SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - If Shreveport taxi and limo drivers want to keep driving the streets of Shreveport, they will now be required to take a tourism crash course.
The Shreveport city council has voted to require "for hire" drivers such as limo, shuttle, and taxi drivers to go through customer service and tourism training to get their licenses. The 2 hour free workshop is called "Wow training" put on by the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau. The workshop gives participants lessons on what there is to see and do in the community, as well as pamphlets and visitor guides to pass out.
Stacy Brown, President of the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau says the new ordinance is a win-win for everyone. "When you give good service, people kind of just keep going on their way, but when you give them 'wow' service, they tell someone else about it," she said. "We really want to wow people with the great service and great hospitality we have here in Shreveport-Bossier".
Brown adds, the ordinance wasn't introduced because there is currently an issue with the quality of customer service taxi or other for-hire drivers are giving, but rather to add uniformity to make sure everyone knows about the attractions available for tourists, "It's not that there was necessarily a problem, it's more figuring out how to make sure we're giving the same level of customer service to all of the visitors visiting the city," said Brown.
Phillip Maxfield, manager of IShuttle, LLC. knows first hand what the "Wow training" can do. His employees have been taking the training for two years and his company advocated to get the ordinance passed. Maxfield says his employees have been able to engage their guests better by being able to answer their questions about the city. "Through the training, our operators enhanced their knowledge of our area, which in turn will benefit our guests who come here and are ready to have a good time," said Maxfield.
So far the tourism bureau says they have not seen any opposition and several taxi and limousine services tell KSLA News 12 they are thrilled to be partnering with the bureau. The ordinance is expected to go into effect within the next few months.