Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Everything You Need To Know About Customer Service Can Be Learned From One Cab Ride

We all know about the 30-second elevator speech to promote our companies! Here's the 30-second customer service lesson. The only customer service lesson you'll ever need.
It all starts with a basic cab ride from Manhattan, N.Y., to LaGuardia Airport. Business guru Harvey Mackay experiences the lesson first hand. He 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 Mackay 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 understands customer service. 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.
There are two keys to customer service: exceeding expectations and focusing on the details. The cab driver exceeded expectations when he acted differently than "99%" of the other cab drivers. The newspapers, snacks and drinks were the details.
It's really not that difficult. Think about how you can exceed expectations in your company--and then focus on the details.

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