing – call it The Roz Awards,’ Roz said.

A mailing is also being prepared for the local businesses in her prospect database.

About 2 p.m. on Dec. 11, 1992, severe weather closed down New York City.

All three area airports refused to allow any aircraft to take off or land; the bridges and thruways were closed, and basements flooded everywhere.

And, so, it was only logical that Roz would drive me home from Pearson International to Unionville, just outside of Toronto.

Naturally, there was more discussion about database marketing, specifically the business-building aspect.

Matching-theory

ow does one apply matching-theory to identify potential customers? What offers are appealing? How are results tracked?

Roz knows what database she wants: the really frequent flyers who live in the northeast suburbs of Toronto, and that are kept in the files of virtually every airline with landing rights at Pearson International. Not everyone, just those who count.

As we approached my house, Roz asked:

‘David, do you have a business card? You wouldn’t mind if I added your name to my list, would you? (Roz has also taken Sales 101: The Assumptive Close.)

‘Not at all, ‘ I replied. ‘Medium coffee; milk, no cream, no sugar. You have the rest.’

For fast, friendly airport limo service, and advice on the results that database marketing can achieve, call Roz Weitzman at (416) 494-8640.