Fostering Innovation is Easier than You Think

 In Chicago, Corporate

light bulb with plant on white clipping path includedThe travel sector is a cluttered place to make your mark. Especially when online booking options collide with traditional travel agencies and traditional chauffeured sedan services start competing with unregulated taxi-style companies. It all can get very confusing and it’s harder than ever to define your mission clearly and loudly when the noise of competing marketing channels drowns virtually everything out.

It’s time to reclaim the quiet and focus we once had and that starts with fostering real innovation within our organizations. Whether you’re a multi-million dollar company or a start-up, staying innovative in a world so loud and cluttered can be downright impossible.

Innovation is one of the hottest buzzwords right now because new technological advancements that can turn our wildest dreams into business success are more possible than ever. If you can dream it up, someone somewhere can build it.

But what does the term mean to you?

For SMART Cars, innovation means transforming how we do business to stay competitive, relevant and the reliable go-to resource for our clients. There are a lot of new ‘shiny balls’, so to speak, floating around in the ground transportation industry but where we continue to shine is by embracing change, both technological and service-oriented  and turning them into our new competitive advantage. Change is a complex process that requires checks and balances.  Fundamentals and historic improvements embraced by clients must be measured against new innovations and service offerings.  In addition, which to keep, which to modify and which to eliminate cannot be done in the dark, and require client feedback and if possible, focus group studies.

So how can a business start brainstorming fresh ideas to innovate and improve their business model? What we have learned over the years is that LISTENING is where transformation starts. By listening to our chauffeurs, our customer service representatives, our staff and of course and most importantly, our clients, we have found the routes to improvement, time and time again.

Find out what it is about your business that your customers love and hate, and then think about how you can help them interact with you better. What technology or process improvements would ‘wow’ them? What special personal touch would help them reconnect with you and build stronger brand loyalty?

Finally, take on these ‘innovation’ challenges as they come along and continuously experiment. Putting things off will only require a greater transformation in the future that will exhaust more resources and cause disruption to your customer base. Take on one small change at a time and watch your business thrive.

Share how your team innovates with us on Twitter @smartcars1 using hashtag #innovatenow.

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