If given the choice, would you choose to stay at a Four Seasons Hotel, or at a budget motel just a few miles away? Would you choose to make a transatlantic flight on a full-service private jet, or in an economy seat on a low-cost airline? If you chose the latter option for either question, it may be time to stop and consider if you have a personal affinity for subpar service and strange aromas.
Everyone innately understands this fundamental concept: you get what you pay for. And even the most frugal among us is willing to pay more to receive a better product or service in areas that impact us directly. When we do this, we’re assigning value to that product or service, either consciously or subconsciously. Value means much more than just price—it’s an overall assessment of what something is worth, and it encompasses any and all features and benefits we consider important. In short, sometimes it pays more to pay more.
What is Return on Investment?
And after we assign value to something, we decide whether or not to purchase based on the level of return we expect to see from our financial investment. When we do this, we’re making a decision based on Return on Investment, or ROI.
ROI is a critical business concept, and one that is used by all companies large and small. Essentially, ROI is intended to measure the gain or loss generated on an investment relative to the amount of money spent. This allows a company to compare different investments and make decisions for where to allocate their budget. The higher the ROI, the more likely a company will be willing to invest.
We use the same concept when making personal financial decisions, albeit typically in a much less formal way. Before we invest our hard-earned dollars into anything—whether it’s a new car or an auto mechanic or even General Motors stock—we calculate whether what we receive will be more valuable to us than what we spend. Everyone is the Chief Financial Officer of their own bank account.
How can you ensure you’re getting a high Return on Investment from your car service?
Did you know that a name-brand luxury hotel in Manhattan costs up to 300% more per night than the average nightly rate in the same area? A first-class seat on an airplane costs around 250% more than an economy seat on that same plane; and a seat on a private jet costs 600-700% more. So why are even the most cost-conscious companies willing to invest at these levels for their senior executives? How could these investments possibly have a positive ROI? The answer lies in the following statistic: an average CEO makes 250,000% more per hour than the national average. Their time is extremely valuable to their organizations, and even the smallest service interruptions or service breakdowns can have very costly consequences. A long wait time or a poor service experience not only rob a senior executive of valuable time, they can also break their focus. Distractions or frustrations can lead to mindset shifts that ultimately impact their performance. When a senior executive traveling to business meetings isn’t performing at their peak, that can have a very costly impact to an organization as well.
For these reasons, you should expect the same from your executive ground travel provider that you expect for any other travel-related investment: the value you receive should outweigh the money you spend. When calculating the overall value of your car service, it’s critical to consider much more than just price to ensure you’re making the wisest possible investment.
Here are five critical things to consider when choosing the best possible partner for your executive ground transportation needs:
1. Consistency and Reliability:
You should expect a dependable, high-touch experience all the way from booking to trip completion. You should also expect to have specific points of contact that you can turn to quickly and easily if you have questions or need to make changes. Savoya knows this all too well, which is why we ensure that every customer has a dedicated team actively monitoring each trip to ensure the process is smooth and seamless every time.
2. Concierge Service:
Too often, car service providers see the driver as simple machinery—an extension of the vehicle to get the Traveler from point A to point B. But to really demonstrate value, a driver needs to have a strong service background and a service-first mentality. This is why Savoya hand-picks its Certified Drivers and puts them through a strenuous recruiting process to ensure that each trip has the level of concierge service you would expect at a Four Seasons Hotel.
3. Reduced Stress:
Minimizing stress is a common but important way to create value. When traveling, there is nothing worse than being on a tight schedule and having to search for your driver because the instructions given were murky or unclear. When evaluating whether your executive ground travel provider has a positive ROI, consider whether the trip information they provide is both timely and comprehensive. To create seamless contact, Savoya provides advanced automated push notifications with comprehensive driver, vehicle and staging details, including recent photos of the driver for easy identification.
4. Confidence and Productivity:
Recall from the example above that a CEO can make 250 times more than the national average. For senior executives and high net worth individuals, there is a hefty price tag attached to lost hours of productivity. A particularly chatty or rough, aggressive driver can be very distracting and can negatively impact a Traveler’s productivity. Savoya understands that a good experience with secure executive ground transportation can actually stimulate productivity. Fully customized traveler preferences are intended to maximize personalization and comfort while traveling. Most importantly, our Certified Drivers are trained to anticipate needs and eliminate distractions in order to ensure focus and, ultimately, support peak performance for the Traveler.
Convenience is a defining trait of this century. Customers demand that companies serve them based on their preferences and schedule, and successful organizations no longer consider convenience to be an optional competitive advantage; it’s a mandatory area of continuous improvement. At Savoya, customer convenience is a constant focus, and we proudly invest in the people and technology needed to ensure that we are best-in-class in this area. Travelers and Travel Coordinators can book trips and access their dedicated support teams 24/7 using whatever method they prefer. Also, on demand access to trip details and live GPS tracking while on-trip provide the Traveler, their organization and their family members with continuous visibility and peace of mind.
Savoya keeps all five of these critical considerations in mind with every decision we make and every customer we serve. It’s part of our culture. It’s who we are. We have no intention or desire to be the lowest-cost provider, but we have every intention and desire to be the highest-value provider.
Make high-ROI decisions in your personal and professional life.
You get what you pay for. As you go through the next few days and weeks, make a concerted effort to be mindful when you find yourself subconsciously assigning value to products or services. Whether you’re comparing the name-brand product to the store-brand alternative at the grocery store or comparing different accommodation options for an upcoming vacation you’ve been saving for, count how many considerations other than price you factor into your decision. If the store-brand is cheaper but you end up throwing half of it away because it tastes like corrugated cardboard, was that really a wise investment? If the discount hotel costs much less but you spend hours of your vacation dealing with maintenance issues or lack of clean towels, did you really maximize the value of your time away from work?
We’re all ROI calculators, whether we know it or not. My challenge to you is to be a mindful ROI calculator. I think you’ll be impressed with how thorough and detailed you are in your decision-making process, both when making personal purchases and when making financial decisions on behalf of your company.
In what other areas do you consider Return on Investment, either consciously or subconsciously? Leave us a note below with your comments.
Mr. Miraglia, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Savoya, is passionate about driving the growth of the Savoya brand among new clients and existing customers. His contributions answer common questions received by the Savoya team, in addition to providing travel management guidance for companies of all sizes.