More Than Just A Ride
Offering high-end equipment has been a large part of Transtyle’s customer service-focused business strategy since the company’s early days. Today, this includes 25 Setra motorcoaches, featuring a full slate of amenities.
“I was recently talking with a customer who completed a trip on one of our motorcoaches. He said, ‘This (coach) is like being on an airplane without wings, only better. The seats recline more, and there is greater leg room,’” Sadeghi said. “Our motorcoaches also feature such technology as Wi-FI and satellite TV. They stand apart in comfort.”
He added that Transtyle customers have also been impressed with the ride of these motorcoaches, along with reliability.
“I like that Setra motorcoaches are extensively tested before they are available to operators. Our drivers also find them easy to handle. These are vehicles designed for European roads, which require a tight turning radius,” Sadeghi said. “They also include virtual technician capabilites. This provides us with an email when an issue on a vehicle is detected. The email can appear before the light goes on in the dashboard. This helps us better know what needs to be fixed when the vehicle arrives at our shop.
“The look of our motorcoaches is another appeal that customers have mentioned,” he added. “This goes hand-in-hand with the high-end impression we are striving to provide when reaching new customers. I have used loaner motorcoaches, and our customers see the difference between vehicle styles. Having a nice-looking and modern motorcoach helps convey a certain message of quality. It’s free advertising.
“As a transportation provider, I am selling a specific product, not just a service. I’m selling everything in one package. Having quality vehicles that look nice certainly helps.”
Sadeghi has also been impressed with his company’s ongoing relationship with Motor Coach Industries (MCI), which is the North American distributor of Setra motorcoaches.
“They (at MCI) have provided us with a lot of 24/7 support. This includes training our staff about the Setra motorcoach,” he said. “I have found that their focus is more than just selling us a motorcoach. They have worked to make our company better. There is an MCI representative who comes to our facility on a regular basis. He sees if there is anything we need. I appreciate this type of service.”
Keeping the company’s fleet of vehicles, including motorcoaches, clean and presentable is also an important part of the equation when providing high-end customer service. This, however, is often harder said than done.
Transtyle employs a team of cleaners and mechanics, working around the clock, to make sure all vehicles returning from the road are properly cleaned and in good repair. Each vehicle is also checked for damages, including scratches.
A major challenge to vehicle upkeep often occurs while it’s on the road for several days or weeks. It’s during these times that Transtyle drivers take over as the vehicle’s main caregiver.
“Each of our motorcoach drivers is assigned a specific vehicle. He/she only drives that vehicle unless there is some type of special exception. Therefore, these drivers take distinct care of their coaches,” Sadeghi said. “The driver is required to keep his/her coach clean — both inside and out. This includes getting the vehicle washed when possible, and cleaning its windows.
“I have found that when you assign a driver to a specific vehicle, that driver will watch everything very closely. He/she knows what is going on with that vehicle, and if there is anything that is not quite right.”
It’s Sadeghi’s goal to have each vehicle presented well during the entire trip.
“When it comes to transporting customers, especially those visiting from another country, first and last impressions are very important,” he said.
All motorcoaches operated by Transtyle include GPS tracking devices. This technology not only helps company officials know exactly where Transtyle vehicles are located at all times, but they can also monitor how well a driver is operating each coach.
“If I am a driver and I know somebody is watching me, I will likely be more careful about my speed and the other ways I operate the vehicle,” Sadeghi said. “GPS is good for keeping track of not only location and speed, but it helps us monitor such issues as idling time, parking location, hours of operation, mileage and when an oil change is due. These are all very important issues for a motorcoach company. It’s good to be able to carefully watch your sources of income.
“There is so much that comes with GPS these days. At the end of the month and/or year, we evaluate drivers to look at their gas mileage rates, etc. If there is a problem, we can troubleshoot with that driver so he/she can do a better job regarding a specific part of his/her performance. GPS is critical in today’s transportation business.”
Transtyle also uses a state-of-the-art dispatch system that tracks reservations, and a mobile app that provides clients with important information about their scheduled trips.