Customer Service: To The Point…Harvey Mackay and The Cab Driver

Thank you Debbie Demboski, Regional Director/Owner of Interiors by Decorating Den for sending me this great story. Contact Debbie for your own  franchise  or decorating services. Ph.800-866-9499  Decorating Den serves most markets in the US and Canada.

No one can make you serve customers well. That’s because great service is a choice.

Harvey Mackay, tells a wonderful story about a cab driver that proved this point.

Harvey 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 Harvey 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 mission statement.’

Taken aback, Harvey read the card. It said:

Wally’s Mission Statement: 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.’

Harvery said, ‘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.’

Almost stuttering, 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 own thoughts…

Tell me, ‘have you always served customers like this?’

Wally smiled into the rear view 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 friend to do it and I take a piece of the action.’

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 suggesting.

Wally the Cab Driver made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like ducks and start soaring like eagles.

How about us?

Smile, and the whole world smiles with you… The ball is in our hands!

A man reaps what he sows. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do
not give up… let us do good to all people.

Ducks Quack, Eagles Soar

Have a nice day, unless you already have other plans!


Sending you energy of health, happiness, prosperity

Steve Pohlit

Business Consulting, Executive Coach
Turnaround/Crisis Management
Temporary CEO, CFO, Controller Services
International Business Resources

Social Media Services
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About: Steve Pohlit is a CPA,MBA and has been the CFO of several major domestic and international companies.  Steve is a business owner and an expert business consultant focused on building profits and net asset value. He is very experienced with Internet marketing and social media marketing.  All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.

Author: Steve Pohlit

Independent BEMER Distributor Real Estate Investor Business and Real Estate Coach, Consultant Professional Speaker, Author

17 thoughts on “Customer Service: To The Point…Harvey Mackay and The Cab Driver”

  1. Hey Steve, that’s a perfectly practical story that can be applied immediately by anyone in their life! I was once a frustrated taxi driver in Australia, too… then one day I sat in the cab and said to myself: ‘Stop and learn new skills.’ Now I’ve just released a video entitled ‘Marketing 101’ and I’m in 60 or 70 affiliate programs and going gangbusters!

    Geoff D., Australia

  2. Bravo! This is a fantastic story! This is the type of thing that companies, large or small, should practice each and EVERY day. Think what a better world this would be if everyone practiced these same principles. Good customer service is really simple – do your best, give people more of what they ask for, be nice, and use common sense.

  3. Hi Steve,

    Thanks for the great story! I would love to be able to add it to my blog if you would give permission for me to do so. I know it may not be your story, but it is on your blog that I read it, so I feel it’s only proper to ask. I’ll gladly include the thanks you have at the top as well as a link to your blog at the bottom with your information. Please let me know if this is okay with you.

    Thanks so much!
    Meaza Ridley
    Empower & Improve U

  4. Hi, Steve, I would like to mention it in my blog, also, and request permission. Thank you for sharing this story. As a huge customer advocate, oftentimes people forget that customer service is a broad foundation that we need to build upon. “If you build it, they will come.” Thank you again!
    Traci Walker

  5. This was a great story. I’m blogging about this post of yours in a few days. Thanks so much for sharing it. Its going to create a great change at GerlaineTalk dot com. I’m so looking forward to giving more to everyone! Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. I am a driver, and its really fun to provide great service as you described. It is the most interesting thing I have ever done. Thank you for appreciating a good cab driver

  7. An inspiring story! Thanks for sharing. I have a similar experience. A few months ago, I started looking for something to be greatful for everyday and as a result, I received money from unexpected sources several times. I’m happier and everything’s looking up.

  8. I am a cab driver in Las Vegas and I am an admitted cynical. This is pure fiction written by a “motivational speaker” .

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