Last week, I traveled out of town for a conference. Due to the timing of my flights, I took a cab both to and from the airport. I had strikingly different experiences on each trip and I learned that even a cab ride can be extraordinary.
Introducing cab driver number one…
I didn’t get his name, so let’s just call him Dave. Dave was a chipper guy who happily got out of his car and offered to help me out with my bag. Although he was a nice enough guy, there were several problems with Dave. First, he looked like he was wearing his pajamas. His gut was hanging out from his untucked shirt and his sweatpants weren’t the right size. He smelled like he hadn’t bathed in days. And, his car smelled the same way. When he popped the trunk, I saw a filthy sheet covering up a heap of junk. I almost didn’t want my luggage back there, but the inside of the car wasn’t any better.
The trip to the airport was okay, but Dave talked about how he thinks people just go on business trips to party. There was a lot more to it than that, but let’s just say he didn’t think too highly of business people, especially ones who travel.
I really didn’t give Dave much thought after that…until I met Sam.
Sam was my cab driver on my trip back home. As soon as the door opened, I instantly knew this would be a different experience. Sam’s cab was spotless inside and out. You could tell Sam really cared about his cab.
Sam greeted me with a smile and we chatted the entire trip. He asked about my day. He told me about the weather in Nashville while I was gone. We talked about the Nashville flood. I asked about his beautiful accent. He told me that he is from Ghana and he shared information about his country. Did you know Ghana’s official language is English?
I complimented Sam on his clean cab. He grinned widely and said, “This is my office. I like to keep a clean car.” We then swapped stories of bad cab experiences. I told him about Dave. He told me about drivers who talk on their cell phones the entire time, which he adamantly refuses to do.
He then said something very important:
“The passenger always comes first.”
So simple, yet so often ignored.
When we arrived at my house, Sam gave me his card — it said “Uncle Sam” on it. He told me that his nephews in Ghana call him Uncle Sam and it just stuck. He asked that I please call if I ever need a ride. His card even included his e-mail address.
It was clear Sam took pride in his work and he went out of his way to be remarkable.
Is there any question which cab driver will get my repeat business?
What can you do in your business to be remarkable?