A FEW DRIVING TIPS
Iam forever in and out of taxis and hire cars in different cities and have been for most of my corporate career. It is part of what must be endured in an occupation that demands travel on a weekly basis. My experience is that when it comes to meeting the expectations of business travellers, only some drivers “get it”. And I suspect the reason some drivers don’t is because no one in business says exactly what it is that we want. Until now.
So here are my tips for taxi and hire- car drivers – chauffeurs if you like – who are pitching to the corporate world. It is reasonable to expect some small talk at the start of a journey, such as the state of the traffic, the weather, the football (in Melbourne), or questions such as “how’s your day been?” or “how’s business?” But after this chit- chat, which should take no more than three minutes, there is no need for anything further.
I regard a hire car with a driver as a reprieve from the hurly- burly of the working day. Stepping out of one meeting and being whisked to your next one is a great luxury. The back of a hire car should be a sanctuary of calm and solitude, allowing thoughts to be collected before the next appointment. I don’t want to be rude, but after exchanging pleasantries I want to zone out. I have calls to make and voicemails to access. I can’t do that if I’m nodding and pretending to listen to some rant about politics emanating from the driver.
The next issue that bugs me is that some drivers ask for directions. If you have been briefed by my PA as to where I need to be — right down to the gate number if it’s a complex such as a university – then I expect you to have done your homework before I get into the car and to know exactly where you’re going. That’s your job.
It’s not hard to keep corporate clients happy. Be pleasant. Know where you’re going. Keep the car clean. Be on time every time. And give the client quiet time to make calls and collect thoughts. If you do all that, you will have corporate clients coming back for more.