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.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Small Firms Hit By Compliance Burden

America’s smallest firms bear the largest per employee burden of federal regulatory compliance costs, according to a recent study released by the Office of Advocacy of the SBA. Firms with fewer than 20 employees annually spend $7,647 per employee to comply with federal regulations, compared with the $5,282 spent by firms with more than 500 employees. The report measures disproportionate regulatory compliance impact on small business. The study finds that small business faces a 45% greater burden than its larger business counterparts. The report thoroughly analyzes compliance costs for economic, workplace, environmental, and tax regulations. It details regulatory costs for five major sectors of the U.S. economy: manufacturing, trade (wholesale and retail), services, health care, and other (a residual category), revealing that the disproportionate cost burden on small firms is particularly stark for the manufacturing sector. The compliance cost per employee for small manufacturers is at least double the compliance cost for medium-sized and large firms.
For more information and a complete copy of the report, visit the Office of Advocacy website at