Turning Employee Customer Service Best Practice into Standard Practice

It was just another day of travel. I was flying to Las Vegas, the night before I was to present another customer service speech. The client had arranged ground transportation, which meant I would probably see a driver holding a sign with my name on it at the baggage claim area.

As soon as the plane landed I turned on my cell phone and noticed a text message, which happened to be from Rick, my driver. The text message actually read as follows:

Hi Shep. This is Rick, your chauffeur. I’m in the baggage claim area in Terminal One at the bottom of the escalator holding a sign with your name, ready to drive you to the Cosmopolitan Hotel. See you soon. Thanks, Rick.

And included with the text message was a picture of Rick. I thought this was a nice touch. It warmed up the experience.

As soon as I came down the escalator to the baggage area I spotted Rick. And, he spotted me. He started walking toward me, and I thought to myself, “Does he know what I look like? How does he know it’s me?”

Well, it turns out that Rick does a Google search on all of his clients. And, he not only found my picture, he learned about what I did for a living. He even commented, “I hope I’m as good as that taxi cab driver that was on your YouTube video.” And it came as no surprise that just a few minutes after he dropped me off at the hotel he sent me another text message, thanking me for my business.

One might chalk this up to just another great customer service experience, but there are a couple of lessons we can take away from this.

First, I learned that what Rick did was not standard protocol for drivers. While I had received text messages from transportation companies directing me on where to go once my flight arrived, I had never been sent a picture. Rick told me it was an extra touch he thought of to make it easier for his clients to find him. He also did a little extra homework and learned about who he was driving that evening. Both of these are excellent “best practices” that he does with all of his clients.

The second lesson is even more important. Apparently, he is the only driver in his company to create this great customer experience for his clients. Why is that I’m wondering why the other drivers don’t do the same thing. Rick’s customer service best practice made him stand out. Why can’t the other drivers do the same thing so that the entire company stands out?

I’ve seen it happen again and again. Someone in a company does something different, sometimes even better, that makes him or her stand out. The result is that customers ask for that employee by name. So, doesn’t it make sense that the company would find out what that employee is doing that is special and attempt to operationalize best practice? There is no reason why the other drivers of Rick’s company can’t do what Rick does.

So are your customer service agents like Rick? Do you devote time to them and make them feel appreciated and engaged, ready to deliver the next great customer experience?

I’m sending this article to Rick. First, I want him to know how much I appreciate the effort he goes through to create an amazing customer experience. Second, I hope he shows it to the leadership of the transportation company he works for. Maybe they will pick up on what Rick does and turn it from a customer service best practice to a standard practice.

About the author

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, professional speaker and bestselling author who works with companies and organizations who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. His articles have been read in hundreds of publications, and he is the author of Moments of Magic, The Loyal Customer, Amaze Every Customer Every Time and the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestsellers, The Cult of the Customer and The Amazement Revolution, which was also recognized as a New York Times bestseller. He is also the creator of The Customer Focus program which helps clients develop a customer service culture and loyalty mindset.

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