Sounds like an overstatement of the obvious, but you would be amazed just how many chauffeurs truly fail to listen. Yes, you need good driving skills to be a great chauffeur – and yesterday we emphasized the importance of dressing the part. However, more crucial than either of these attributes is the importance of listening.
Why? Everyone is talking to you and at you
Your dispatcher(s) should be working to keep you current on traffic, flight status and passenger whereabouts. Choose to ignore the information and you put yourself at risk for being late for a pick-up, making a customer late or encountering unnecessary problems.
The fleet manager(s) will keep you abreast of vehicle maintenance schedules, which car to drive and any special information. Ignoring these instructions can have dire consequences on the day’s planned runs.
Your passengers will be communicating on both a verbal and non-verbal level. It is imperative you learn how to read people. Some passengers will look to talk, others will want peace and quiet – some will tell you this – others will expect you figure out they are looking for silence. Don’t be afraid to ask your passengers if they are comfortable, confirm the destination address and if they need anything else – this is your responsibility as their chauffeur. If you are getting short, terse answers – you are best to end the conversation here – unless spoken to again. For the talkative passengers, use your judgment – listen to what they are saying – if the conversation seems to wane – allow your customers to relax into silence. Remember, some topics of conversation should always remain off limits – heated debates between passengers (you are a chauffeur – not a referee), politics and religion.
So yes, it may seem that you need to be mind reader – but remember, happy passengers will hopefully translate to repeat business. Listening carefully shows people that you care and are in tune with their individual needs.
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Lastly, please remember that your ability to listen can help out your employer – if a customer mentions a preferred route, a special pick-up location or some little detail – pass the information along. Limo companies are in the business of customer service and this is the easiest way to help service customer requests!