This month, we are focusing on providing the best possible service to your passengers, including customer service and safety tips. Drivers can optimize their income by making sure their clients are happy and safe.

Guidelines for Passenger Relations

  • Obtain advanced knowledge of your destination, and discuss it with your passengers.
  • Be diplomatic when representing yourself, and your base or management company.
  • Avoid controversy.
  • Never argue with a passenger; they are your temporary employers.

Conversational Etiquette

  • It pays to be polite: Use “please,” “thank you” and “you’re welcome.” These simple words go a long way.
  • Ask permission before you play the radio or adjust your vehicle’s temperature.
  • Let passengers choose the topic of conversation, or respect their right not to have one.
  • Learn to listen and listen to learn.

Difficult Situations Happen

  • Be professional and tactful at all times.
  • Things happen. Let passengers vent, and apologize when necessary.
  • Remember: In addition to being a driver, you are also a salesperson.

Loading and Unloading Passengers

  • Always pull as close to the curb as possible when arriving to load or unload a passenger, and when stopping to load luggage in the trunk.
  • Always scan the area behind you prior to using your car’s trunk.
  • Never stop in an area to pick up a passenger if you will be putting your vehicle at a high risk of being rear-ended by traffic. Always look for available curb spaces in the immediate vicinity.
  • Never negotiate with passengers in the middle of the street.
  • Always pull into a passenger loading area without impeding the flow of traffic. Do not delay traffic when a passenger enters your vehicle at a red light. Be prepared to proceed, and pull over to the nearest curb space, if necessary. Delaying traffic can lead to road rage incidents or rear-end collisions.
  • After your passenger enters your vehicle, let them know that their safety is your primary concern, and that when you arrive at their destination, you would prefer to open the door for them and assist them, when it is safe.
  • Try to make sure your passenger (if there is only one passenger) sits on the side of the vehicle that will be curbside upon your arrival at the destination, if possible.
  • Always check all rearview and sideview mirrors prior to exiting your vehicle to assist a passenger. If your passenger insists on exiting your vehicle without your assistance, politely ask that they allow you to your check mirrors to determine when it is safe.
  • Always assist the passenger to the sidewalk before you retrieve luggage or other items from the trunk.
  • When you are unloading the trunk, scan the area behind you first to ensure that there are no vehicles approaching in an unsafe manner.
  • When you arrive for a passenger, look for other vehicles-for-hire loading at the curb. Once they complete loading and leave the spot, you can pull into their vacated spot.
  • Try to avoid loading or unloading passengers or trunk items while your vehicle is double parked.
  • Do not leave cash or other valuables openly exposed in the front seat while you are assisting a passenger, or attending to the trunk.
Article by Bertram Merling

Bertram Merling is the Loss Control Coordinator for the Hereford Insurance Company.

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