No one can make you
serve customers well. That’s because great service is a choice.
Years ago, my friend, Harvey Mackay, told me a wonderful story
about a cab driver that proved this point. He was waiting in line
for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing
Harvey noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine.
Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed
black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to
open the back passenger door for Harvey. He handed my friend a
laminated card and said:
“I’m Wally, your driver.
While I’m loading your bags in the trunk I’d like you to read my
Taken aback, Harvey read
the card. It said:
To get my customers
to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way
possible in a friendly environment.
This blew Harvey away.
Especially when he noticed that the inside of the cab matched the
outside. Spotlessly clean!
As he slid behind the
wheel, Wally said, “Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a
thermos of regular and one of decaf.”
My friend said jokingly,
“No, I’d prefer a soft drink.”
Wally smiled and said,
“No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke,
water and orange juice.”
Harvey said, “I’ll take a Diet Coke.”
Handing him his drink,
Wally said, “If you’d like something to read, I have The Wall
Street Journal, Time, Sports Illustrated
and USA Today.”
As they were pulling
away, Wally handed my friend another laminated card. “These are
the stations I get and the music they play, if you’d like to
listen to the radio.”
And as if that weren’t
enough, Wally told Harvey that he had the air conditioning on and
asked if the temperature was comfortable for him. Then he advised
Harvey of the best route to his destination for that time of day.
He also let him know that he’d be happy to chat and tell him about
some of the sights or, if Harvey preferred, to leave him with his
“Tell me, Wally,” my
amazed friend asked the driver, “have you always served customers
Wally smiled into the
rearview mirror. “No, not always. In fact, it’s only been in the
last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my
time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard
the personal growth guru, Wayne Dyer, on the radio one day. He had
just written a book called You’ll See It When You Believe It.
Dyer said that if you get up in the morning expecting to have a
bad day, you’ll rarely disappoint yourself. He said, ‘Stop
complaining! Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don’t
be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar
above the crowd.’”
“That hit me right
between the eyes,” said Wally. “Dyer was really talking about me.
I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my
attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs
and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were
unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make
some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers
responded well, I did more.”
“I take it that has paid
off for you,” Harvey said.
“It sure has,” Wally
replied. “My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the
previous year. This year I’ll probably quadruple it. You were
lucky to get me today. I don’t sit at cabstands anymore. My
customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a
message on my answering machine. If I can’t pick them up myself, I
get a reliable cabbie friend to do it and I take a piece of the
Wally was phenomenal. He
was running a limo service out of a Yellow Cab. I’ve probably told
that story to more than fifty cab drivers over the years, and only
two took the idea and ran with it. Whenever I go to their cities,
I give them a call. The rest of the drivers quacked like ducks and
told me all the reasons they couldn’t do any of what I was
Johnny the Bagger and
Wally the Cab Driver made a different choice. They decided to stop
quacking like ducks and start soaring like eagles. How about you?
P.P.S. If you wish to
find out more about The Simple Truths of Service, just
click on the image below. If, however, you have not seen our 3
minute movie on Johnny the Bagger, just
here to view it now.
It will bypass the brain and go right to the heart!