Los Angeles Field Guide to Finding an Expert Chauffeur

LA Limo Service: The truth

Countless Los Angeles Limousine services will promise that their chauffeurs are some of the best in the business.  But how can you be sure?

Ask what service sector the chauffeurs hail from.

Many of the most highly requested chauffeurs in the Los Angeles limousine industry come from the service and hospitality sector. Others hail from the private sector and many from the emergency service sector.  Chauffeurs really should be fully licensed and insured as they are the companies most valuable assets.  The exceptional ones are those that possess impeccable driving records and bring with them a multitude of valuable interpersonal and vocational skills.

Background checks, safety and experience

Every high level executive chauffeur should be background checked by a Department of Justice certified agency and all chauffeurs MUST pass a pre-employment and random drug testing process as mandated by the Los Angeles DOT law.  Most professional executive car service candidates should have a minimum of two years field experience and be accustomed to dealing with the needs of high profile clients.

Training Protocol

Top tier executive chauffeurs MUST go through an extensive training period.  Depending on the internal protocol, training may cover everything from safety and comfort driving to internal company and  client relations.  Even small minutia like proper chauffeur grooming and  etiquette make a world of difference in the field.  Does the executive car service you choose have some kind of employee probationary period, if so how long is this period?.

10 differences between a Los Angeles Limo driver and a “Chauffeur”

The Chauffeur is often the first and only company representative the client will meet out in the field.  First impressions are everything in this business. Chauffeurs are many things.  They are licensed and insured professionals that sign binding client privacy and confidentiality agreements.  They are masters of high end customer service and they have the ability to “read people” well.  Chauffeurs are like mobile concierges – they open doors for passengers, handle luggage and know Los Angeles like the back of their hand.  Below are some great benchmarks that differentiate a chauffeur from a driver.  An exceptional chauffeur will CONSISTENTLYpossess the following traits:

  1. Has a presentable appearance: properly uniformed and clean shaven.  Nails trimmed,   hair groomed..etc.- He should communicate  an image of professionalism.
  2. He is ALWAYS punctual (15 minutes early) and knows how and where to meet the client.
  3. Maintains a flexible attitude when communicating with executive travel agents and bookers, especially when giving 10 minute out calls or status updates.
  4. Has good social skills and should know how to provide  ‘red carpet’ level hospitality. Many highly requested chauffeurs act like owners and not employess.
  5. Speaks the passengers “language” and speaks only after being spoken to.
  6. Drives in a professional manner that makes the passenger feel safe and comfortable.
  7. Maintains a ‘spirit of service’: handles baggage, stages the vehicle as close to the passengers entrance as possible, checks to see if the vehicle is at a comfortable interior temperature and always answers any additional questions with a flexible attitude.  A savvy chauffeur never says no.  He either responds with “of course” or “I can figure it out for you”
  8. Possesses a combination of being assertive and polite.  High level chauffeurs are able to command a presence with different client personas, while still maintaining an aura of humility.
  9. Has a working knowledge of all major routes in the area; many clients specifically ask for a chauffeur who can act as a guide as well.  Chauffeurs know how and when to offer a helpful travel tip, suggestions or even book a reservation for them at an exclusive restaurant or club.
  10. Genuinely enjoys his job.  This is a big one! Non verbal communication can convey so much to an astute passenger and nobody likes a grump!

There are a multitude of variables that a chauffeur has to weigh and manage.  Exceptional Chauffeurs provide the most immaculate “white glove” door to door experience possible.  It’s a constant and fluid effort on their part.  One that involves projecting a professional appearance, driving safely and efficiently, protecting the interests of the company, and most importantly the wishes of the passenger – who (indirectly) is the chauffeurs immediate Boss.

Top tier Los Angeles Limo companies understand these subtleties and strive to give the client what they want.  The chauffeur is often matched with the client that requests them on a repeated basis.  At times chauffeurs are matched with their client by personality type. When used properly, a high level chauffeured service can help the client build a polished image that cements their reputation from the very start.

What memorable traits or anecdotes can you think of that really make a Chauffeur shine?

image: huffingtonpost.com

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