If you use private car services regularly, you may have experienced a wide variety of drivers. With the recent popularity of Uber and similar services, it’s safe to say that there is a wide range of driver service quality available. However, a quality private car service will do its utmost to differentiate itself: We know that we offer a premium service and that there’s a lot of competition out there.
When choosing a private car service, factors such as fleet quality, frequent traveler reward programs and ease of making reservations are all things to consider, but one of the most important factors is the person behind the wheel. It’s one of those things that our passengers sometimes take for granted but it’s something we’ve put a lot of thought into ever since the company started back in the 1970s.
So what makes a great chauffeur? Are they just taxi drivers in suits or is there something more to consider?
In terms of service, the difference between a basic “driver” and a chauffeur is similar to the difference between a cook and a gourmet chef. What do we mean by this? Here are a few characteristics that we believe all great chauffeurs should have:
Excellent People Skills
It would be easy to say that a great chauffeur should provide superior customer service, but it actually goes far beyond that. Chauffeurs should do much more than open the door for you, load and unload your luggage and get you to your destination on time. Great chauffeurs should be exceptional listeners who demonstrate genuine concern about passenger comfort. They should be able to sense whether conversation is desired or if privacy is preferred, and they should be able to anticipate customer needs. They should exercise impeccable judgment in a variety of situations. Last but not least, they should always greet their passengers with a smile and a warm welcome.
A Dedication to Preparation
When it comes to being a chauffeur, preparation is more than simply knowing the best way to get from point A to point B. Any taxi driver can learn shortcuts and typical traffic jam sites and times. The best chauffeurs not only know how best to get where they’re going, they’re trained to provide a safe and smooth ride. They plan ahead to be punctual or even early. They understand that if a corporate executive misses a flight or an important meeting, the financial repercussions can be enormous. And whenever possible, great chauffeurs know their passengers’ preferences, whether it’s a bottle of champagne on ice, today’s Wall Street Journal, or the name and location of a favorite nearby steakhouse. If the passenger is new, the chauffeur should be familiar with frequently requested destinations such as airports, railroad terminals, convention centers, hotels and local points of interest.
Attention to Detail
Chauffeurs and their vehicles should be immaculate both on the outside and the inside, so that nothing distracts the passenger. Great chauffeurs realize that even a minor annoyance could ruin the experience for the customer. They also notice details about their passengers and use that knowledge to ensure a comfortable and stress-free experience.
The best chauffeurs are highly resourceful, with the skills of a polished personal assistant. They know how to get tickets to a sold-out show or sporting event, where to get a suit quickly cleaned and pressed, or how to obtain priority seating at a top restaurant. They understand that their job goes beyond simple transportation.
Does Your Vendor Measure Up?
If you’re paying for premium car services and the level of driver service falls short of these descriptions, you may want to reconsider your vendor. And if you’re considering a private car service for the first time, be sure to check out the company’s passenger testimonials.
Professionally Trained and Screened Chauffeurs
Here at Teddy’s, we pride ourselves in the quality of our chauffeurs. All are professionally trained, with an extensive training course required within 60 days of hire. The program, which is taught by Teddy’s management, includes training on pre-trip inspections, safe driving techniques, emergency procedures, personal grooming, and customer relations. And of course, all of our chauffeurs are required to undergo extensive drug and alcohol testing as well as criminal background and DMV checks.
Teddy’s Is Hiring!
If you or someone you know is looking for a new challenge, consider a career as a part-time or full-time executive chauffeur for Teddy’s. We offer industry-leading benefits such as 401k and health insurance contributions, as well as a respectful, professional work atmosphere and perks such as a $500 sign-on bonus. Candidates should have at least eight months of local business driving experience and a Connecticut DMV Public Passenger Endorsement. For more information, call Cory Marker at 203-866-2231.
Based in Norwalk, Connecticut, Teddy’s Transportation System provides professionally managed, dependable transportation services in Fairfield and Westchester Counties and the New York metropolitan area. Teddy’s uses safety practices well above mandated levels, has a mobile booking app and valid first-dollar for-hire insurance filed with the Department of Motor Vehicles and available for your inspection. For more information on Teddy’s, go to www.teddyslimo.com or call 800-888-3339.