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The importance of maintaining a professional APPEARANCE in the taxi industry

How important is it for a taxi driver to maintain a professional appearance? Do customers even care as long as you know where you are going?

Well, there’s no definitive answer, as it’s very much each to their own, but what are the benefits of looking clean, tidy and coming across more professional in your attire and workspace? Well, there’s a fair few.

Your image can have more of an influence on your work performance than you may think.

There’s that saying “look good, feel good”, knowing we’ve made that extra effort in the morning can set your day up nicely for a positive attitude, and that could well project outwards throughout your shift maintaining a half-full mentally rather than a half-empty one. Although comfort is definitely at the top of the list for a cabbie when deciding what to wear, that little bit of extra effort can make all the difference.

First impressions are key to building any relationship, no matter whether it’s a five minute professional relationship or a long term personal one. By presenting yourself in a professional manner you immediately build confidence in your client, as well as yourself. Your customers are more likely to feel relaxed and let you get on with the job at hand.

Dressing professionally and maintaining good hygiene conveys so much more than we may initially appreciate. We tell those looking at us that we are serious about our work, that we enjoy our job, and that we expect some professional courtesy from our customers and from our peers.

But it’s not just what we wear, how we brush our hair, or what deodorant we wear, maintaining a professional appearance with our workspace is also, if not more in the case of a taxi driver, extremely important. As you pull up to pick up a passenger, your vehicle is the first thing they will see, that’s their first impression of you.

A clean cab could set the tone of the whole journey. If you were about the head to an important meeting wearing your best suit, would you be happy opening the door to a filthy taxi? I doubt it very much.

It’s why ‘executive’ private hire services do so well, professional people want to spent their whole working day within a professional environment.

If, as a traditional taxi driver, we want to compete with such services, we have to meet the bare minimums with a top class clean and professional appearance.

Cleanliness within our vehicles is possibly the most important of all. No one wants to sit amongst dirt, or take a ride in a vehicle with a sketchy smell. Although it’s pretty much impossible to brush down our seats between each journey, checking that there are no obvious signs of dirt or mess left by passengers could make the difference between a happy punter with a nice tip and an unhappy punter who spends the whole journey moaning, giving you grief.

Saying all this, with the argument that time and money may not always permit us to maintain a super clean vehicle, or allow us to dress in some of the clothes we feel most confident in, one thing there is no excuse for is personal hygiene.

Good hygiene lets people know that you like to take care of yourself, therefore could convey the impression that you are going to take care of them and deliver a professional experience. It also says something about your character.

A smelly driver means a smelly vehicle. I know I wouldn’t want to pay to spend any amount of time in a smelly environment, so I would never expect one of my passengers to.

The simple facts are, we should want to look good. We should want to feel good. And we should want our paying customers to feel good about the service offered. Make that little bit of extra effort and you may get a lot back from it.


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