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Feedback: The Million Dollar Lesson

There are two parts to this quick lesson. It’s about million dollar behaviour. This is a story I came across and sent out to lots of you recently:

The Million Dollar Lesson. Episode 1.

By: Petey Parker, “Heart At Work”

A cab driver taught me a million dollar lesson in customer satisfaction and expectation. Motivational speakers charge thousands of dollars to impart his kind of training to corporate executives and staff. It cost me a $12 taxi ride.
I had flown into Dallas for the sole purpose of calling on a client. Time was of the essence and my plan included a quick turnaround trip from and back to the airport. A spotless cab pulled up. The driver rushed to open the passenger door for me and made sure I was comfortably seated before he closed the door. As he got in the driver’s seat, he mentioned that the neatly folded Wall Street Journal next to me was for my use. He then showed me several tapes and asked me what type of music I would enjoy. Well! I looked around for a “Candid Camera!” Wouldn’t you? I could not believe the service I was receiving! I took the opportunity to say, “Obviously you take great pride in your work. You must have a story to tell.”

“You bet,” he replied, “I used to be in Corporate America. But I got tired of thinking my best would never be good enough. I decided to find my niche in life where I could feel proud of being the best I could be. I knew I would never be a rocket scientist, but I love driving cars, being of service and feeling like I have done a full day’s work and done it well. I evaluated my personal assets and… wham! I became a cab driver. One thing I know for sure, to be good in my business I could simply just meet the expectations of my passengers. But, to be GREAT in my business, I have to EXCEED the customer’s expectations! I like both the sound and the return of being ‘great’ better than just getting by on ‘average'”

Did I tip him big time? You bet! Corporate America ‘s loss is the travelling folks’ friend!

Episode 2. Feedback from Cookie (David Cooke) at WHK:

I had the most amazing conversation with one of my favourite clients on Friday afternoon. Ken & Donna are clients that have been with us since they bought a panel beating business about 8 years ago. They have an excellent reputation for high quality. As panel-repair shops have been closing all around them, their business has gone from strength to strength. Their story is similar to Pete Thurin’s experience in the pharmacy business in Toorak Village – from 6 shops down to 2. We got chatting about what we had been doing in our firm with Pete. We talked about the email that Pete had sent during the week – the million dollar lesson, and Ken went on to tell me a couple of examples of how they handle their customers – not just the odd customer, but every customer – all the time…

First he told me about an elderly lady that had dropped her car in to be repaired. Ken gave her a lift up the street – not just to near where she wanted to go, but drove up and around a round-about to drop her off precisely at the shop where she was going so that she didn’t have to cross the road! As Ken went to drive off, she tapped on the window – “Thankyou so much for doing this for me – I may be old and usually treated like I am senile, but I’m not – and I really appreciate what you’ve done for me and how you have made me feel“.

Then he went on to say, the guy that had just picked up his repaired ute while I was there – as he gave him the keys, Ken said to the customer, “I know your car’s right, but I want you to drive it up the street and back again, and then let me know how you’re feeling. I don’t want you to be just happy with it – I want this to have been the best experience you could have imagined“.

Meeting expectations is not what its about – its about exceeding them – the wow factor. Some people have this drive inherently in them, and our ponderings was how we transform this into all our teams.



Cookie, thanks so much for letting me share that with everyone. Talk about making a difference. Talk about the one percenters. Talk about the ‘wow’ factor.

Any time you’d like, I’d be glad to get across the desk from you and plan ways to put these kinds of inspirational stories in front of all your team members. It’s precisely what Blackbelt in Excellence is all about – being the best you can be. Being remarkable, never routine.

Email me on or phone +61 407 568 416.

Posted in business, customer focus, inspiration, stories, success.

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