What criteria should be applied for the Best Driver Award?
When it comes to driving hired buses or minibuses in tourist areas of Spain like Madrid, Seville, or Malaga, you need much more than a chauffeur who just takes groups from one place to another. The chauffeur is the only person who sees the customers face-to-face, and thus he has the greatest influence on the experience that he and his group has with the transportation company.
Apart from knowing all the legal safety standards, it would be great if the chauffeur:• Has a good personal appearance: a uniform and proper shave help to transmit an image of professionalism and can thus promote a sense of safety.
• Has a good personal appearance: a uniform and proper shave help to transmit an image of professionalism and can thus promote a sense of safety.
• Has good people skills and should know how to convey a feeling of ‘hospitality.’ The tourists see him/her as the owner of a ‘house on wheels.’
• Speaks the clients’ language or if he/she makes an effort to speak a few words.
• Drives in a manner that makes the tourists feel comfortable.
• Understands a little bit about mechanics in case something on the bus malfunctions.
• Has a spirit of service: helps to load and unload baggage from the bus, parks close to building doors, maintains a comfortable temperature inside the bus, and answers all kinds of questions.
• Has a flexible attitude: during the tour the tourists may have many questions which, for example, may necessitate deviating from the route and making a stop in a place of interest that wasn’t previously planned.
• Possesses a combination of being assertive and knowing how to say “no” to client requests and/or knowing how to explain to them the implications of making changes to the tour and how these relate, for example, to the driver’s time tables and the payment that the client has made to the bus rental company.
• Has a good knowledge of the tourist routes in the area: for example, being able to guide a group around the city of Malaga. Yes, having an official tourist guide is ideal, but many groups with a limited budget ask for a chauffeur who can act as a guide as well. This also tends to happen quite a bit with smaller groups that travel via a rented minibus with driver.
There are many variables and interests that a chauffeur has to value and manage. It’s a constant game of respecting the laws, the regulations, the economic interests of the company, and all the desires of the passengers who (indirectly) pay his salary. But to give the Best Bus Driver Award we will have to choose based on no more than five criteria. We will be curious to know which ones you think they should be.
So what do you think? What makes a good tourist driver? What attribute is the most important? What should be the priority of the criteria? Should the criteria for the province of Malaga be different from the ones for the province of Seville? And in what way should the competitions and awards for best driver be organized? Should they be organized on the provincial level or the national level? Share your comments below!