To Be a Pro....
What Passengers need from Executive Chauffeurs?
A Well-rounded chauffeur possesses skills that go far beyond driving. A chauffeur must possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills to interact with customers. The chauffeur is the first contact most of our customers have with Meridian Limo and first impressions are the lasting impressions.
Standard Requirements for an Professional Limousine Chauffeur:
- Must be able to read, write and speak English and have basic math skills to complete the necessary instruction that a passenger may ask.
- Must be able to read and comprehend road directions through GPS, maps, and written or verbal directions.
- Must not have any dexterity disabilities that would inhibit the safe operation of a motor vehicle and the delivery of exceptional customer service.
- Must be able to lift 50 Lb. (22.68 KG).
- Hair will be clean and no longer than the top of the shirt collar.
- Facial hair (Bards/Mustaches) will be neat, clean and well maintained.
- Aftershave, cologne shall be worn sparingly.
- Tobacco Smoke (odor) is not cologne. It is an odor that is offensive to non-smokers and is not acceptable
- Minimal jewelry can be worn and includes rings, watches, cufflinks, and earrings (studs)
- No facial piercing of any kind is acceptable.
- Fingernails must be trimmed and clean at all times.
- Hair will be clean, Combed and cropped back away from face.
- Perfume shall be worn sparingly.
- Tobacco Smoke (odor) is not cologne. It is an odor that is offensive to non-smokers and is not acceptable
- Minimal jewelry can be worn and includes rings, watches, necklace, and earrings.
- No facial piercing of any kind is acceptable.
- Fingernails must be trimmed and clean at all times.
- Make-up for the purpose of enhancing appearance is acceptable, however it should not be excessive
Executive Service Chauffer dress code:
- A Dark Suit (Black) that is clean and pressed, pants shall touch the top of the shoes and the suit should be professionally dry-cleaned.
- A crisp ironed long sleeve white shirt, if wearing also under shirt this must be plain white (no writing or pictures)
- A black tie is the normal (but occasionally can be colored just not too outlandish).
- Black shoes witch are polished and worn with black socks.
- Black V neck sweater or sweater vest may be worn under your jacket.
- A black dress raincoat or black dress overcoat may be worn.
- Chauffeur hats, sunglasses when needed are optional.
- For wedding and proms, a tuxedo that includes vest, white tuxedo shirt and black tie and white globes.
- A cleaned pressed black pantsuit or black skirt knee length. Suits should be professionally dry-cleaned.
- A white dress blouse or crisp long sleeve ironed shirt.
- If blouse is silk a camisole should be worn underneath.
- Black stockings should be worn with a skirt and black socks with pantsuit.
- Black V neck sweater may be worn under your jacket.
- Chauffeur hats, sunglasses when needed are optional.
- For wedding and proms, a tuxedo that includes vest, white tuxedo shirt and black tie and white globes.
There is a direct correlation to chauffeurs who take pride in the way they look and how they present themselves to the amount of gratuities they receive. Their appearance is very important and noticed by the paying customer since the client has an expectation of what a professional chauffeur looks like and it is the chauffeur job to meet this expectation each and every time. The chauffeur must be calm and professional at all times, and use good judgment and diplomacy whenever possible and remember that we are dealing with all types of people whose moods vary widely, in dealing with the public, must always be sensitive to the client and their particular circumstances.
Chauffeurs should only speak when spoken to. If a client wants the chauffeur to engage in conversation, do so, but never to be engaged in a conversation about religion, politics, sex, or could be considered controversial. When meet a client, the chauffeur must looks them directly in the eyes, and addresses them formally. If a client says “ please do not open the door for me” or “hold an umbrella for me” the chauffeur must respect their wishes and not to force service on the client. The radio should be turned off when the client enters the vehicle however the chauffeur may ask if they would like to be turn it on, and set to whichever station the client requests. The chauffeur is always representing the company, this means should assume to be always being observed on the job at all times and responsible for this company public image. Many Clients view the back of the vehicle as a sanctuary in their busy lives. They turn off their cellphone, close their eyes, and enjoy a mini-vacation. Many other clients view this time as time to do business when they have private business conversations, read e-mails or use their computer to conduct business; it is very important to know this as one of the most common reasons for a client to stop using a service is due to a personal problem with a chauffeur. One of the top complaints received by a luxury transportation companies when an account is lost is that the driver said or did something inappropriate.
Things a Chauffeur Should Carry in the Vehicle
A Good Cellphone and a pocket Victorinox will carry most of the items you will ever need.
- Small notebook
- Extra pens
- Calculator (Cellphone)
- Flashlight (Cellphone)
- Dry Erase Marker
- Hand sanitizer
- Sewing Kit
- Extra napkins, Paper towels, & Tissue
- Glass cleaner
- Cash for incidentals
- Extra business cards
- Maps/GPS or both
- Cork screw / Bottle opener
- Breath mints
- Individual wrapped Tylenol, Tums, and Pepto-Bismol
- First aid kit including non-Latex globes
- Fire extinguisher and flares
- Small plastic bags
- Air freshener
- Individual packaged toothbrushes
- Shout wipes or spot remover stick
- In car 2 Cellphone charger (1 for IPhone and 1 Samsung phone)
- Bottle of water
- 2 umbrellas
- Prime Magazine or business newspaper
“Ninety percent of all the problems in the luxury transportation business are due to lack of preparation”
These problems include but are not limited to:
- Send out a vehicle with a mechanical problem
- Receiving incomplete instructions from the customer at the time the reservation was taken
- Chauffeurs who prepare for their job on the “fly”
- Chauffeurs failing to read the notes and asking questions prior to leaving on anything that it is not clear.
There is no excuse for being late or missing a pick-up ever! Preparation is the most important key. This is why we recommend when servicing a passenger, that the chauffeur also comply with the following limousine standards.
Before each service the driver should…
- Perform a complete pre-trip safety inspection of their vehicle as required by DMV standards.
- Ensure the vehicle is immaculately clean, inside and out, and is presented with paperwork, maps, cleaning kit and any personal items stored tidily beyond the client’s view or in the vehicle’s boot / trunk.
- Check fuel level (minimum 1⁄4 tank full), brake performance, passenger restraint devices and door locking systems.
- Have a copy of the booking summary sheet, client itinerary and Meridian name board.
- Know the location of all addresses, and plan the quickest route between them.
- Move the front passenger seat forward to maximize space in the rear, and check that no other keys are attached to the ignition key to avoid unnecessary noise.
- Replenish bottled water, English language business Magazine or newspaper, and tissues or freshening wipes.
- Ensure all required branded items are in the vehicle or on their person (for example, chauffeur cards, tie and promotional material) and they have available at least two large, unbranded umbrellas.
- Update your status using your Driver app, and be ready to answer a call from Dispatcher to reconfirm details of the service.
- Arrive at the pick-up point at least 15 minutes before the scheduled pick-up time.
- If on a multi-car service, co-locate with the lead driver and ensure consistent wording of name boards.
When At Location
- Be As Close as Possible to the meeting Point
- After you change status to ” At Location” using your Driver App and Send a Text Message to the Passenger
- AT LOCATION Text: “Hi, This is Daniel, your Driver, AT LOCATION ready for your 10:0 PM Pick Up, Anything you need Please let me know”
- CURBSIDE Pick Up Text: “ Hi This is Mike, your Driver, at the airport for your CURBSIDE pick up, when you are ready please let me know, so I can pull there to meet you outside”
- MEET & GREET (Airport): “Hi, this is Frank, your driver, I am inside the airport, Ready x MEET & GREET, Anything you need please let me know”
- You may add a second text with some more specific details like “ Standing Across the Street, when ready LMK and i will pull ti the front”.
When meeting the client the driver should…
- Introduce them selves, when need it assist with luggage, offer an umbrella, and always open and close doors.
- If there is excess luggage, contact Meridian immediately to make the necessary arrangements.
- TIP: When you walk to the car with the passenger, first open the door for the passenger then load the luggage.
When picking a client up from the airport, the driver should…
- Stand with the Meridian name board in a position that is as obvious as possible to a client. Top Tip: it may seem better to stand away from a large group of chauffeurs; this is exactly where arriving passengers are likely to look first.
- Contact Meridian immediately if you have not contact the client within 45 minutes of the plane landing and wait further instruction.
When picking a client up from an address, the driver should…
- Park as close as possible and wait in or next to the vehicle with name board clearly displayed.
- If picking up from a hotel, announce their presence to the doorman, concierge or reception.
- If picking up from a residential address, do not announce your arrival unless specifically instructed to do so to avoid disturbing other occupants.
- Contact Meridian immediately if you have not met the client within 15 minutes of the scheduled pick-up time and wait further instruction.
Throughout the service the Chauffeur should…
- Be wearing a clean, dark, good quality suit; white or blue shirt; a plain/professional tie; polished shoes; and minimal jewelry.
- Ensure that doors are locked and all clients wear seat belts.
- Operate the vehicle as required or implied by law and within their personal capabilities ensuring a smooth ride at a safe speed given road and weather conditions.
- If on a multi-car service, drive in convoy with other vehicles following the same pre-agreed route. · Not eat, drink or smoke in the vehicle and in front of the client; and always be awake, alert and ready to assist clients.
- Set their mobile phone to silent alert or vibrate, not take personal calls while the passenger is on board and use a ‘hands-free’ kit to answer any business calls only where and when it is legal.
- Keep dialogue to a minimum, unless engaged in conversation by the client, and only play music on request.
- Inform Meridian immediately if there is a change of itinerary, extension of the service, or a delay that could impact the passenger arriving on time for an appointment or train / flight departure.
- Don’t leave it until you are late before informing Meridian of a delay and call us even if the client says they have informed the relevant people.
- Never stand down unless authorized by Meridian.
- Never accept or attempt to solicit custom directly from a client.
At the end of the service, the Chauffeur should…
- Search the vehicle for missing items.
- Do not accept cash payments for the trip (please contact the office asap)
- Check with the client what should be done with any documents left in the vehicle, and if instructed to destroy them, treat as confidential waste.
- At night, check lone clients are safely inside the drop off location before departing.
- Check the terminal using flight status to ensure they arrive to the correct terminal in plenty of time.
- Update extras or reply to our email asking for extras (only if passenger incurred in additional charges)
Staying in Touch with the office:
One very important elements of a chauffeur’s job is their ability to quickly communicate with the dispatcher in the office.
Chauffeur: Speak slowly and pronounce your words clearly. Keep the conversation short, especially when you are with your client, and please remember that the dispatcher answer multiply telephone lines and takes care of all of the chauffeurs and clients. (Don’t be offended if the conversation is short and to the point). When it is legal and possible update the status on your Driver app or text our dispatcher (1-800-462-1550)
Remember to call into dispatch promptly and without extra verbiage. You are busy and your job is very important, but understands and recognizes that your dispatcher is as busy and important as you are. Make sure to always charge your cellphone when in the car and to take it with you when exiting the vehicle so the office can stay in constant contact.
One of the most controversial, often confusing parts of the luxury transportation business involves gratuities or tips. It’s a traditional and essential part of the limo business that protects the client and ensures chauffeur longevity. A chauffeur needs to control the vehicle. When things get too wild, he needs to step in and curb the client’s behavior. This is a basic safety issue. When a limo driver thinks he might lose the tip (which is the bulk of his pay), he’ll let the client do anything. This puts the client and the vehicle at risk. Quality veteran chauffeurs will advise you not to focus on the tips. You will be surprised time and time again who does or does not give additional tip. Focus on doing your job each and every day and the tips will take care of themselves. It is a good policy not to discuss your pay or gratuities with clients, dispatchers or other chauffeurs, it just cause trouble. Clients should receive the highest level of customer service on every trip regardless of their tipping patterns (Never discuss your disappointment with the client) The nice thing about the built-in gratuity is that clients usually tip a little extra at the end of a run. In this system the chauffeurs simply make more money.
Chauffeurs are our the best sales persons
In many ways a chauffeur act as a sales person and is the first face to face contact to our client has with this company (First impressions are the lasting impressions). Each time the chauffeur is on time, in a clean car, the chauffeur in effect made a successful sales call. Beyond the obvious, the chauffeur is an important source of information for clients and the general public. A professional chauffeur should be ready to provide business cards, Brochures, or any other requested material to clients or potential clients. It is very important that the chauffeur knows our website address “MeridianLimo.com”. Generally a working chauffeur should be able to discuss the basic vehicles and service their company offers. However never allow a curious person to look in or enter in the car when someone else is renting it. If a person wants information about your vehicle or the company give them a business card and suggest they call the office for more information. Top-Quality chauffeurs act as the eyes and ears of the company they represent. Never discuss service you provide in the past with a current client (Stag party, celebrity or business client).
Protecting Your Client’s Identity
Some clients do not want anyone to know that they use a luxury limousine service because they may be involved in sensitive business situations. They may not want their peers or neighbors to know how much they travel or that they enjoy going to the casinos. It is very important that the chauffeur do not mention the name of one client to another client for any reason, and to treat clients carefully and with skills, professionalism, and the top discretion. All information in regard to all clients, whether private, corporate, or occasional clients is the property of Meridian Limo LLC. No information obtained shall be disseminated outside of the company. All information obtained shall be used to provide exceptional customer service in the future. All chauffeurs shall agree with our confidentially agreement at the time of service and will held accountable for any misuse if any on all client information.
Bad things happen to the best of chauffeurs and the best limousine companies, (chauffeurs miss turns, they misread run sheets, etc.), Always be honest! good clients will understand and sometimes forgive your transgressions. But what they will not forgive is being lied to. If you are running late or are not where you are supposed to be, give your clients and dispatch a heads-up immediately. Do not tell a client there is a backup on the I-95 when a quick check on the Internet search will give them a clear camera shot of the highway. Do not tell them you had a flat tire when you did not, it makes your looks bad and it damage the reputation and good name of our company. When a mistake or problem occurs, focus on the solution and the future, mention to your client that you are very sorry for the situation or breakdown, and that you are solving the problem by mentioning that you have called dispatch for a replacement car and that it is on the way and will be here shortly. The calmer you are, the calmer your clients will be.
Assigning the most appropriate chauffeur to each trip is the goal of every dispatcher. This means that certain chauffeurs are specifically assigned to specific trips. Although it may appear unfair, the dispatcher or owner is always looking for the correct chauffeur for each trip. Here is an example: a veteran chauffeur is assigned to a casino run for a high roller, at the last minute, a key business client may need airport transportation, the dispatcher makes a quick decision to switch assignments and send the veteran chauffeur to the airport run, while this seems unfair, it’s the best decision for the client and for the overall good for the company. A corporate client who spends thousands of dollars, the dispatcher does not want to jeopardize the account by assigning it to an inexperienced chauffeur. Never forget to look at the big picture. Our clients must be accommodated with the best, most experienced chauffeur. Another situation veteran chauffeurs often complain about is trip assignment given to weekend chauffeurs. Despite the fact that they are only available on weekends we must rely on these chauffeurs to fulfill the needs of the company, and yes this includes some of the choicest assignments. Apart-time chauffeur in addition to supplementing the regular chauffeurs offer the company flexibility to handle a larger percentage of reservations.
Inside a luxury Sedan
One of the most common vehicles used by the luxury transportation companies are the Lincolns and de Cadillacs, the most important part of the vehicle for the paying customer is obviously the backseat. The vehicle should be checked closely prior to pickup the client, making sure that the front passenger seat is in the extreme forward position and that the car smells clean. Check the storage area behind both seats for trash and forgotten items. Special amenities can include newspapers, Coffee, a bottle of water, etc. Phone calls should not be made unless absolutely necessary when a client is in the car and should always speak English or the passenger language only
The stretch Limousine
A stretch Limousine stills the standard of elegance in the luxury transportation business. The Vehicle can be Lincoln, Chrysler, or Cadillac. Sometimes SUV stretch is available. The vehicle is sometimes used for airport transportation, but is frequently the vehicle of choice for weddings, proms, and night out. Unless clients travel in limousine frequently, most people are unfamiliar with the beat seat controls in a limousine. The chauffeur must be able to get into the back of the vehicle and demonstrate the following:
- Heat and air-conditioning controls.
- The intercom used to communicate with the chauffeur.
- Know the operations of stereo, TV, DVD, and electronics.
- Lighting options
- Operating the solid and glass divider, and sunroof, etc.
- Other special amenities relative to the vehicle you are driving.
- Show Clients where beverage and snacks are located and trash receptacle
SUV, Vans, and Mini Coach
SUV, Sprinter Vans, and Mini Coach are increasingly popular in the modern luxury transportation business. Many Clients in the eighteen to forty age groups have made the SUV the new luxury vehicle of choice The Chevy Suburban, Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator, and the Sprinter VAN offer a new standard of luxury in the business. It is important for the professional chauffeur to deliver the same service and feel comfortable working with all the vehicles in the fleet.
Airport work is the backbone of the limousine business. Timely pick ups and drop offs for the busy travelers is a must. Here are some basic tips:
- Make sure your trunk is clean to accommodate luggage
- When pick up at a client’s home make sure you confirm the pick up address and your route to the airport
- When picking up at an office location make sure you are given the correct entrance.
- Take the client’s luggage and carefully place it in the vehicle.
- Many airport trips occur during rush hour, so be sure that you have plenty of time to get to the airport
- Make sure you know the client’s departing and arriving flight numbers.
- Don’t make special arrangements with a client arriving at the airport unless the dispatcher has approved (like calling the passenger when landed and ask for a curbside pick up when the trip reads meet and greet, just call dispatcher first)
- Make sure you give the customer a business card so they can contact us with any change to their itinerary.
- Chauffeurs must monitor flight information, also dispatcher monitors all arriving and departing flight and update the chauffeur.
- Make sure you take your cellphone with you into the airport so dispatch can contact you.
- Prominently display the airport sign with the client name and the company name so they can identify us.
- At the drop off after assisting the client out of the vehicle, take their luggage out of the trunk for them (First open the door, then take care of luggage)
- Know all regulations of each airport. If you do not know a particular airport’s procedures ask the dispatcher before leaving.
This guide is to clarify the procedure for farm-in work. Farm-in work is described as work, witch Meridian Limo has entrusted with clients / guest) from other limousine services worldwide. This shall be used in conjunction with the operational guidelines from day to day operations. These guidelines are specifically for Farm-In work only.
Goal: to foster a better understanding of the procedures in place and expectations in level of service Meridian will be providing when receiving farm-in work from other transportations service worldwide or local. We will provide exceptional service to the guest of other limousine services. Our goal it is not to “steal the clients”, but to make the farming-out company look exceptional with the service we provide to their clients. The chauffeur will be supplied with signage (When Possible) with guest’s name and the company Meridian Limo is providing service for. If during the trip, plans change, you must notify our dispatch immediately, this will allow dispatch to update the farm out company of the changes plans and authorize additional charges if needed. If the guest requests a return trip, additional trips or questions about billing, the chauffeur must refer them to the main office (of the farm out company), this information it is found on the trip ticket at the top or at the trip detail on the driver anywhere app (look for “CMP: …”)
- Under no circumstances shall the chauffeur give them any business card, brochure or identify himself or herself as from Meridian Limo.
- It is imperative that (when legal and possible) follows all normal procedures in regards to contacting Meridian Limo’s dispatcher (when en route, at location, POB, or Drop-off).
- All contact with the clients/ Guests & dispatch shall be on the chauffeur mobile phone unless circumstances arise witch will not allow.
|If a Signage from the farm out company is not available cover with your hand our company name and logo when you hold it (don’t forget to write the company name in the upper left side|
You will be working on many trips that involve multiple vehicles, these trips range from airport “Junkets” to wedding and night out on the town. One chauffeur will be assigned as the “Lead Chauffeur” for the purpose of a multi-vehicle assignment, it is very important to listen to the lead chauffeur and to have their cellphone number. The goal is to keep the vehicles together and serve your clients in the most efficient way possible. The lead chauffer is responsible and decide how the group should proceed.
Days or Night Out – As Directed Reservations
The most profitable work we do, are as directed reservations, these trips involve multiple stops and can range from 2 to 16 hours or more. These reservations are often a special occasion for the client and memorable celebrations for everyone in the vehicle, just how memorable? is determined by the level of the customer’s service you provided your clients!
Ways a Chauffeur Can Enhance the Client’s Experience
Being knowledgeable of the destinations and making suggestions for well known landmark, points of interest, shopping, dinning suggestions, night clubs, etc. Remember to be a concierge on the road.
All of this will contribute to the client possibly extending their reservations, using our services in the future, and referring friends, family, and other prospective customers. Remember you must first be sure that the vehicle you are driving is available and the customer is able to pay the additional charges. Check with dispatch any time you see your run will be going into overtime. Don’t become complacent in your job and never just be satisfied with a good job. We are looking for a great Job!
The most basic item for every professional chauffeur to understand about driving for proms or formal school dances is that your young clients deserve the same care and pampering that every other client receives. That means addressing them as “Mr. or Ms.”, holding doors open, and assisting them in any way possible. Many prom clients use our services for other bookings and referrals, remember: Prom attendees have parents and relatives that are clients or potential clients of Meridian Limo. Treat them in a first class manner and you will be rewarded with good behavior. The only difference between driving the CEO and his wife out on the town is that alcohol is strictly prohibited. It does not matter if someone in the vehicle is of drinking age; alcohol is never permissible on proms. When driving on proms make sure they understand they can’t hang outside of the car or through the moon-roof when the car is in motion. Only preapproved stops on your contract are allowed. The parents and the dispatcher should have preapproved this when the reservation was made.
One of the most stressful types of trips for the professional chauffeur is a wedding. The Clients are often nervous and apprehensive, and timing is critical. The professional chauffeur is more than a driver on a weeding day. You are, without a doubt, a concierge on wheels. You will set the tone of the day, as you give everyone the sense of the calm for the day. By projecting the confidence that comes with our experience and your preparation, the entire day is more relaxing and enjoyable for the clients. You are the wedding expert. The fact that you have done many weddings gives you the confidence to keep everyone relaxed on a very hectic day.
Wedding Check List
Formal Attire is Tuxedos for weddings and proms, includes vest, white tuxedo shirt and black tie and white gloves. Make sure you are early and have mapped out the pick up address, where the church is located, the picture locations and the location of the reception. Make sure you have the special amenities Meridian Limo provides for wedding packages
- Red Carpet
- Complimentary bottle of champagne
- Champagne bucket and stand, extra ice in champagne bucket, cloth napkin to wrap bottles with wine opener (many people will bring their own wine)
- Wedding teddy bears
- Make sure the napkins and decorations are what the customer wanted on the contract
- Just married sign (if available)
- Extra bottles of water for the family members
- Clear Plastic cups as you can give many people a drink of water from one bottle of water on a hot day.
Assist the bride in entering and exiting the limousine, after obtaining permission. Take special care in keeping the bride from getting any dirt on the dress. Also make sure that the dress and/ or the train or vale does not get caught in the door of the limousine or is on the ground. Take particular care in getting your clients in and out of the vehicles because they are wearing formal clothing and may have been drinking. Make sure the Heat or Air conditioning is adjusted before your client enters the vehicle. Most brides miscalculate the timing of their entire wedding day. Go over the schedule with the bride and groom and possibly a wedding planner as soon as you arrive at the pick up location. You may also want to review the schedule with the photographer and get any address’s for any photo locations or if the photographer will be riding with the bride and groom or in their own vehicle. Every bride and groom has the feeling that you are their private chauffeur for the day, act like their private chauffeur, but set the schedule and boundaries clearly! Most of all make this day that day that your customer service exceeds all other services. Be Great!
Celebrity and Super VIP Clients
Meridian Limo transports many celebrities on a regular basis in different cities and red carpet events as well. Here are a few items to be especially vigilant about when dealing with celebrities / VIP clients:
- You are not there as a fan, but to deliver professional services.
- Do not ask for an autograph or a picture.
- Suppress your natural desire to chitchat with your passenger.
- Be very careful when assisting your celebrity clients as they enter and exit your vehicle.
Often a celebrity will attract fans seeking autograph or personal contact, keep the path clear as much as possible for them. Have the cars key with you all the time and keep the car lock as soon as the passenger get in the car and you walk to the driver’s door as a paparazzi or fan can be waiting for reopen the celebrity’ s door for a picture. While waiting for a celebrity during stops, make sure at least one of the passengers have your cell phone number to call you if needed (usually their personal assistant or the celebrity). Try to get back in the car a.s.a.p. Avoid contact with the press or fans, as some of this people may approach to you with a bad or provocative intention, (if this ever happen to you never loose your temper, likely a camera is on, and the image will be edited later to show only your reaction), when contact is unavoidable always show respect and professionalism, never give any information like names or stop times or next the destination as this can be a potential treat to the clients identity and put your passenger safety at risk.
Working with Greeters
Sometimes and very common with celebrities, you will need to interact with greeters. For arrivals you will get a call from the greeter to make arrangement for the exact pick-up location point. Then the greeter should call you when made contact with passenger and walk heading where you are. For airport departures you will need to call greeter and make arrangements to know the exact drop off location, then a second call when the passenger is on board with the following information, “ We are en route to the airport with (how many) pieces of luggage to check in, our ETA is (Arrival time), and a last call when you are 5’ away, this allow the greeter to adequate time to be available to greet their patrons.
The Perils of a Regular Client
The goal of every chauffeur is to develop a regular clientele. It feels good to get clients requests and you probably will receive larger gratuities. Regular clientele develop a relationship based on comfort and trust with their regular chauffeur. We try and accommodate the client’s preference for designated chauffeur whenever possible. At times the regular chauffeur is not available due to a scheduling conflict. Never badmouth your fellow chauffeur or the company. Tell your client you highly recommend your fellow professionals. Document every particular aspect of the service you deliver to your regular client. Carefully documenting everything will allow the company to properly service the client in the cases when the regular chauffeur is not available. Always be on guard and resist the urge to cross the line from hardworking professional to your client’s friend or contemporary. You are not a passenger on the trip, you are a professional being paid to perform a professional service, if you forget this you may get a new friend but you will loose a customer.
The Champagne Standard
One of the most important jobs as a professional chauffeur is the smooth operation of your vehicle. Sudden stops, quick lane changes, or any erratic driving are strictly forbidden. Your passenger should be able to drink a glass of champagne in the back of your vehicle without difficulty. This means gliding to a stop. It means careful and, measured acceleration and handling of the vehicle. Remember a stretch limousine is twice the weight of a standard sedan, but the breaks are basically the same in both vehicles, and you have to be especially careful at all times.
Here are Some Important Safety Tips to Keep in Mind
- Drive at the posted speed limit. An increase of 15 MPH over the limit only saves you a few minutes in 100 Miles. Your risk of injury increases 3 times faster than your speed.
- Never tailgate! You are driving an extremely heavy vehicle. Give yourself extra room to stop.
- One of the most dangerous habits of the modern driver is cell phone use. It is dangerous, distracting and contributes to accidents. If you must talk, pull over.
- Eliminate distractions: loud music & unnecessary conversations can contribute to accidents.
- Get plenty of rest. Tired drivers cause more than 3 times as many accidents as drunk drivers.
- If you are absolutely too tired to drive, call dispatch immediately.
Defensive Driving Tactics
The core element of this system is the following:
- Space, be aware of your vehicle’s position and leave extra space to make you less vulnerable.
- Check visibility steer clear of blind spots. Make an effort to be visible to your fellow drivers.
- Time, Be alert and conservative to react to the changes around you.
- Aim high in steering, look to the future. You should scan 6 seconds ahead at low speed and 15 second ahead of high speed.
- Get the big picture! Check your mirrors frequently. You need be aware of what is going on.
- Keep your eyes moving, peripheral vision helps you scan for movement, but you must move your eyes to focus momentarily on everything.
- Leave yourself an out; maintain a 2-4 second following distance. (May need this space cushion as a scape path).
- Make sure they see you, Make eye contact with other drivers and pedestrian
- Avoid putting yourself in a position that requires you to back-up
- Be respectful and completely aware of weather conditions. The weather plays a big role in your ability to control your vehicle. Bright sun can cause glare and can seriously affect your driving. Make sure you have quality sunglasses (U.V. protection and antiglare). When is raining, or foggy take your time and allow plenty of extra following distance. Snow and ice are a fact of life. Remember; take your foot off the brake and gently steer your way out of trouble.
Chauffeur Responsibilities on the Event of an Accident
- Stop, Secure the scene, and prevent further accidents.
- Report the accident-emergency agencies and management
- Attend to the injured
- Gather information
- Do not admit fault-take down remarks made by others admitting guilt or fault
Create a Winning Relationship on the Job
One of the unusual aspect of your job as a professional chauffeur involves the “Hurry up and wait” nature of your job. There is an awful lot of downtime and time spent waiting at airports, restaurants, hotels, and any number of places. Chauffeurs talk! Many times their conversations focus on clients, co-workers, and the companies they work for. The long-term professional chauffeur learns to keep this kind of conversation to a minimum. Talk about a movie you have seen, the local sports team, or any number of non-controversial topics. If you want information on the company or pertinent to your job, get it from the supervisor or the owner of the company. Active participants in the chauffeur grapevine” are a problem for everyone concerned.
Trip Log Example
1 – Dispatcher send trip to via Email
2 –Chauffeur check if can do it based on:
- A) Safety
- How is the weather?
- Are You Tired or feeling sick?
- B) Availability
If there is any doubt that you can accept a job is better to say no. (never to take a risk).
- Do you have more trips at the same time?
3 – Promptly confirm or reject the trip via Email. Reply the same email or text with the words:
- “Confirmed” or “Accepted” when a trip is accepted
- “Unable” or “Negative” when a trip is rejected
4 – In the morning set the alarm at least 1 Hour before the Garage Out time. (Status Change to Dispatched)
5 – When is the Garage Out Time – Update Status on Driver app to En Route – or send a text to 1 (800) 462-1550
6 – Answer the Dispatcher Call to make sure you are awake and alert; she/he will ask you: where are you heading.
7 – Inform Dispatcher immediately in the following event:
You are running Late? Provide your ETA (best and worst) keep going, we try to get another car.
8 – When Arriving at PU Address change status to “At Location” or send us a text
9 – Send the passenger a text “Hi, This is your driver Danny at location x your 8:00 AM Pick Up”.
10 – If you did not pick up the passenger after the grace period ended, call Dispatcher or text “Still Waiting”
|15’||Departures / Transfers|
11 – At the end of the service change status to Drop OFF/Clear or text dispatcher. Look for missing objects and make sure passenger is safe inside.
12 – Let us know via text if any extra stop or waiting time needs to be added (send text to: 1-800-462-1550)
- Passengers can be late up to 1 hour*
- Flights may be early or with delays
- Rush hour and bad weather increase travel time