CMA Awards 2012: Parking tips


     The CMA Awards are upon us yet again on Nov. 1st, 2012 in Nashville Tn.  The Bridgestone Arena will be packed with Country Music Stars and fans alike.  Every year this event sells out with approximately 18,000 people at the show and another 1,000 or so working behind the scenes.  Needless to say, you’re probably not going to find a parking spot up front.  (Unless of course you’ve hired a car service for the night.)
So, here are a few tips on parking.

1. Wear comfortable shoes (or at least bring them along)
-Ladies and Gentlemen:  Plan on walking a ways.  With all of the construction surrounding the Bridgestone Arena, many sidewalks/paths are temporary and not made for beautiful footwear.
2. Make sure you park in a safe/legal place
-If you tell yourself, “I hope I don’t get towed here” it’s probably a good idea to move your vehicle.  Tow trucks are out in full force this night.  Paying $20 now is cheaper than $75 tow fee plus a $25 cab ride to your car.
-Make sure you give money to the right parking attendant.  There are quite a few bums and scam artists walking around collecting money for parking when they’re not authorized.

3. Put anything you don’t want stolen in your trunk
-The parking attendants will probably leave before the show is over.  Don’t let your car be the one that gets its windows broken out.
(I’ve seen windows broken out just to take loose change someone saw in the center console)
4. Charge your phone before hand
-In the past, at the end of the night, I hear people saying they wish they had charged their phone more before hand.  From start to finish the show will last about 3 hours.
-Tip – in the Bridgestone Arena’s Patron Club there is a “Go Charge” station which is a rapid charge phone charge system with hookups for about every type of phone.  (Unfortunately, you must be a Nashville Predators club seat ticket holder to access the club.)
5. Remember where you parked.
-This is not Disney world with tram service to Donald Duck Lot F.  Take a look at cross streets and landmarks so you can find your car at the end of the night.
6. If you plan on leaving your car overnight…

-When you park, make sure you double-check whether or not your vehicle will be allowed to stay overnight.  Some parking will be day of event only and you can run the risk of being towed the next morning.

Most of this is common sense but sometimes forgotten.  I hope this helps and we at 9Seven Executive hope you have a safe, wonderful night.

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Training Chauffeur Confidentiality


 

One of the easiest ways that limousine companies lose clients is by not consistently training their chauffeurs and staff to keep “Client Confidentiality”.  As a chauffeur and chauffeur trainer in the Nashville Limo market, I’ve seen first hand how this can cost a company money.

Many chauffeured transportation companies barely break the surface when it comes to client confidentiality.  It seems that it becomes just a paragraph, buried within legal jargon, in a chauffeur’s handbook.  And when it is brought up, it’s almost as if it’s only meant for celebrities. When training a class of new chauffeurs, I like to ask “What type of client is most important for keeping Client Confidentiality?”  And almost every answer involves celebrities or entertainers!  The answer I’m looking for is, Every Single Client!  Here are 3 different types of client confidentiality and reasons why your chauffeurs should be trained, re-trained, and trained again to keep you from loosing clients and money.

1.  Celebrity/Entertainer Privacy

Yes, this is one of the first things that comes to mind when we talk about confidentiality.  The celebrities or entertainers that use your company expect their privacy maintained.  Far too often I’ve seen chauffeurs, dispatchers, and even owners post who they were driving on Twitter, Facebook, and their website.  While it may go unnoticed, the one time it doesn’t can be costly.

In many limousine markets, chauffeurs get approached by autograph collectors and photographers that pay chauffeurs for the Who, When, and Where of celebrity information.  Many limousine employers don’t realize this is even happening.  How many times will a celebrity continue booking trips with your company when every time these groups know their exact movements?

2.  Client to Client Privacy

Training chauffeurs not to talk about clients they’re driving or have driven is also very important.  It doesn’t matter if they are celebrities or not, it can still effect you.

True Story:  A husband and a wife had booked 2 separate airport transfers going to the same hotel.  They were both arriving on different flights but with flight delays, they were landing 5 minutes apart.  The chauffeur decided to ask the wife if she would like to ride with her husband since he just landed as well.  As it turns out, the wife was there on business and the husband was making a surprise visit for their 25th wedding anniversary.  She was surprised and so was the limousine company when the hotel sent all of their business elsewhere.

 

3. Client to Other Chauffeur’s Privacy

All too often, chauffeurs from different companies see each other at the same events, hotels, and airports.  We must all be friends since we’re in the same business, right?  Wrong!  I’ve heard chauffeurs brag about clients they’ve driven, how much they tip, and how many times a week they book trips.  That’s great, now you’ve just given inside information that would make for an easy sales pitch.  Make your chauffeurs aware that when they don’t keep client confidentiality, they lose money because the company loses clients.

How much to tip your chauffeur?


  As a chauffeur for many    years in the Nashville limo market, many clients, friends and family ask “what should we tip our chauffeur”?

 

If you are looking for a quick answer, standard tipping is   between 10%-20%.

If you want to look at this a bit further, there are several factors that you may want to consider.

1. Does the limo company you’re using include automatic gratuity?

– It seems to be split down the middle with companies who include automatic gratuity vs companies who leave it completely up to the client. So, make sure to read over the confirmation/reservation agreement sent to you by the company.

– If a company does include automatic gratuity in your total, it is acceptable to give additional gratuity if your service was exceptional. (Like restaurant servers, chauffeurs work hard for tips.)

– If a company does not include automatic gratuity, most provide a way to add gratuity to your credit card or cash will do just fine.

2. Did you receive excellent service?

– Was your chauffeur on time or early?
– Did they know how to get you to your destination?
– Was the vehicle clean, inside and out?
– Did you feel safe as a passenger while you were being chauffeured?
– Did they meet and/or exceed your expectations?
(Just to name a few)

3. What type of trip were you on?

– Was it a simple airport transfer or all night hourly trip?
– Did the vehicle require any special certifications (like a CDL) for your chauffeur?

These are a few things you should consider when calculating a chauffeur tip.