Interview with Federico Giudice, COO of Cima Luxury

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Cima Luxury, a luxury chauffeured services company based in Rome (Italy), has been providing this type of service for more than sixty years, and some of the most important world leaders of the last decades have passed through the seats of their cars.

Although they are located in Rome, precisely in the luxurious Waldorf Astoria Rome Cavalieri, they offer service throughout Italy and even beyond. In fact, about a year and a half ago, Cima Luxury absorbed the Italian part of Elite Ret-a-car, becoming the most important chauffeured services company in Italy, while increasing its international presence.

Q: What is your experience working with governmental and institutional delegations?

A: Working with these types of clients is not easy at first, as they require a very particular attention from us, as well as an exclusive dedication. This is not a problem, since this type of services always provide a great experience, as well as important benefits and a good repertoire of anecdotes.

In our case, Cima Luxury usually performs a monitoring from the moment the Delegation requests the service until the end of it. This is not only translated into the provision of the service, but we are at their disposal from that moment for anything they need. For example, we coordinate the advance trip and the site inspection of vehicles, facilities, etc.

During the trip, we pay maximum attention to every detail of the service, as there are usually constant last-minute changes, such as the total number of clients, number of vehicles or itineraries, among other aspects. This requires us to be prepared for any need that the client may have and was not initially contemplated.

Q: Given that Cima Luxury is currently the most important luxury chauffeured services company in Italy, we are sure you have a good number of anecdotes to your credit. From complete anonymity, is there one that stands out in particular?

A: In a service for a very important international governmental figure, I was personally in charge of monitoring and managing the whole service. It was a one-week service, 24 hours a day.

Every night, the Delegation's reference contact would contact me when most of the Delegation members would no longer need the vehicles, allowing a large part of the staff, including myself, to finish the day and get some rest.

One night it was taking longer than usual and both the drivers and I did not understand what was going on, as we had been waiting in the parking lot inside the cars for quite some time, knowing that most of the service should have been completed. In order to find out if they needed all the vehicles, I tried several times to contact the reference person, but it was impossible. This caused us to spend many hours inside the vehicles.

In the end it turned out that the reference person, for reasons beyond his control, was unable to notify us and went to sleep, notifying us the next morning when we were to start the next service. Fortunately, we foresee this type of situation, and we double our staff when it comes to this type of service.

These types of situations are not the most common, but they are some of those that occur in these services, especially because they involve a large number of changes. For this reason, it is necessary both the specialization and the professionalization of all the agents involved in governmental travel, since a large part of these operations could be streamlined.

However, apart from these rare situations, we love working with these delegations. It is an incredibly interesting and incentive-filled industry. Among many other things, there is no seasonality, which means that we work with governments on a very frequent basis. On the other hand, it is a tremendously profitable sector, as services are paid on time and on budget. And, last but not least, they indirectly force you to improve both at a business and labor level, since this type of delegations demand highly qualified professionals. So, at least in the case of Cima Luxury, working with governmental and intitutional delegations is a constant motivation.

Q: We are all aware of how the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the entire world, for all intents and purposes. One of the most affected industries has been precisely the tourism industry. In the case of Cima Luxury, how have you faced these two very complicated years?

A: As we all know, unfortunately, our sector has been hit hard during the hardest months of the pandemic. It has been hard to hold on with little room for maneuver to change the situation.

However, armed with patience, confidence and dedication, we have been able to weather the storm and wait for better times, which are already coming. Now we seem to see the light at the end of the tunnel and, at last, we have total freedom to do what we like best: work and provide a great service to our customers.

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