This post was written a week and a half ago on my way back from New York.
Today I had two amazing experiences with
customer service. First as I was hurrying to pack my bags I got a call from American Airlines to let me know that my flight was an hour and a half delayed. I’ve been flying American pretty religiously since I was seven years old and this was the first time that this has ever happened. The difference in time afforded me an hour to meditate and a calm commute, both of which I am truly thankful for. I hope they do this again in the future.
Next I read online that to get to Newark by train I had two options – Amtrak and New Jersey transit. The post I read online mistakenly said that Amtrak would take 20 minutes, where NJT took 90 minutes. I didn’t have 90 minutes to spare so I bought an absurdly expensive ticket on Amtrak. Before I boarded the train I asked an Amtrak ticket agent if the price was correct and he openly asked, “you sure you want to travel with us. New Jersey transit is less than half the price.”
“Yeah but it takes ninety minutes,” I said.
“Actually it takes about thirty.”
“So why would anyone ever travel with you?”
“For this trip, I don’t know,” he honestly replied.
The best businesses admit when someone else is superior and refer there customers elsewhere. In so doing they earn their customers trust for life. As an overzealous startup TaskUs tried doing all sorts of things. We even took on tasks that required a considerable amount of remedial work to be done in our U.S. offices. In almost every case we ended up loosing money of the work and in every case we pissed our customers off. I learned a valuable lesson from this – learn what you are good at fast, then get great at it while referring everything else to the competition.