Many people think they have what it takes to be a chauffeur, imagining the role to be a simple case of merely driving people to their destinations. However, there is much more to it than might first meet the eye. What therefore, are the other qualities, aside from a clean driving licence, that are essential to the role of professional chauffeur?
Keeping up appearances
First impressions count for a lot, and the initial contact a client will have with their chauffeur is an important moment. A good chauffeur should be well presented and ensure they show their best side to their passenger. Their uniform should be clean and well ironed, and even small details such as taking the time to polish shoes to a good shine will impress the client and make a positive first impression of both the chauffeur and the wider company they represent.
Chauffeurs often find themselves privy to their clients’ private conversations while providing a driving service, making the need for discretion of paramount importance. A good chauffeur knows when to ignore sensitive information, as well as when is appropriate to take part in a ‘safe’ conversation. A chauffeur in Newcastle, for instance, might be able to get away with joining in with a conversation about the latest United results!
Time is of the essence
A client relies on their chauffeur to get them to their destination safely and in a timely manner, making good time keeping an essential quality for every professional driver. The ability to manage time and arrive at the client pick up and drop off point exactly when needed is crucial in providing the best possible service.
Courtesy is key
Many clients of chauffeur services have stressful, high-pressure jobs, which can leave them tired and – dare we say it – irritable. A chauffeur who is able to maintain a polite and friendly manner despite a potentially less friendly passenger is a true professional. Patience and the ability to strike the right balance between pleasant and respectful are hallmarks of those getting the job done right.
Knowledge is power
There are few things as frustrating as being driven by somebody who doesn’t seem to know where they are going, and a professional chauffeur will know this. Those working in big cities should be very familiar with road layouts, likely spots for traffic jams and the best way to get from A to Z without unnecessary delays. A chauffeur in Newcastle, London or other major cities shouldn’t need to rely on a satnav for route planning. Aside from not always having the most up to date information with regards to road layouts, satnavs can malfunction and leave a dependent driver lost and confused.
Chauffeurs provide a vital service for many people, and as such, it is important to do it right. A good chauffeur is polite, courteous and knowledgeable about their surroundings; all qualities that help the client feel at ease and as though they are being cared for by a true professional.