The Silicon Review
“We have a best-in-class website and an award-winning mobile booking app to make arranging a ride simple.”
Professional black-car service adds a dimension of luxury and comfort to your ground transportation, providing peace of mind for business travelers and leisure travelers alike.
In light of the above-mentioned scenario, we’re thrilled to present GroundLink.
GroundLink provides point-to-point, hourly, and round-trip chauffeured black car service in the United States and internationally in 460 cities. Corporate clients and leisure travelers can book through its mobile app and website or by telephone. GroundLink drivers are chosen for their experience and safety records, and all GroundLink vehicles are in excellent condition and fully insured.
The company offers individuals the ability to book and manage various forms of ground travel, such as sedans, SUVs, and coaches. Passengers can schedule rides in advance or book Ride Now service in select markets. Corporate travel arrangers can use GroundLink’s ground transportation management system to book, track, and report the travel of all their passengers. GroundLink offers a unique blend of the convenience of today with the security and comfort of traditional high-end transportation providers.
The company was incorporated in 2003 and is headquartered in New York.
Elizabeth Carisone, GroundLink CEO, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.
Q. Why was the company set up? And how did you expand your company and its offerings over the years?
GroundLink was started by an entrepreneur whose hired car didn’t pick him up from the airport; embarrassing him in front of an important business client. He launched GroundLink so people could book on-demand black car service from their computers and eventually smartphones. He didn’t want to trade luxury and safety for convenience, so he partnered with limousine and ground transportation companies who had trained and vetted drivers and late-model, high-quality vehicles. Fifteen years later GroundLink’s network is worldwide and we offer on-demand rides in major markets, and we still don’t think you should trade luxury and security for convenience.
Q. “Earning trust and respect of consumers all around the world is through consistent focus on delivering high quality in all of our actions.” How do you interpret this statement?
Delivering high quality is the essence of GroundLink’s mission. We know that passengers have a lot of options for their ground transportation, so from the beginning we were committed to high-end, insured vehicles driven by vetted, trained chauffeurs. Our customers know that wherever they travel in the world, they will receive the same high level of service. We do everything we can to maintain the trust our clients have in us.
Q. Building a culture of sustainability inside an organization is very important to maintain a reputation in the global market. How is it true about your company?
We are a ground transportation company that doesn’t own any vehicles. We partner with providers who have impeccably maintained sedans, SUVs, and coaches, and we verify that they are in top working condition. GroundLink isn’t putting more vehicles on the roads; instead, we are helping ground transportation providers efficiently and effectively provide transportation.
Q. If you have to list five factors that have been/are the biggest asset to your organization, what would they be and why?
Duty of Care: Our clients’ security is our main concern. When you ride with GroundLink, you can be assured that your driver is background checked, screened, trained, and experienced. Your vehicle will be a late model, regularly inspected, and spotless. We are fully PCI compliant, and we provide a minimum of $6MM of accident insurance per incident.
Worldwide Service: Traditionally, ground transportation passengers would book with one company in their hometowns and with multiple other companies in their destination cities.
GroundLink’s powerful network enables customers to book all of their transportation with one company, one phone call or online booking, and one bill. They can also expect the same level of service in any of the 460 cities around the world where GroundLink operates.
Industry-Leading Technology: We have a best-in-class website and an award-winning mobile booking app to make arranging a ride simple. BRIO, our innovative and intuitive travel management system, is designed for corporate travelers and their travel arrangers. BRIO links travelers with their arrangers, saves travelers’ histories and preferences, allows users to switch easily between business and personal accounts, and offers a variety of booking options at either end of a flight.
Exacting Standards: We are picky about the chauffeurs we select to drive for us: they must have a spotless record, driving experience, and excellent customer service skills. We only use late-model vehicles in perfect condition.
Talented Team: From our developers to our customer service specialists to our management, everyone at GroundLink is driven by the desire to offer an outstanding ground transportation experience. We offer the industry’s only on-time guarantee, and that would not be possible without full buy-in from our team members.
Q. What do you feel are the reasons behind your company’s reputation?
GroundLink is different from the many app-based transportation companies in the industry. The passenger’s experience in riding with us is characterized by our attention to detail and our anticipation of what a traveler needs. High-end ground transportation is not new to us, but we have reinvented our approach to it for passengers’ and bookers’ changing needs and expectations.
Q. What drives/inspires you to excel in your field of business?
We are driven to stand out in a crowded field of ground transportation providers. To ensure our customer service is second to none, we implemented post-ride reviews: customers are asked to respond to a survey after each ride as a way for GroundLink to receive constant feedback and to continuously improve. Our post-ride average review is an impressive 4.83 out of 5 possible stars. Our global on-time percentage is 99 percent, and our NPS score, which is a measure of our customers’ willingness to recommend us to others, is 97 percent.
Q. How does your company contribute to the global IT platform?
BRIO is GroundLink’s state-of-the-art travel management app, released in July 2017. First available for iOS and now on Android, BRIO has become an invaluable tool for business travelers and travel managers. No other app-based travel company has developed such a powerful program.
It was our goal to leverage the latest technology services along with our award-winning, high-touch customer service and deep understanding of the managed business travel space, to bring an intuitive, ground-breaking solution to our corporate travel partners. We believe that BRIO is just that.
Q. People like when companies are involved in social welfare/CSR activities, what do you say about this?
GroundLink believes in corporate social responsibility, and one way we contribute is our commitment to the duty of care of our customers. As a woman CEO, I am closely attuned to the issues facing women today in the workplace as well as issues of security in their travel. I have made following strict duty of care principles the highest priority for GroundLink. In this era of #MeToo, ride sharing apps have received increased scrutiny due to their inability to protect women passengers from drivers with criminal intent. GroundLink is proud that women make up nearly 55 percent of our passengers, a number that continues to grow from year to year.
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Elizabeth Carisone: An Inspiring Leader
With her unique blend of financial and operational experience, Elizabeth (Liz) Carisone leads GroundLink as CEO, guiding their mission to be the leading provider of tech-enabled black car service. She comes to this role following three years as CFO. Liz has been described by peers and team-members as “an innovative, demanding, and effective executive,” a “professional and thoughtful CFO,” and a “standout…executive” demonstrating her “passion, drive, and selflessness.” Her impressive CV prior to joining GroundLink in 2012 includes CFO of Kroll Consulting, CFO of Gullivers Travel Associates, and senior finance roles at Fisher Scientific, Warner-Lambert, and Allied Signal.
Liz holds a BA from The College of New Jersey and an MBA from Drexel University.