So what does customer service in a taxi have to do with real estate investing?

Short answer: EVERYTHING!

Really, it’s not just about the taxi ride… it’s about providing a great experience for everyone I work with, but the importance of this became very clear to me during my recent trip to Las Vegas with my beautiful wife, Blanca.

Let me back up…

You see, I had earned a trip to Las Vegas for making top sales for my company. (That’s a perk of still having one foot in the corporate world while building my property portfolio.) The trip was scheduled, my wife and I arrived by plane, and once we grabbed our luggage we hailed a taxi.

If you’ve ever taken a taxi from the airport you know you take the first in the line of taxis and don’t have a choice. So we threw our luggage in the trunk and hopped into the back seat.

Immediately the insides of our noses were met with something truly awful. Blanca and I looked at each other and brushed it off. We were getting away on our own for such much-needed rest and relaxation. So what if the taxi smelled like a combination of old, nasty gym socks and decayed food? We could take it for the duration of the ride.

But our bad experience had just begun…

The driver asked where he could take us; we told him and there was a palpable shift in the front seat. This driver’s attitude took an ugly turn. It’s not that he had greeted us with a smile or a pleasant countenance, but his distain hadn’t been clear until this point.

It became really obvious to us that he thought the hotel where we would be staying was ostentatious… or perhaps that we were repugnant to him because we could afford to stay there. The look on this guy’s face said it all, and it wasn’t nice. He had made a judgment about us.

For the record, the hotel was beautiful, expansive, well-attended, and really nice. Not ostentatious. Just really nice digs for our trip and we were very happy to be staying there.

The taxi driver’s demeanor made me take a good, long look at him. Maybe I wouldn’t have otherwise, but what I saw staring back at me in the rear view mirror was a filthy man, disheveled in his appearance, who might not have bathed in some time. That didn’t make him an awful human being (dirty, yes, but not awful). What made him seem awful to me was his terrible customer service.

This man complained the whole time we were in the taxi about Uber and how big companies are destroying jobs for people like him. Then he added a particularly memorable touch… he asked if we wanted to stop by a cheap liquor store. My wife and I looked at each other. No, thank you.

The driver asked how we intended to pay for the ride and was upset because we said “by credit card,” which is how I always pay at home.

When we arrived at the hotel we learned that the taxi driver’s credit card machine didn’t even work. (Is this what had upset him?) So I had to go to an ATM inside the hotel and get him the money for the ride. My wife stayed in the car… perhaps as collateral… and she said he was very negative about my having to get the money. It was clear he felt put out and wasn’t sure I’d return, which is odd (because my wife had stayed behind.)

I was never so happy to get out of a taxi in my life… and I take a great number of taxi rides where I live and during my travels. I felt compelled to share this story, because customer service and client care – no matter what we do in life – is critically important.

We have to know our customers. (This guy didn’t bother; he made assumptions and then asked us about a cheap liquor store. That one blows my mind.)

We have to WANT to give a great experience to our customers. (This guy couldn’t have cared less. Everything was all about him. I’m pretty sure he complains in his head even when the taxi is empty.)

We have to care enough to keep things clean so the first impression is a good one. (This guy kept his taxi the way he kept himself… in a horrible, smelly state that I personally will remember for all of my days. Yes, the smell was that bad.)

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Before I get to my point fully, let me share with you my second “taxi” experience.

Blanca and I hit the town. We had a great time, but at the end of the night it was time to head back to the hotel. We didn’t want to walk.

This time we decided to take an UBER to our hotel from the casino. It would be a 6-minute ride. Because of our last experience with Dirty Taxi Guy, we braced ourselves for another bad trip. Fortunately, nothing negative happened. In fact, it was a wonderful experience!

I was able to use my credit card right away.

When the UBER driver showed up, he introduced himself and offered us water bottles.

His car was immaculate and smelled nice. (Yes, I noticed.)

The driver was polite and gave us recommendations about interesting places we should visit while in Vegas.

He even gave us mints.
This driver and this “taxi” experience were awesome.

Comparing the two drivers, two vehicles and two rides made me think about the experience I’m giving my tenants, the people I’m working with in different projects and my investors.

I want to make sure everyone who comes in contact with me has the same level of excellent customer service my wife and I received with the UBER driver.

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Why?

Because there is no better way to gain referrals than by providing such a high level of care. Just like I’ll tell anyone who will listen about my wonderful UBER experience and that they should give it a try, too, I’m hoping everyone I work with will give me the thumbs up to others who might want to participate in one or more of my deals.

bannerdetails2That means my one immediate action item is to talk to my property managers to make sure my tenants are extremely satisfied with their experience living in my properties. And I will reach out to my existing investors to see if there are any areas for improvement.

This follow-up will now become an ongoing part of what I do here at KeePon Cashflow, so I can ensure a continued high level of customer care.

If you are ready to work with me, let’s get on a call together. You can schedule a time that is convenient for you.