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.