Executive Express makes 14 runs a day to the Minneapolis airport, plus other services
Need a ride to the airport? Executive Express can help. Flight delayed on the trip back home? Executive Express will be there to pick you up and bring you home, any time, day or night.
Executive Express, an airport shuttle and transportation service, is open 365 days a year with live assistance available around the clock. Each year, they help more than 60,000 passengers get to where they want to go. Executive Express makes regular stops in 40 communities in central Minnesota with 14 runs a day to and from the Minneapolis airport (both terminals). And they provide this service with the comfort of the passenger in mind.
“We use a little phrase called, ‘transportation relaxation,’ and we take it very seriously,” said Logeman. “When we say we provide ‘transportation relaxation,’ we want people so relaxed that they fall asleep. Once they call Executive Express they know exactly what is going to happen. Every person in this company is always thinking, ‘What can we do that will help create relaxation?’ And we look to exceed their expectations whenever we can.”
Logeman said that commitment to service, relaxation and exceeding expectations is considered in every move he has made since buying Executive Express nearly 10 years ago.
“We do things at our company that cost a lot more at other companies because it is the right thing to do,” he said. “Our vehicles are bigger and more expensive than most companies because they are more comfortable. That costs more money but that is relaxing to the customers.”
One example of this commitment to customer service can been seen in the number of routes they provide each day.
“When I purchased the business they were only going five times a day to the Minneapolis airport. Because it was five times a day, that meant there were three to four hour gaps in between each run. That just wasn’t conducive to good customer service,” said Logeman.
In the first few weeks of owning Executive Express, Logeman talked to as many people as he could about the services provided. The number of routes to the airport came up frequently.
“It became quickly apparent that this was the biggest roadblock why people weren’t using the service or stopped using the service,” he said.
Logeman made a commitment to increase the routes, the number of vehicles and the number of drivers. The routes were increased from five to six routes a day, then a year later went from six to eight, and then eight to 10.
“And then we made the jump from 10 to 14 runs every day. And that was even a bigger jump on the weekends. Prior to that, the weekend always had half as many routes as the weekdays.”
The jump from 10 to 14 was a big financial risk, but it was the right move for the company.
“Last night I was talking to a customer who found out when they got to the airport that their flight was going to be delayed three hours. And then an hour later it was back to regular time. And then 20 minutes later, it was just 10 minutes late. It kept changing. They loaded them on a plane, then they unloaded the plane, then they loaded them again and then postponed the flight until the next day.”
Despite the uncertainty of the flight, the message from Executive Express was constant.
“We are here for you. Whenever you land we are going to bring you home in a short amount of time,” said Logeman.
Customer service isn’t possible without good employees, and Logeman has placed great emphasis on finding the right drivers. There are nearly 90 employees at Executive Express, and most are drivers. Before anyone is interviewed, they first attend an informational meeting. The meeting is designed to find out which people might be right for Executive Express.
“I tell them, ‘We never cancel. If you don’t like driving in blizzard conditions, don’t apply. No hard feelings, just don’t apply. If you don’t like driving with construction cones whizzing by, don’t apply. If you have a bad driving record, don’t apply. Ultimately, it comes down to service. If you want to work here just because you think you are going to get tips, don’t apply. If you love helping people and truly getting to know them and engaging with them and creating lifelong relationships, apply!”
After these meetings, about half of the people will leave and not come back. The other half will apply.
The next step is a take an interview run with one of the current employees. During the trip, which is to the Minneapolis airport and back, they will have a chance to interview the driver and find out more about what it takes to be a driver and learn more about the company.
“If they are still interested, then they can apply,” said Logeman. “They are engaged with our company for a few hours before we complete a sit-down interview with them. And if they don’t like that, don’t apply. They really need to understand the service culture.”
Serving customers has always been a passion for Logeman. Before buying Executive Express in 2005, Logeman was the general manager of Radisson Suites for years, and he later worked as director of sales and marketing for Central Minnesota Group Health Plan and then executive director of the YMCA. This experience with these organizations helped prepare him for Executive Express.
“I wrote a business plan in 1998 that said I want to be a business owner,” he said. “I had no extra money, but I had a plan on how I would accomplish this goal.”
He started looking at businesses that were available, but it wasn’t until he found out about Executive Express that he knew he had a good fit.
“Because it was a service business and my whole life was involved in service, I kind of knew what to do. I had never been in transportation, but it is basically a matter of serving the customer and their needs.
Logeman also knew that when he bought the company that it could not be run the same way.
“It needed to be a much bigger company to serve customers the right away,” he said.
Logeman believes that because their service provides reliability and consistency in the unpredictable airline travel industry, they have created a nice service niche in the market. Making customers happy has resulted in good word of mouth, which is a big part of the reason Executive Express has grown.
“I love it when I hear testimonials like, ‘It is just plain silly that I haven’t used you before.’ ‘Why would anyone want to drive themselves to the airport?’” he said.
Despite the positive feedback they receive, Logeman is not satisfied.
“We are constantly looking at new types of vehicles or different technologies for making it easier for our customers,” he said. “Our technology has been completely overloaded and upgraded. We have invested so much money into our online reservation system to make it really simple. As a result, we now have 42 percent of our reservations made online. Currently we are investing money into making it easier to make reservations on a phone/tablet. We want to make it even easier, take out as much of the anxiety from the customer that we can.”
In 2009, Logeman introduced its airport shuttle service to Iowa, and they now provide 14 runs to and from Mason City to the Des Moines Airport (and everywhere in between). The branch office is based in Ames, right at Iowa State University. This expansion has gone very well, and Executive Express is currently looking at expansion options in Iowa and other areas in the country.
In addition to the airport shuttle, Executive Express also provides a private charter service. For an hourly rate, a professional driver will take up to 24 passengers to anywhere in the United States.
“People can use a private charter for a wedding, a trip to a winery, sporting events, family reunions, just about as far your creativity and imagination can take you,” said Logeman.
Same day courier service is also available.
With so many Executive Express vehicles running throughout central Minnesota every day, it was a natural fit to offer a courier system. Courier services are offered for packages of all shapes and sizes.
“We are not UPS or FedEx, but we can provide same day delivery any day of the year,” said Logeman. “We are going up and down the interstate every day anyway so it makes sense.”
For Logeman, buying Executive Express in 2005 was the right move.
“This has been a lot of fun. I love it,” he said.
Logeman is looking forward to what the next decade will hold for Executive Express.
If you would like to learn more about Executive Express or would like to make a reservation, visit www.executiveexpress.biz or call 320-253-2226 or toll free 888-522-9899.