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New Canaan Car Service Owner Makes Customers No. 1

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – Calling a cab can be a game of chance. The driver can be lousy with directions, unsure of the route and prone to run into traffic. Lynda Silvestro, the co-owner of Hoyt Livery in New Canaan, makes it her responsibility to take the guess work out of calling a cab.

"Our 'Training 101' is customer service," said Silvestro, who also co-owns New Canaan Auto Body and Vegetable Barn and Deli with her husband, Santo. "All of my businesses are service-oriented. It's very important that we interact with our customers."

Silvestro said she emphasizes to her employees that every customer should be treated the same. "We're not a taxi company, we're a limo company," she said. "That means we open the door, stand outside and greet customers." She understands that her company is there to get people where they're going and to make it as pleasant as possible, whether it's someone who calls a limo once a year or once a week.

Though she manages 105 employees, Silvestro's major responsibility is to watch the numbers as chief financial officer. She also oversees hiring and employee performance. When someone asks to interview for a driver position, Silvestro said she looks for a telltale sign. "If they call and ask for directions to our office, that's a red flag. They have to know where they're going."

In addition to customer service, Silvestro makes it a priority to give back to the community. "Hoyt Livery is extremely philanthropic," Silvestro said. "We're constantly donating, I'd say on a weekly basis." If a request is worthy, especially if it involves helping local children, Silvestro said her company is eager to help.

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