Last week I took a trip to Manchester for a business meeting and in order to make my trip more effective I elected to take the train, so that I could use my time travelling to do some work.
Having reached Manchester, I took a cab ride for the last leg of the journey to my clients building as I don’t know Manchester too well and the weather wasn’t looking too reliable.
Once in the taxi I asked the driver how business was and the usual sort of pleasantries he mumbled something back about business being poor but there was a City game that night and business usually picks up then. And that was about it for the rest of the trip. Eventually the driver announced that we had arrived at the correct building and I leapt out, once outside I quickly worked out it wasn’t the right building although I could see the correct building not too far away. Good job I didn’t give him a tip.
Business meeting over it was time to take a cab back to the station again.
The front desk called me a cab and it arrived within two minutes, the same pleasantries were exchanged but this time a completely different experience, in the short ride to the station we talked about the difference in trade between United and City supporters what our respective children were doing in their careers and even put the worlds to rights on a number of other critical subjects.
All in all a really pleasant taxi ride which made negotiating our way through early evening rush hour traffic go in the blink of an eye.
Arriving outside the station entrance I thanked Mahmoud for an efficient and enjoyable trip, wished him well and paid the fare including a good tip.
The experience did make me think though.
It doesn’t take that much to be polite and pleasant with a client no matter what the service that you provide. In this case the driver earned a decent tip just by simply being polite and courteous and I appreciated the conversation through the tedious heavy evening traffic.
And when we transfer this idea to our own businesses it reminds me that we should make that little extra effort to make our customers experiences enjoyable ones after all it clearly makes a difference. It could even be the difference between winning business or not!
And don’t forget the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra!