The Most Valuable Asset of a Limousine Company!
Every limousine company markets that they have new vehicles and talk about how good their customer service is and both of these points are a prerequisite to have a great limousine service, but having great chauffeurs is crucial.
The chauffeur is the first and last impression of your company. Sure your customer representatives talk to your clients over the phone when taking reservations, but how many times do they shake your clients hand? The quality of a limousine service's chauffeur staff can make or break the client's experience and the companies relationship with that client.
So what goes into being a great chauffeur?
Preparation & Anticipation
These are two key elements to being a great chauffeur. A great chauffeur must be prepared first by anticipating what his/her client will need or want and every client is different. Preparation begins when a trip is assigned with the standard procedures every chauffeur should complete like checking the trip details (clients name, pick up address, pick up time, vehicle type, routing, etc), but the good chauffeurs will ask a CSR or Dispatcher about special requests or if their any details in the client's profile. The really great chauffeurs will spend a few minutes searching websites such as LinkedIn, Hoovers, or even Facebook to learn about the client's company or interests so they can have the weather report or local courses for a golfer, locate a picture so they can recognize the client, or have restaurant menus loaded on an iPad for an out of town chef.
Anticipation starts when the chauffeur prepares his/her chauffeur kit. I am not sure this is a standard practice, but all of our chauffeurs are equipped with a kit. A great chauffeur will have almost anything a client will need while in the vehicle such as a Tide stick, cell phone chargers for all phone models, binoculars if the client is going to a sporting event or concert, and even sunglasses. Don't we all forget our sunglasses when we travel to Phoenix in July? The kit our Lead Chauffeur has put together for our staff contains 92 items that a client may need. This is anticipation.
Dress for Success
A great chauffeur must also look the part. This can mean many things to many different types of limousine services. For us, it means our chauffeurs are uniformed in black suits, white shirts, and our company tie for corporate clients. Limousine companies that specialize in weddings might have their chauffeurs wear tuxedos. One thing a chauffeur cannot do is dress like an unmade bed with their shirt wrinkled, not clean shaven, or with a stain on his tie. We are professionals serving professionals so dress the part. Remember a chauffeur is the first and last impression for your client when representing your limousine service.
Knowledge is Key
Every chauffeur must know their city and be able to answer client's questions with the "right" answers. What is the best steakhouse in town? Where is the closest Walgreen's? How long will it take to get to my hotel? Do you know if it supposed to rain this afternoon?
These questions seem simple enough, but if the chauffeur is not trained properly they will not have all of these answers for the client. A great chauffeur is a mobile concierge for the client as well a safe driver. If you are a client your chauffeur should be able to deliver. If you are an operator you need to be sure that your chauffeurs are properly trained with a great chauffeur training program. I would take the training step farther and send your chauffeurs to your local CVB for Hospitality training if it is available in your market.
For a more detailed look at what goes into being a great chauffeur check out the Chauffeur Golden Rules.