When running a high-class business such as a limousine service, it’s imperative that you do what you can to protect your most important assets. Every business has that one vital asset that its success hinges heavily upon, and for a ground limo company, most people have the wrong idea of what that asset is. And, no, it’s not the vehicles, but rather their chauffeurs.
The success of a professional limousine company, no matter how big a firm or how many accolades they have gotten in the past, resides in the hands of that per hour billing chauffeur. Being the toast of the board of big corporations and an awardee of prestigious business magazines can all be changed by the actions of one lowly chauffeur driving the hottest celebrity in town to the Grammy’s.
As frightening as this concept might appear, it’s the hard truth that must be acknowledged and taken into account when making important decisions. The best marketing opportunity available, to buy over a board member of a multinational for some permanent business may be that highly disgruntled driver who is doing the job as a side income source. For the progress of a limousine business, there’s a need to engage the drivers productively and do the job much more than a side attraction or a temporary phase.
Having Uber around has had a significant impact on the limo business and changed the face of charters and chauffeuring as we knew it. Uber and its spin-offs are not only changing the industry and bringing real competition with companies but also offering alternatives to the drivers. Hiring and training the best chauffeurs are the best bet for any limousine hire business.
Uber has come offering the world on a candy covered plate to all, both clients and drivers. For any limousine charter service, the greatest chance for survival as a business is to put your best foot forward by giving customers the best possible services and incentives. But this can only be achieved by having well-trained chauffeurs who can show and maintain whatever good ideas or traditions you want your business to represent. A driver is the only point between you getting a life-long customer or getting a mile-long lawsuit.
A sizeable part of the revenue generated by most limo charter companies now goes to staff based purposes and benefits. If you spend so much on a particular asset, up to a third of revenue generated, then the asset must be quite valuable to the company and should be treated accordingly. In this case, it means, dedicating more attention to making drivers good assets for your business. Remember, every second dedicated to making limousine drivers into world class chauffeurs is an investment in the future and growth of such a company and the industry as a whole.
Chauffeurs are the face of any company and the people who matter most in driving the business to success, now, keeping this in mind, limousine company owners need to seriously consider how transient they want their drivers to be. Would they rather leave their business in the hands of someone who saw this job as a temporary gig in between regular jobs, and is just passing the time till the next interview call-up? Or wouldn’t they feel better and safer in the hands of a chauffeur with years of experience, continuous training, and job contentment and knows he’s not leaving the job anytime soon?
With the right incentives and attitude to drivers, retaining them to work for a company much longer is not far-fetched. Keeping good staff for the long haul also gives the loyal clients the sense of stability and safety to keep using the limo company’s services. The industry is known best for offering jobs to chauffeurs who enjoy or tolerate their work ‘until something better shows up on the radar.’ This temporary mindset is the main reason the job is perceived as a low skill requirement job anyone with basic driving skills, a passing knowledge of operating a GPS, and the ability to hold a door open can hold. But why can’t their existing jobs be the something better they seek?
For a boost in employee engagement and ability to retain excellent drivers, companies need to make them see their job as a profession and not just a temporary fix until the economy gets better. They also need to give flexibility of work time along with the opportunities to earn better, assessments and reward systems based on previous performances. With increased loyalty and responsibility, offer more prestige and decent jobs to the best drivers and even give referral bonuses to the drivers who bring in dedicated others. Driving home this point, a company can outline the perks and opportunities that come with the job, while not candy-coating the tedious aspects of the job.
A future of Uber and automated cars is our present reality, and the best shot at retaining limo hire services and relevance is the human factor offered. Pretty soon, people get to choose whether to rely on a machine for their safety or on the services of a well-trained, dedicated driver, working for a prestigious limousine company with a name to retain. Uber has also been a significant threat in leaching off drivers with promises of a better payday. Limo transport can only face this situation with the offer of a stable work environment with top-of-the-range cars and equipment which will keep their drivers happy and content in working for them and driving their exclusive clientele.
With cheerful drivers, the company gets satisfied and loyal clients who would rather have their services than that of a generic Uber ride. Efficient drivers can always bring in other good drivers for the long haul; it’s all about word of mouth about superior reward systems.