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How to Run Your Coach Bus Business Like Amazon

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How to Run Your Coach Bus Business Like Amazon

August 27, 2019

Adopt a ‘Day 1’ attitude. And avoid ‘Day 2’. This has been Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos’ mantra since the multinational technology company’s inception in 1994.

The difference between the two? Day 1 is the startup mentality. It’s the feeling of hunger which drives a business to thrive and succeed. Day 2, on the other hand, is in Bezos’ words, “stasis, followed by irrelevance, followed by excruciating decline and death.”

Jeff-Bezos

Jeff Bezos by Steve Jurvetson is licensed under CC by 2.0

This is the business philosophy that took an online book store which started in a garage, and turned it into one of the Big Four Technology companies with bases worldwide.

Tips To Run Your Coach Bus Business Like Amazon

1.Embrace change, not the status quo

Transportation is in the midst of a technological disruption, and the reality is that coach bus companies need to evolve now if they’re to survive over the long term. The pace of change is accelerating, and businesses that adopt innovative technologies today are able to quickly adopt a more agile approach and thrive in this changing mobility landscape.

“The outside world can push you into Day 2 if you won’t or can’t embrace powerful trends quickly. If you fight them, you’re fighting the future. Embrace them and you have a Tailwind.” – Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO and Founder

Consider how embracing change has paid off for Amazon – autonomous Prime Air delivery drones are on the verge of hitting the skies, and they have had worldwide success with their very own Alexa artificial intelligence assistant. And those are just two examples of what they have achieved.

Amazon-Prime-Air

Prime Air delivery drone in action

A survey by Boston Consulting Group showed that 79 percent of senior leaders ranked innovation as one of their top three priorities. However, in most industries including coach bus, more focus is placed on delivery than on discovery, with not enough thought for the future.

A top-tier reservations system can be your advantage, enabling your business to keep up with the latest innovations in ticketing and reservation management – the lifeblood of your business. Unfortunately, many companies start off building these systems in-house, and end up dumping so many resources towards simply trying to maintain it.

From a leading reservations system you can expect:

    • Revenue management capabilities including dynamic pricing
    • APIs to help you increase distribution and boost sales
    • Built-in loyalty programs
    • The ability to integrate with other modes of transportation (through bookings)
    • Comprehensive reporting to improve your decision making

2. Make Your Business More Data-Driven

Amazon is big on data. They analyze information from each operational business region, unit, team, and warehouse. Everything is measured and used to identify what it is their customers might be interested in next. It’s about getting ahead of their competitors and using data to build selling strategies based on analysis of customer behaviour over time.

A powerful reservations system will give you fast access to reports where you can easily see important data points around ridership, route performance, revenue, capacity, customer value, and much much more. This will help you make more real-time data-driven, business decisions.

Make-your-business-more-data-driven

Also, consider the interface and engine used to secure the reservations in the first place. Ensure that, along with your website, they're user-friendly for the customer. There's no quicker way to deter someone from making a booking than a poorly optimized website.

3. Focus On Your Customers

Bezos’ initial focus for Amazon was “to build Earth’s most customer-centric company. We’ll listen to customers, invent on their behalf, and personalize the store for each of them,” he promised in his 1999 letter to shareholders.

And they’re successfully seeing it through. They've opened up the Amazon Go store, got an award-winning customer service team, and brand satisfaction is also ranked very highly.

Amazon-Go-store-Seattle

Amazon Go in Seattle, December 2016 by SounderBruce is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

One way to implement this within your coach bus business is to use your digital channels to respond quickly to customer queries, as well as provide service updates. The little things also go a long way when it comes to wowing your customers. Add a personal touch by sending trip reminders straight to their inbox, or share value-added content that helps them plan their journey better to set your business apart.

4. Think Long Term

Traditional business models have gotten us to this point with a measure of success. Because of it, many business leaders may feel there's no need to consider, in too much depth, how this model is going to cut it in the future. Performance focus is from quarter to quarter, and not on 3, 5, or 10 years time.

However, while this approach encourages short-term drive and momentum, it also creates a false sense of security and results in very little thinking outside the box. It’s simply business as usual until it’s not.

Day-2-business-mindset

Image from thenextweb

It was several years before Amazon became the profitable machine it is today. Bezos explained to shareholders in his 1997 letter that his goal was “long-term market leadership, not short-term profits.” This approach to business saw the company through the 2000 dot-com crash, when many other early online retailers failed, and solidified their status as a giant in the industry.

What this means for your coach bus business, is that you need access to a digital change agent; someone who can drive digital transformation and forward-thinking for you. Considering today's business landscape, having this type of strategy for your online platforms is critical. You will benefit from having an expert team to support your vision, and focus efforts on the long term.

Final Thoughts

Running your coach bus business like Amazon ultimately means making smart business decisions that are sometimes less conventional than you’re typically comfortable with. It means using data to build strategies, and pre-empting what your customers need. Embrace change, not the status quo.

 

If you’d like to find out more about our innovative reservations and ticketing platform driving change in the bus and coach industry, contact us for a demo today.

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