Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Turn Your Business Into An Experience

Author and management guru Harvey Mackey frequently tells a story about a basic cab ride from Manhattan, N.Y., to LaGuardia Airport. Mackey gets into a cab and the driver says, “Hi, my name is Walter. I’m your driver, and I’m going to get you there safely, on time and in a courteous fashion.” The driver then holds up a New York Times and a USA Today and asks if Mackey would like them. Then he offers Mackey a fruit basket, complete with snack foods, juices, soft drinks, etc. He then asks, “Would you prefer hard rock or classical music?”
This cab driver is turning an average ride into an experience. He’s taken the most mundane experience imaginable—a cab ride—and transformed it into a special experience for riders.
Customers love riding in Walter’s cab. His cab ride hits their emotions, and emotions are something that no competitor can copy.
What does it cost the cab driver to offer such treats to his riders? Close to $5,000 a year. What does he get for his $5,000? He makes $12,000-$14,000 extra a year in tips. Wow! Just for being courteous and offering a few snacks and the morning paper.
What makes him unique? This cabby thinks differently. He stopped thinking like every other cab driver in town, and discovered what it would take to turn his boring, mundane occupation into an experience customers would always remember.
You can do that with your company. Not with mirrors, magic or miracles. Just by thinking differently. Ask yourself, "How can I turn my business into an experience?"

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