A Moment of Magic
Cranking the AC and giving candy to customers may not be the solution for every business, so how do you give your customers a moment of magic? Excellent companies 1) exceed customer expectations, 2) feel passion for their industry, and 3) follow through with customers. Shep Hyken’s taxicab narrative provides a perfect framework to understand excellent customer service.
While Shep Hyken’s cab driver could have stood out as a good cabby by rolling up his windows, turning on the air-conditioner and getting Hyken to his hotel in one piece, Shep’s driver was not looking to be good; he was looking to exceed expectations. To him, great meant more than just clean, it meant a bucket of ice, two soft drinks, candy, a flat rate, following the speed limit and liberal use of the air-conditioning. There are little things that every company can do or provide, like the cabby’s bucket of ice, to exceed their customers’ expectations.
You cannot fake passion. For Shep’s cabby, driving a taxi was more than a day-in day-out job it was his life. Passion comes out in everything that one does, so find a way to feel passion for your company. If you cannot drum up the passion, then it may be time to find another company. Passion is the most powerful motivator you will have in your career, so find a way to harness it and propel yourself to the top. Remember Shep Hyken’s driver’s description of Houston’s famous fountain. This cabby’s passion was so contagious that soon Shep was anxious to see the monumental fountain.
Shep Hyken’s cabby nailed a three for three on follow through by capturing his customer’s contact information, following up within the week, and establishing comfortable long-term contact. Thank you cards, holiday cards, birthday cards, newsletters, Facebook, and Twitter are great tools that make follow through easier. Like the cab driver, you are not finished following through when you exchange business cards.
Between the everyday business stresses like maintaining a positive cash flow, making sales, and keeping employees happy, customer service is often neglected. Be on your game whenever you are in front of a customer, because customer service is your money in the bank that will yield huge dividends a few years down the road. Dazzle your customers by exceeding their expectations, exhibiting your passion, and following through with them.