Deliver The Kind Of Service By Which All Others Will Be Measured

I was introduced to Shep Hyken’s story about Frank the cab driver a little over a year ago while reading the book “Moments Of Magic.”  If you aren’t familiar with the story, I recommend you either pick up the book or watch this video.

The gist of the story is that this cab driver, Frank offers amazing service that includes offering his customers a cold beverage, newspaper and a cell phone to place calls as needed.  He even takes them on a scenic detour to see an amazing sight at no additional charge.  He caps off the experience by sending a thank you note and a Christmas card each year to his clients.  I read this story to every new hire in our contact center because this is a prime example of the culture of awesome customer service we aim to build at Phone.com.

After a recent red-eye flight to Newark, New Jersey, I hailed a cab to my hotel, which was gracious enough to give me a really early check-in to get a few hours of sleep and a shower before a day of meetings.  The cab driver asked me where I was going and I told him the name of the hotel in Newark, which was only about ten minutes away.

He proceeded to rant in frustration that I wasn’t going further than that.  Instead of a peaceful ride, I listened to a steady stream of obscenities for the next ten minutes.  Putting on my empathy hat for a moment, I can understand his frustration of not getting a passenger who would go further and thus pay more.  I can appreciate the fact that he probably waited hours in the dark for airport passengers to arrive.  I get that and am truly sorry about his situation and yes I still tipped him.

The problem is that Frank the cab driver has shown us that even cab drivers can deliver awesome service to their customers or as Shep Hyken puts it, “Limousine service at taxi cab prices.”  The fact of the matter here is that regardless of how much empathy I have for the cab driver’s situation yesterday, I will never hire him again.  There have to be more guys like Frank out there and I am going to find one and give them my business.

 Deliver The Kind Of Service By Which All Others Will Be Measured

Jeremy Watkin is the Director of Customer Service at Phone.com with 13+ years experience as a customer service professional. He is also the co-founder and regular contributor on Communicate Better Blog. Jeremy ranked #85 on the Top 100 Most Social Customer Service Pros on Twitter by the Huffington Post in 2013. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn for more awesome customer service and experience insights.

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2 comments

  1. Shep says:

    Thank you Jeremy for the shout out and kind words about the book and story. Frank is more than a great example of customer service. That story provides a benchmark that not only other cab drivers should aspire to, but just about anyone in any type of business.

    Frank drove a cab. That was simply his job. It’s what he did with his job that turned ordinary into extraordinary. He provided amenities in the form of sodas and a newspaper. What amenities do we provide your customers and clients? He took extra time to show me the fountain (You’ll have to watch the video to know what that’s about.). That took just a little extra time and effort. Where can we spend a little more time and effort with our customers to show we care? And then there was the handwritten thank you note. How do we feel when we get a nice thank you? And, there is even more. Everyone can learn a lesson from the taxi driver!

    Thanks again, Jeremy!

  2. […] today’s hangout, we reviewed the week that was — from Jeremy’s Amazon.com and cab driver experiences, to Jenny’s completion of her series on The Four Agreements and reflections from […]

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