Why taxi service is the epitome of customer service?
A typical stereotype that is predominant for years wants the average taxi driver to be a person of poor or low education. The status of ownership may vary; some own the car and the taxi licence but some others rent it. Most of them need to work long hours to make a living. They usually spend more than 10-12 hours inside the vehicle. A respectable amount of them may have more voiding dysfunction, infertility, urolithiasis, bladder cancer, and urinary infections as compared with non professional drivers, which is called taxi cab syndrome.
At the end of the day, a taxi driver is a self employed worker who needs very minimal skills, knowledge, academic qualifications and prior working experience compared to other professionals and craftsmans. Anybody who can acquire a driving licence can turn to a taxi driver. A bit of knowledge of the surroundings is a plus but not essential.
A cellphone with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay can be the navigator. Uber, Lyft and Beat are the partners that will boost the networking and provide the cab driver with more rides, so more income. A radio taxi subscription will add up to the total, no doubt.
It sounds so easy to be a taxi driver, isn’t it? It is literally a job without the need of educational background, prior working experience and investment capital (in case you rent a licensed cab). Plus, cab driver is equipped with several tools, apps and resources to turn it to a profitable business.
Regardless of the prior experience & any qualifications, a professional taxi driver who is running a sound business is responsible all at the same time for the logistics, the finance and accounting, the marketing, the mechanics and the business development. Not bad for a poorly educated person without any experience and lack of certain skills, right?
He (or she) must be fresh, clean and nicely dressed and needs to operate a (non smoking) spotless vehicle. They have to follow the traffic signs and respect the law. They must be discreet, polite, respectful, confident with a mediocre sense of humour. Finally, the client must be transferred in the safest possible way through the shortest route (whenever it is possible).
Above all, the taxi driver is accountable for a striking customer experience in a short period of time inside a fairly restricted space.
Taking everything into account, being a professional taxi driver who runs a thriving sustainable business and gets a high score in customer service is a complex thing that requires talent, insight, passion and a rather diverse skillset. No one will appreciate how good (or bad) you are in your finances or mechanical expertise (which is quite significant though). But they will definitely notice how neat and clean is your vehicle, how efficient and safe is your drive, how polite and respectful is your speech, how smart you are as a person, how honest you are as a businessman, etc. In most cases, they will leave a review in public.
All in all, you do not need a university degree to be a professional taxi driver who delivers a high end customer service.
The complexity and difficulty of acquiring these mental skills and moral qualifications make the service rather distinct, exceptional and a bit unusual.
This is why taxi service is the epitome of customer service and why being a professional taxi driver is not that easy.
P.S.: This could also be the reason why taxi drivers have such a broad knowledge and appear to have an opinion about literally everything from science to engineering!