I drive a lot of people every day. In the past six years, I’ve probably driven about 5,000 passengers. A few of my passengers are “VIP Regulars,” who have special requests and expect their requested items to be in the vehicle when I pick them up.

Well-Read Passengers

I subscribe to and offer all my passengers Time and Money magazine (the two things I never seem to have enough of… time and money). I now also offer Kiplinger’s financial magazine. Many of my passengers appreciate that I have this for them to read. They find it relevant, useful and valuable.

Two of my “special passengers” request newspapers. One VIPassenger requests The Wall Street Journal. I get that paper for him at a nearby hotel just before I pick him up in the morning in Jersey City.

Another passenger requests The Star Ledger and The Wall Street Journal. I get the Journal at a hotel in Basking Ridge and the Star Ledger at a nearby Quick Check.

Well-Hydrated Passengers

I offer plastic bottles of Poland Spring water for all of my passengers. They really appreciate this gesture, especially if they are coming off a long international flight.

One of my special requests is a 12-ounce bottle of orange juice for a “regular” executive. He always says thank you and lets me know how much he appreciates the effort. I reply that I’m grateful for his business. I joke that his ride is paying my cell phone bill for the month.

Dysfunctional Directions

Two of my passengers have very specific requests and expectations about the directions and route we take to their destination. What’s funny is, I know the route my passenger asks me to take is slower than what Google Maps and Waze recommends. Oh, well… The customer is always right.

Change That Station

Usually, I play soft classical or “New Age” music to provide a pleasant ambiance (and help reduce road rage) for my special passengers. I have one VIP who specifically asks for 880 AM News Radio.

Because my 2019 Lincoln Continental allows the passenger to change radio stations, he will switch back and forth between 710, 770, 880 and 1010 AM stations.

Anticipated Requests

I always try to anticipate my passengers’ needs. In doing so, I purchase cough drops for passengers who may need them. I also purchase small individual personal tissue packs (8 for $1.00 at Dollar Tree or Shop Rite). I’m surprised how quickly they go and how much my passengers appreciate these small yet thoughtful items.

In conclusion, if you can try to think of every possible need a potential passenger will have, and make sure to fulfill the special requests of your “VIP Regulars,” then you might continue to get good rides and keep your valuable customers happy. Hopefully, they will continue to request you again and again.

Article by RH Stovall, Jr

R.H. Stovall, Jr. is a Senior Executive Chauffeur, trainer and mentor for Royal Coachman Worldwide in Denville, NJ.

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