Luxury Coach & Transportation

March 2015

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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42 LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR MARCH 2015 WWW.LCTMAG.COM CUSTOMER SERVICE the car, or sometimes they'll order an ex- tra car for security personnel." Crowds can be a challenge for chauf- feurs, who are instructed to be mind- ful when throngs of people surround the car so that no one is ever hurt, Paris says. "You have some celebri- ties who are discrete and everything goes smooth, but other ones, they'll be tweeting in the car where they're go- ing. When they get out of course there's a huge crowd. We tell our chauffeurs to always be careful, take precautions, and drive extra slow and precise when there's a group of people around." Friendly, But Not Familiar The two most important things operator Maurice Dean tells his chauffeurs before they pick up a celebrity are: 1) Use dis- cretion; and 2) Be friendly, but not famil- iar. "Discretion is a common thing, and most chauffeurs will understand that, but the concept of friendly but not familiar is something not all chauffeurs are able to do well. It's being friendly, so you can talk about the weather or that an outft looks nice, but without getting into per- sonal or delicate topics." Dean's Excelsior Limousine, based in celebrity-heavy Los Angeles, keeps a high- end, celebrity-type clientele, serving them with a small feet of fve luxury vehicles and top-quality chauffeurs. Dean got into the industry while still in college driv- ing stretch limos in the late 1980s. While driving, Dean learned a lot about work- ing with celebrities, and believes it gave him the experience to properly train his chauffeurs today for the work. Chauffeurs need to remember to politely decline offers from celebrities that might cross a professional bound- ary. He recalls one such instance when he was chauffeuring a high-profle cli- ent to another A-list celebrity's residence. When Dean entered the mansion, the ce- to recognize the client." Chauffeurs must stay calm and profes- sional and not attract attention, Dotan says. If paparazzi or crowds gather, she instructs chauffeurs to put a single arm out to help guide the client in and out of the vehicle. Except that celebrity clients may be instantly recognized by the public, they are like everyone else, Dotan says. Non- famous but wealthy VIP clients can be just as demanding. "We deal with little requests from a lot of our clients like specifc water or special newspapers in the car. We've had chauffeurs go and buy food to bring back in the car because a client didn't want to get out of the car. We treat everyone the same though, and give them respect. We let them know we're here to assist in any way." Celebrities In Small Towns Oklahoma City may seem an unlikely location for high-end celebrity clients, but Paris Limousine has for 28 years been transporting some of the entertain- ment industry's most elite as they pass through the city for concerts and pro sports games. The company was started by James Paris, and now his daughter, Jennifer Paris, works as vice president. Some of the entertainers who come through the area will have pretty outra- geous requests, but it's not anything the company cannot handle, Paris says. "We had one singer who wanted the vehicle to stop 20 feet in front of every trash can," she says, "A lot of times we work with security teams. They are always very experienced and we've never had any issues. Usually they'll sit up front in Julie Dotan of J & B Transportation in Detroit, Mich., will occasionally get interesting re- quests from high-profle clients. "We have one singer who eats a popular fast food ice cream cone before a performance, saying it helps the vocal chords," she says. "And some have our cars go out for food before they take off in pri- vate jets. It's usually pizza and fried chicken. Sometimes the food costs less than the trip, but we're happy to get it for them," she says. "Discretion is a common thing, and most chauffeurs will understand that, but the concept of friendly but not familiar is something not all chauffeurs are able to do well. It's being friendly, so you can talk about the weather or that an outft looks nice, but without getting into personal or delicate topics." — Maurice Dean, Excelsior Limo, Los Angeles Lubov and Maurice Dean have been operating Excelsior Limo in Los Angeles since 2000. Dean gives an account of a chauffeur who anticipates client needs in a way that improves the overall experience: "We have a client that sends shoppers to Rodeo Drive to collect fashion samples," he says. "And they'll get dropped off at one end of the street, go shopping, and then with arms full of bagged merchandise look for the car. Some chauffeurs will be parked in a shady place nearby, and be over in a second, but others will already anticipate where these clients are going to come out, and be waiting there with the car. The customers think it's incredible, and it shows you what a chauffeur who really is in tune with a client can do." i n h c p t a h i

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