At 6:55 this morning, I was standing on 6th Ave and 39th St. in NYC.
It was still pitch black outside. I was on the corner, hunting for a taxi.
Cab after cab passed me, filled up with other passengers.
Finally, a little Prius pulled up. The driver rolled down his window.
We had one of those awkward moments where we both started talking at the same moment.
He was saying something that I couldn’t hear, because I was telling him where I wanted to go.
When I got done saying “I’m going to 59th and Lex”, I could tell he was saying “Do you want to use the trunk?”
Clearly, I wasn’t answering his question.
He opened his door and got out.
He said, “I don’t give a fuck where you want to go. You can go anywhere you want in the 5 Boroughs. I just wanted to help you with your suitcase.”
He then grabbed my bag and put it in the trunk.
I piled into the back of the Prius.
The cab had terrific blues music playing. Loud.
As I sat down, I felt very comfortable.
He was as friendly a guy as you could ask for.
His swearing didn’t put me off. He was speaking NYC cabdriver.
Those same words, in a different context, by a different person, would have been extremely offensive.
From that cabbie, it was real and genuine.
As I rolled uptown, listening to the sweet guitar playing, I realized I was listening to Jimi Hendrix.
When I left the taxi, I said to the driver, “Great music. What album is that?”
“Hendrix. Valley of Neptune. It was released as a greatest hits compilation in 2010. He’s still alive. As long as I keep listening, Hendrix is still alive, he lives in me.”
Nothing like a little Monday morning moment of Zen with a cab ride.
Not only was he friendly, he was deep.
As I walked away, I realized it was one of the best customer service experiences I’d had in a cab in a long time. In a NYC cab: in a very long time.
It’s not just what you say. It’s how you say it.
What kind of communication style do you shoot for? How’s that working for you?