The Charminguy

Keeping your love tank full

One of my passions is Customer Service and in my travels I’ve come across a wide variety of interpretations of this, starting with “the customer is always right”. Keeping in mind that will have a certification process for it’s male members, I took the concept a little further when I started thinking about the customer service experiences I’ve had with taxi’s, plumbers & other “charming experience” high risk professions.

I have decided to call this "seal of approval" Charming Professionals.

In a recent conversation with the lovely Sunny Cervantes, we had the following discussion;

JC > The concept is that we would be certifying professional organizations & companies in traditionally (normally) non-effective customer service areas. Take for example taxi services.. wouldn’t you prefer to ride in a taxi where the driver was Charminguy Certified? Where you know that not only was customer care/satisfaction a concern/priority, but that the driver was also paying extra special attention to be charming to his passengers? That in short is the principle and I’m sure you can see how this could apply to any profession.

Sunny > As a consumer, of course I'd appreciate it if my taxi driver is charming. But, unless I understand what it means to be Charming Guy Certified and what the added value is of that certification to me as a member of the cab riding public, it wouldn't really have an impact. I wouldn't go out of my way to wait for a cab driver who possesses the certification. If I happen to ride a cab that was Charming Guy Certified and he was indeed charming - to me, that would just be giving me what is due me as a paying customer. Being charming in that sense, then, isn't an edge for me. It is an expectation. And while expectations in customer-service oriented industries/businesses are often not met, the added value of that certification to me is just lost in the expectation. However, if I knew what the perks are for riding a cab that was Charming Guy Certified, I would make more effort to seek out cabs that carry that certification even if I am late for an important business meeting.

JC > The Charminguy Certification of business’s/professions has more to do with immediate value add to the provider of the service you will use or purchase, and secondarily will benefit the user of the service. It’s like the Charming version of ISO 9000 certification.

Let’s take the taxi situation and I’ll speak from my expectations rather then from someone else’s. What I expect from a “standard” taxi driver is;

- the quickest route, unless I ask for the scenic one
- drives safely
- polite and helpful with loading bags into the trunk
- doesn’t smoke in my presence
- has a neutral smell
- both the taxi & the driver
- taxi is clean
- meter is clearly visible
- has adequate change
- has receipts
- no “special mirror” to look up passengers skirts

The following additional features would make it a charming experience;

- opens the car door for you before & after the ride
- permanent smile
- asks if you’d like the windows unlocked
- confirms the temperature of the car is adequate to your liking
- engages you I conversation
- disengages if you’re busy or not in the mood to engage
- gives you some interesting facts about your surroundings
- asks you what kind of radio station you’d like to hear

The latter are only a few examples; this would be the bare minimum extra service to be considered a Charmingtaxi. If you had this extra service, then not only would you probably leave a better tip, but you’d also to and reserve this taxi company next time you’re in town.

Sunny > I totally get now what it would mean to be Charming Guy Certified. It's like the gold standard of service. And now that I understand it, I wouldn't mind going out of my way and spending a bit more to get service providers who are Charming Guy Certified. :)

**end of conversation**

Different cultures have different views of customer service. Of what is the bare minimum to be expected, and then there is “authentic” value added customer service that just puts a positive spin on your day. It’s precisely the unexpected that most brightens up our day. This type of service & attention can be extended to any industry and it all comes down to hiring people with improved empathy & listening skills or provide this type of training. It’s suited to organizations that are willing to improve the level of service they currently give to a customer, even if it’s already good!

Views: 28

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Having frequently traveled by taxi in many major US East Coast cities (Philly, NYC, DC, Boston), it is rare to experience a taxi driver that is even remotely charming. The exceptions to the usual are memorable, and I have tipped them accordingly, when I have the means. But most of the taxi rides I've taken have been on the fly - either flagging one down in the city, or grabbing the first available at an airport or train station. So it is luck of the draw. Now, if I needed to call a taxi to pick me up, and I knew a certain taxi company insisted on Charming behavior from its drivers, I would be inclined to give them my business. Would I pay *extra* for that service? I don't know. My wife often uses a car service in Boston to go to and from the airport, as there has been a series of unpleasant situations recently reported, involving women in taxis. She pays quite a bit more for the car service, but it is worth it, for her peace of mind. A good friend in Brooklyn, NY also prefers to use car services over taxis, but I frankly do not see a huge improvement there.

I contrast this with the taxi service in Amsterdam, where I visited for business a few years back. Wow! Every taxi I traveled in was a late model Mercedes or BMW, and was immacualte. Every driver initially greeted me in Dutch, but effortlessly changed to English when he realized I was American. Friendly. Helpful. Good natured. I told a few of them, "Man, you'd make a killing providing this kind of service in the States!" I told them about a typical taxi ride in NY or Boston, and they were amazed.

BUt ultimately, all service - and all business - comes down to the individual level. People tend to do business with people that they like. And people tend to like being treated well - that goes for the customer AND the service provider. BOTH sides could stand a little dose of Charminguy, in my humble opinion!!!
Thanks for the valuable input Chuck.. I used the taxi driver as an example, but it's clear that it's a general requirement/need from all forms of service oriented professions. I was even playing with the notion of a Charming House Hubby for the single/divorced/widowed ladies.. Every time I travel and stay at a friends house, they are always so grateful when I do some chores around the house, move some furniture, fix somethings, etc.. you know.. the kind of things a woman always wants a guy around the house for.. what a great job.. everyone is used to cleaning ladies.. how about House Hubbies? And if they left you a poem on the mirror, or hung on the refrigerator magnet, then he'd be a Charming House Hubby! ;-)
Hey Sunny.. sounds like the kind of experience that would actually have me take away someone's certification!

We all have challenges every day.. and the important "win" is when you just "suck it up".. find your life's lesson and move on to your next challenge... grateful that you have a learning journey.

What do you think of my House Hubby idea that I've shared with Chuck? Could you see yourself getting one?
Hmm, Charming guy taxi drivers and House Hubbies. Sounds good to me, where can I get one?

I believe that not only the single, divorced or widowed women can do with a house hubby, also the ones that have husbands that are away on business trips a lot or the ones that have husbands with left hands.

As to the Charming Dutch taxi drivers or the lack of them actually: I live in Amsterdam and I have to say that in general, yes, there are some nice drivers. However, since the day the law changed in The Netherlands and any idiot can pick up a taxi license (sometimes it seems you can get them at the local supermarket judging by the non-service and non-charm I am confronted with) service has gone down; Not only did these new taxi drivers throw the principle "the customer is always right" out of the window, they don't seem to be keen to help with the luggage anymore either.

JC, I think we discovered a new market for you: taxi hubbies; to discuss with the driver and to on- and off-load the luggage ;-)
Hi Nadia.. Now there's a brilliant concept.. a Charminguy taxi service that drives you home, comes up carrying your luggage or shopping and fixes the leaking pipes, has a coffee and a chat to listen to your day's challenges and does it out of the kindness of his heart! hhhmmmmm, maybe I'm in the wrong profession ;-)


My Tool Kit

My DVD list

Charminguy Recommended Sites

Linqia; What if Google & Amazon got together and brought your relevant communities? This is even better!
Strategy in a Day; There's more to the Charminguy than just Charm & Romance.
Year of Living; JC & Maria's personal blog
The Community Girl; The Community Girl is a catalyst to inspire enthusiasts like you to learn how to harness the power of online communities. The purpose of this community is to share, ask questions and learn. You'll find blog articles, discussions, links to other blogs, books, videos, events, white papers, websites and experts contributed by all of us.
The Hunger Project; The Hunger Project is a global, strategic organization committed to the sustainable end of world hunger.
One Laptop Per Child; Our mission is to provide a means for learning, self-expression and exploration to the nearly two billion children of the developing world with little or no access to education.
Amazing Dreamers; 'Amazing Dreamers' is a community for people who want to take serious steps forward to making their dreams happen.
Cruel to be kind; Nicole Simon's passionate but pragmatic approach for using blogs, podcasts and other tools in professional and private endeavors. And some other stuff she is passionate about. Nicole lives in Lübeck, Germany and likes to facilitate a broader perspective.
The Love Foundation; The Love Foundation is a nonprofit organization with the mission of inspiring people to love unconditionally. Our vision is to assist people by building a practical foundation and understanding of love within individuals and society as a whole.
Tango Diva; Through travel, we gain a clearer vision of what it means to be a positive participant in this ever-shrinking world. Our mission is to equip women with tools that give them the confidence to travel alone. And once they experience the success of flying solo, then they can apply their newfound verve for adventure to their day-to-day lives. We become better people when we learn about the world and ourselves.
Tango Diva gives women their wings through sharing insight, direction, and inspiration so that they can become active, knowledgeable participants in life.
re:invention Marketing; A connection to working/enterprising women

© 2020   Created by JC Duarte.   Powered by

Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service