Exceptional chauffeurs possess great communication skills. They should know when to speak up, when to stay quiet, and how to meet a passenger’s needs – whether or not the passenger makes those needs explicit. Knowing these things will help chauffeurs deliver better customer service, which directly produces more satisfied repeat customers. Not only will these people book a service more often, but also they will likely show their gratitude through more generous tips.
Meeting Passengers’ Needs: When a Passenger Makes a Request
When passengers make requests, chauffeurs should be ready, willing, and able to meet these needs. Verbal requests are, of course, the easiest passenger demands to fulfill. For example, if a customer asks for certain refreshments to be in the car ahead of time, a chauffeur needs to have those items on hand when they pick up the customer. It’s always a nice gesture to find out what the customer’s preferences are beforehand—the client will be very appreciative.
Learn to Read Body Language
Not all passengers make explicit requests. Sometimes, a passenger may want or need something, but will not ask for it. In situations such as these, it is up to the chauffeur to read a passenger’s subtle hints and body language to determine what they want or need.
For example, if a passenger seems tired, simply let them rest and try to avoid any sudden jolts. If a passenger is whistling a tune to himself or herself, ask if you can put on some music for them. If a passenger starts dialing on their cellphone, it’s best to turn off the radio altogether.
Chauffeurs should pay attention to all cues a passenger may give off and attempt to follow those cues. Note that chauffeurs should never assume to know what a passenger wants: if a passenger’s body language makes you think they want or need something, ask first. It may turn out that a chauffeur interpreted their customer’s body language incorrectly. Reading body language is a complex and nuanced activity, and no one can be perfect all the time. As they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
The Customer Wants a Conversation – How Should You Handle It?
When it comes to chauffeur-passenger conversations, all chauffeurs should follow one golden rule: wait for the passenger to speak first. Chauffeurs should not attempt to start conversations with passengers or insert themselves into conversations occurring between passengers. Of course, a chauffeur should greet their client, but in terms of conversation, the chauffeur should always wait for the passenger to make the first move.
If a passenger does address a chauffeur directly, the chauffeur should respond appropriately and politely. A chauffeur should follow the passenger’s lead in the conversation. A chauffeur should not change the subject or the direction of the conversation, nor should a chauffeur continue a conversation unless the passenger encourages them to. When it comes to subject matter, chauffeurs must exercise discretion. This means they should avoid crass slang, divisive political topics, religious discussions, and any other comments that passengers may deem objectionable. Should a client bring up these sorts of topics, it is best for a chauffeur to remain neutral in their answers. Chauffeurs should refrain from objecting with their opinions.
Chauffeurs must be great communicators, capable of reading body language, responding to direct requests, and carrying on conversations with grace and propriety. A chauffeur who can successfully read his or her passengers can better meet their demands, which means the chauffeur can offer more personalized and effective customer service – and that is the key to locking in repeat customers who will use the chauffeur’s service time and time again.