Operations

How To Assign Trips And Drivers

Jim Luff
Posted on November 7, 2019
Knowing your chauffeurs’ scheduling preference, experience, and personality traits can ensure you match them with the right clients and runs. (Photo: Blacklane)

Knowing your chauffeurs’ scheduling preference, experience, and personality traits can ensure you match them with the right clients and runs. (Photo: Blacklane)

How Do We Assign?

Every company has its own way of making assignments, and no matter what your method might be, there will always be someone upset about not working a particular trip. This becomes especially true if it was a favorite passenger who tips very well, and another chauffeur gets it. Perhaps you assign based upon seniority, or your company offers shift work. Sometimes assignments are made based upon previous knowledge or by driver or passenger request. The latter becomes a dangerous method for assignments.

Seniority Assignments

In theory, the people who have been with you the longest should get the best assignments. They have demonstrated loyalty and learned the ropes, and likely handled airport transfers, funerals, weddings, corporate trips, amusement park trips, and everything in between. Assigning them is in the best interest of your company. We all want to impress and please the client, so why not put the one with the most experience behind the wheel when possible?

Shiftwork/On-Demand

For operators who handle on-demand work in large metro areas like Las Vegas, New York, or Los Angeles, shift assignments should only be given to seasoned professionals since you never know what type of trips might be given during a shift or who the client might be.

Your driver should be thoroughly knowledgeable about your community, different types of trips, and locations of major hotels and restaurants in town. They must be ready for all tasks and requests, and a novice usually doesn’t have the type of experience or knowledge to handle such trips.

Power of Knowledge

A chauffeur who can help a traveler with anything, such as locations of quick-print spots or the nearest UPS stores, can earn your company great recognition. Passengers being dropped off at a large convention or event center would appreciate exiting at the correct door.

Knowing the best Italian or Mexican restaurants answers a common question from clients. Such knowledge is gained over time and through experiences with other passengers. The more your chauffeur knows, the more valuable he is to your company, and more importantly, your client.

Daytime Vs. Nighttime

Another factor in assigning runs is whether a chauffeur prefers daytime or nighttime work. This is an important safety consideration since the interruption of our circadian rhythm cycle can create dangerous conditions. Circadian rhythm is a natural process that occurs in all of us over a 24-hour period in which we are awake and asleep. We recognize people who like to be up at night as “night owls” and people who get up at the crack of dawn as “early-risers.”

Factor this in to your assignments. Forcing a night owl to wake up at the crack of dawn risks a late pick-up, a shoddy pre-trip inspection, or maybe even a grumpy chauffeur. Forcing an early-riser to take a late night bachelor party assignment likely won’t yield the best client service.

Never Create a Passenger/Driver Relationship

While we realize passengers bond with assigned chauffeurs, it is never a good idea to assign the same one to the same passenger exclusively. If your chauffeur jumps to another company, he will take “his” passenger with him. It can also lead to monetary problems as your chauffeur goes off-clock but continues a trip while being paid in cash by the client. If your client wants a “regular driver,” assign two or three and rotate through them regularly. Your client might decide he likes James more than Johnny when he experiences multiple drivers.

Use Vehicle Runs To Train

When an assignment calls for multiple vehicles such as a road show or concert, take this opportunity to assign less experienced drivers to work with senior drivers who can supervise, train, and guide them. Then sign-off on them being able to do particular trips on their own. This gives new meaning to the term “paid training” as you are collecting money from a client to cover your cost of training the driver. This reduces costs usually associated with training.

Great Ideas provides a broad range of information focused on new ideas and approaches in management, human resources, customer service, marketing, networking and technology. Have something to share or would like covered? Contact LCT contributing editor and California operator Jim Luff at [email protected]

Related Topics: chauffeur behavior, chauffeur training, driver behavior, Driver training, How To, Jim Luff, managing chauffeurs

Jim Luff General Manager
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