Nestled at the centre of the European continent, Switzerland is home to luxury industries (jewellery & watches), financial hubs, international organisations and extraordinary mountainous landscapes. As a result, many diplomats, businessmen, bankers & tourists visit the country and many require a quality limo service driven by a professional chauffeur.
With so much demand for VIP transportation, the standard of quality that limousine drivers are expected to operate at is higher than in other countries. This article explains all the different standards & processes that a Swiss-based chauffeur should follow based on our years of experience as a leading limousine provider.
Personal drivers represent the client they are transporting. It is therefore vital that the driver's attire is exemplary. Dark suit and tie, clean ironed shirt, matching fabrics, clean waxed shoes, no strong perfumes or colognes: drivers should always be well-groomed with no visible tattoos or piercings. The level of cleanliness of the limousine they use should match that of their outfit at all times.
The number of global organisations & the significant proportion of international visitors in most cities in Switzerland mean that the language skills a professional driver must have must be excellent. All our Geneva-based chauffeurs are fluent in English & in French, with English & German the two languages we require in Zurich. Most luxury transportation companies will require a proficient level in these languages. Other spoken languages (Spanish, Russian, Arabic) are available on demand.
Being able to speak the client’s language is important. What is equally paramount is the driver’s attitude. The ideal chauffeur is polite and courteous, even with ‘difficult’ clients. He can assess the customer’s requests and adapt accordingly.
Do you need your vehicle for longer for sightseeing tours following a change in your planning? Just inform your limo driver, he will adapt accordingly to your required waiting time and, if needed, will clear his schedule to cater to your needs.
Most transportation companies require that drivers have extensive knowledge of the local & surrounding areas. They must be able to choose the best itinerary for a given trip based on local traffic, weather conditions, events in the area & the client’s preferences (quickest or scenic route) and adapt accordingly.
Our limousine company specialises in providing chauffeured services for financial roadshows; our drivers are accustomed to adhering to strict schedules for bankers that have several meetings throughout the day and know the location of every single bank.
Furthermore, private drivers must be capable of suggesting the best restaurants, famous landmarks & any other places to visit to their clients given their specific timeframe. Many people who book a chauffeured limo are unfamiliar & unaware of the available activities in their vicinity and value the knowledge an experienced driver can bring.
These reasons are why our company’s drivers are all locally-sourced.
Our company has various procedures set in place so that all car services run correctly. As the official provider for certain 5 star hotels, we have in place a rigorous process that our drivers must abide by.
For airport private transfer services, for example, our drivers must : monitor the exact flight arrival time, send a text to clients when waiting in the arrival’s terminal, assist with luggage, ask the client’s preferred itinerary, ask if they want music, the temperature and more. The whole experience is focused on the client and their requirements, which is important in the luxury transportation sector. These steps ensure that each service is performed to a high degree of quality which is what VIP clients expect.
Being a professional driver in a country like Switzerland (where the expected level of service & standards are very high) is not always easy. Since most people don’t realise the tasks drivers perform - other than driving clients to their destinations - we thought we would mention a few.
Firstly, the flexibility required of chauffeurs is extremely high: with no fixed salary, and a payment structure based on the amount of performed services, drivers have to be readily available throughout the day and sometimes during unsociable hours & dates (early morning, late evening, Christmas Day, etc). Last-minute service cancellations & unexpected changes from clients - a regular occurrence - can also impact a chauffeur’s planning.
Secondly, before a service even starts, the driver is required to spend time ensuring the luxury car is immaculate for the client’s use. Similarly, at the end of each service, a driver must thoroughly clean and, due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, disinfect each & every part of the car. Finally, adverse weather conditions, flight delays, having an inside-out knowledge of every limousine, difficult clients, congested traffic and more are only a part of what a professional driver in Switzerland has to deal with.
In essence, professional drivers become a real asset for the high-end clientèle they drive around, providing an exceptional level of customer service. Customers can rely on their chauffeur essentially becoming their short-term personal assistant through their knowledge and experience. Call us 24/7 or visit our webiste for more information on how to hire a car.
Interested to know how to become a limousine driver in the UK ? For more information, check out Paul Gibson's article on the best tips & advice about this process.