My travel ambitions have taken me to some of the most diverse corners of the world, allowing me to enjoy a broad spectrum of customer service experiences. Some of them were sterling examples of hospitality, turning my trips into memorable adventures. Some felt more like a misadventure, imprinting everlasting memories one would rather forget.
In Hollywood, Florida, my taxi driver apparently decided to give me a surprise tour. What was supposed to be a quick, direct drive from the airport to my hotel, and $50 fare, turned into a mini-voyage around a winding retirement village; and I got to pay for the extra time and distance! Talk about an unwelcome surprise.
My encounter with a taxi driver in Cairo turned out to be a touching experience. I was waiting for my sister when we hit a snag because of her lost phone. Despite the delay caused by the misplaced device, our driver, a kind-hearted man named Abdulerman, chose to wait at the airport voluntarily. For nearly two hours, he waited until my sister was found. When he spotted a petite blonde woman matching my sister’s description, he introduced himself and kindly offered her his phone. Being able to talk to her and coordinate our 45-minute journey to our Giza hotel was such a relief. Everything went smoothly, thanks to him. I was so moved by Abdulerman’s kindness and initiative that I hired him as our driver for our entire two-week stay in Egypt. Interestingly, both drivers worked for the same ride-sharing company. What a small world!
In essence, travel offered me two starkly contrasting customer experiences with two different drivers. These experiences set the stage for my journey and served as a striking reminder of the power of customer service in shaping our stories.