We’re so pleased to be sharing this update – Airport Lynx has been chosen as the Gold winning large Chauffeur Operator of the year at the ProDriver national awards.
As a result of our growth in recent years, we’ve moved into the category of being a large chauffeur company and as such, were up against the likes of Addison Lee and national businesses. We had no expectations at all of placing in this category – we were just happy to be shortlisted.
Mark Bursa, Chair of the judging panel, explained why it was an even more incredible achievement: “All three of our medallists in this category are past Gold QSi Award winners, which highlights the stellar standard on the shortlist. It took a very good company to beat last year’s winner– and Airport Lynx is undoubtedly a very good company. Airport Lynx first entered the awards in 2014 and won gold in the medium category in 2016. It has since moved up a division and has secured gold without losing its strong focus on customers and drivers.”
“The judges were especially impressed by the personal approach the company takes to driver and customer relationships, and its willingness to get involved with local initiatives, all helping to build a strong and respected brand.”
Steve Russell reflected on the evening: “It is an incredible accolade to be recognised as a strong and respected brand. Our team has a huge respect for the customers we serve. To have that reflected by our peers is a source of pride for myself, Jayne and the entire team. I’m actually rather embarrassed that there’s just me in the photos: this gold award reflects on a herculean team effort – we should all be in the picture.”
We’ll of course be writing more about this over the months to come, but for now, we’re carrying on with our day to day work and in our quieter moments, will be looking for gold tinsel online – we think that all our Christmas decorations should have a gold theme!
Wishing you all a warm day despite the changing weather outside,
Steve, Jayne and the Airport Lynx team.
There’s only one thing that we can write about for the letter R – reliability. Of course, the bookings team will tell me that I’m tempting fate by writing about this but reliability is something which we really are very proud of at Airport Lynx. At it’s most basic level, it’s important that when we say we’ll be outside your house 4am, we’re there. It’s important that you can safely expect our drivers to know where they are going and how to safely take alternate routes should anything go wrong during the journey.
Before your journey begins, you’ll benefit from our reliability – our decades of combined experience in the bookings team enable us to help you remove as many elements of chance as possible from your journey. When talking or emailing with customers, we check your flight number, date and time – and make sure that you’re up to date on both the estimated journey durations and the amount of time you need to leave from point of check in. Our experience and ability to utilise technology means that we can guide you to depart at an appropriate time.
During the journey, you’ll see our drivers using their tablets to guide them on the route and how it is developing. In using a larger screen – at tablet size instead of a phone, you can also see what’s happening at a glance, providing reassurance.
Of course, in any discussion of reliability, we need to consider the very small number of times when something goes wrong – when there is a problem it’s usually when a driver is stuck in traffic en route to collect you. When that does happen, because we’re tracking all journeys, there’s still a reliability to it – because we’re able to call and let you know that there may be an issue and what you can expect to happen from that point.
What does reliability mean for you? We’d love to hear of your experiences of it in action in your everyday life – and even of times when things haven’t gone to plan. Why? Because there’s always an opportunity to learn and evolve, and it’s even better if we can learn from the experiences of others….
If you’re a regular Airport Lynx customer who usually books by phone or email, why not try booking with our app? You can download the apple app or the android app here – they are very easy to use and mean that you can book whenever and from wherever suits you. Of course, we’re always happy to take your bookings by phone on 01223 440040 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
My first thought, when writing about something starting with the letter S was that it should be focused on Steve Russell as he set up the business and inspired everything that it is today. But if I asked him about what he’d want me to say, I know he’d tell me that the business is not about him – it’s about the service which we all provide to our customers and potential customers. So that’s what I will write about instead. Service is at the heart of everything we do. I think that sometimes, it can tricky to appreciate just how great an impact it has on a business’s success. Service is such an interesting concept and it is discussed every single day within the bookings team.
Moreover, when we interview potential drivers, we talk about the importance of service – how it needs to be something which they are truly comfortable with. There’s no point having a driver who resents holding a door for someone else or carrying luggage. It’s got to be something that they feel effortlessly comfortable with – you can just tell when someone doesn’t want to serve someone else.
Within the Airport Lynx bookings team, providing an excellent service requires us all to very empathetic and frankly, human. We need to know what the process is and what needs to happen to make sure a customer is collected on time and gets to their destination safely – but it’s just as important that we speak, email or message with them in a way that lets them know that we’re really happy to help them and that we appreciate the trusting role we are given in taking them, their colleagues or family members from A to B. Service means that when a mistake is made, we don’t make a customer feel inept for it – we reassure them that these things happen and that we’ll do all we can to help them put things right. We treat people just as we’d like to be treated.
We love it when our existing customer recommend us on to other people – especially when they say that they wouldn’t consider anyone else because our service is like nothing else they’ve ever experienced. When customers leave their phones or wallets in our cars, we arrange for drivers to meet each other en route at crossover points to try and reunite them with them before their flights leave. When a customer forgets their passport we see if we can find another driver who is on a later journey to take it to them at the airport. We don’t need to do this – but being human, and knowing that we’re able to leverage our resources and technology to do this, it just makes sense to help where we can.
When I was myself taken to the airport recently it was by one of our newer drivers – he didn’t know that I work for the business – and it was great to hear him talk about how the business was like nothing he’d ever seen before. He’d decided to join us because of our high standards and high expectations – he felt it would help him know exactly what would and wouldn’t happen in his work and that it was clear as to how he could do an excellent job. It was so good to hear that – if we’re making it easy for drivers to do their jobs well, it minimises the possibilities for anything going wrong and of course in the unlikely event that it does, means that we all know just what would need doing to remedy it.
What does service mean for you? Professionally and personally? We’d be really interested to hear your thoughts on service and how it positively – or otherwise – affects your experiences!
We love talking with our customers but with everyone travelling as much as they do, we can’t spend as much time with everyone as we would like to! Our newsletter is a great halfway house which allows us to keep in touch and share updates on our work. Your feedback always asks us to provide more detail of how we ‘work our magic’. So it’s with this in mind, that we’re starting a new feature – the A to Z of Airport Lynx. Each month we will pick two, possibly three letters from the alphabet and use them as a way to help us think of how we can tell you more about Airport Lynx and how we work.
To kick us off, we’ve chosen the letter A.
In isolation, the booking of one journey from A to B is a simple activity. We need to know where you need to be collected from and where you are going to. If you’re heading to a flight, we’ll ask questions to ensure that sufficient time is allowed for the journey.
Once you start to put hundreds of these journeys together over a 24 hour period, life becomes more interesting from an administrative perspective. The logistics of who needs to be where and when are handled separately and utilise our technology which is second to none at maximising efficiencies for everyone’s benefit. The administration comes in before and after the journey.
Before the journey, if you book by email or phone, one of our bookings team will act as an administrator, ensuring that they details are in the system correctly. Once your journey has happened, we check it to ensure that it is documented correctly and appropriately for moving to managed accounts and payment.
As I type this post, the administration of bookings is currently managed by Katie, Claire, Sammy, Jacqui and Annie, with Steve and Jayne providing additional support as needed, whilst also managing their own areas of operations and finance respectively. Each person in the team also has their own area to manage within the business, so there’s never any ‘down time’.
Of course, administration processes within the booking team constantly evolve – one of the fundamental parts of our most recent win at the national Pro Driver awards for innovation recognised how we are flexing as a bookings team, being open to trying new things, managing administratively and efficiently, whilst still being as human as possible. We continue to grow and this means that we need more staff and more people to work on appropriate shifts to provide our legendary administrative support to the travellers, bookers and drivers to make everything happen as smoothly as it does. By being open to change, we’re able to evolve and keep moving forwards, which is what, on so many levels, is the purpose of our work in the first place!
(Other things we considered writing about under the letter “A”. Awards – why we put so much effort into entering them. And aeroplanes – why we love them and where we’d like to go in one…)
Our second letter for this edition is Y.
Yes. At Airport Lynx we like to say “yes” to our customers and to each other within the team. If a customer asks for something, we like to say “yes, we can do that”. Why? Because we know that we need to listen to our customers when they ask for something if we are to keep being their first choice for car transfers. In fact, finding ways to say “yes” is one of our competitive advantages.
Last year, we met with a potential customer and they mentioned that what they really wanted, was the ability to add their car bookings into their calendars just as they did when they booked flights. We said we’d go away and look into it. Within two months, that facility was live within our system and it’s now being used by the majority of our business travel bookers! Being able to say “yes, we’ll go and look into that” and then “yes, it’s now live” is a great experience. We can’t always say “yes” though. Sometimes, we have to let people know that something won’t work at that point because of how it would impact something else. Or because it couldn’t be applied for everyone. But where we can, we do. We actively look for the “yes” moments. Because it’s great to be able to help and it’s great to be able to make life easier for everyone, isn’t it?
(Other things we considered writing about under the letter “Y”. Yellow cars – who actively chooses one? Do they know it’s going to make the small – and not so small people – who count seeing them on the roads as happy as it does? Or is it just because they love the colour yellow?)
Stayed tuned for our next instalment next month. We haven’t decided what to write about yet, so it will as much of a surprise for you as it will for us!