I was recently in Boston attending the New England Livery Association's annual seminar and expo. Since it is not often that I get to New England, I thought that I'd make the most of my trip and visit with local operators and take a tour of Royale Limousine Manufacturers. Everything was going along fine, and the show was great. Marc Shpilner, the NELA's show chairman, did a great job putting it together. Then, the rental car agency (who will remain nameless) lost my reservation and didn't have another car available.
So, I was left in a rather odd situation. There I was in a city that I had never been in before, and I had an appointment later that day in a suburb of Boston with no means of transportation. I finally decided that I would call for a sedan from a local operator. I'm glad I did.
I called DavEl, which is based there in Boston, and they provided me with a sedan rather quickly. I was already a wreck because I was running late, but I wasn't going to be like the nightmare clients chauffeurs always talk about. You know the ones that get mad at every little thing just because they are having a bad day. This was even easier to do when I met the chauffeur. Norm was both friendly and professional. The fact that he was calm and smiling put me right at ease.
The trip was about 20 to 30 minutes each way, and took me through a part of Boston that I had not seen yet. Norm was like a living encyclopedia of local information. That was impressive because there's so much information that you can know about Boston. If you threw a stick in the city, you would undoubtedly hit something historic. Norm pointed out many different historical places as well as adding interesting bits of trivia along the way. I found that I was learning while enjoying the ride. Every question that I had about the area, Norm was able to respond with some interesting facts.
On the return trip, Norm informed me that DavEl offered historical tours of Boston. This showed that he was not only knowledgeable of the area, but also a good salesperson as he was informing me of other services that the company had available. All in all, it was a great experience.
This made me realize just how important it is that chauffeurs know some facts about the towns in which they work. Boston is both a large city and a city that is rich in history, so there is a lot of information that the chauffeur can learn about that city. In smaller towns, or towns that may not have as much history, chauffeurs should still learn the points of interest in the town as well as some statistics or other bits of trivia. This information will help them add a little more to the experience if needed. It also shows that the chauffeur is familiar with the area, which could help put the client riding in the back of the car more at ease. They will feel like this driver knows "everything" about the area, and will have total confidence in sitting back and enjoying the trip.
Granted, not all passengers will care to communicate much during the trip, and it is still up to the chauffeur to gauge how much "talking" is needed. However, information about the town is always good to have.
I know that my experience in Boston, which could have been bad due to the rental car agency, was made a whole lot better when Norm, DavEl's knowledgeable chauffeur, came to pick me up.