Ultimate Ambassadors: Those are the two words that were branded on my brain recently. My family and I just returned from a week-long trip to Bermuda and I will never forget the taxi drivers. We didn’t rent a car so we relied on taxi transportation whenever we ventured off property. In total, we must have taken ,at least, six different taxis and each one was memorable. They were a key highlight of our trip to their beautiful island, mainly because they were such awesome ambassadors.
So here are 3.5 things the Bermuda taxi drivers excelled at that anyone (in any industry) can benchmark:
#1 – They were proud of what they were representing. From the first driver who picked us up at the airport…to the ones who took us into Hamilton (downtown), I heard things like “Welcome to our beautiful island”, and “I hope you get to explore what we have to offer.” Without being boastful, they authentically beamed and spoke positively about “their” island.
Takeaway: What are the words and phrases you can use to express how proud you are of where you work or serve?
#2 – They were eager to share nuggets about what they were representing. Each driver was equipped with interesting tidbits on Bermuda. For example, we were explained why (and how) some of the beaches have pink sand, the history of the Royal Naval Dockyard, the island’s three largest industries, and the rich heritage of the Bermudian people, to name a few. Although we visited the National Museum of Bermuda and learned about the island’s history, each taxi ride experience was a like a mini-museum onto itself.
Takeaway: What are the stories, facts and heritage of where you work or serve?
#3 – They were all interested in if we were having a great time. Every driver said “I hope you are enjoying your stay on our island” or “How have you been enjoying your stay?” or “What have you done since you’ve been on our island?” If we were interested, each driver had recommendations for restaurants, things-to-do, and places to visit. Nothing ever came off as pushy. On the contrary, I felt like each taxi driver was a gracious host and was happy to show off his/her island.
Takeaway: You are a host at all times.
Now here’s the bonus: Whether the trip was $5 or $60, the level of professionalism and hospitality NEVER wavered. If I’m being totally honest, I’ve had multiple instances (during my travels) where I can literally feel the driver’s animosity towards me if I’m only going a short distance. Service is service and professionalism is professionalism. An exceptional short taxi fare can easily turn into a long-term relationship with several long taxi fares by that same driver.
Takeaway: Always show the same level of care with “smaller” transactions as you would with larger transactions.
Being an ambassador and honoring where you work are essential parts of any organization. When your team cares about where they work, it shows. The opposite shows as well. Before you ask any of your team members to be an ambassador, ask yourself, “Am I an ambassador”? Am I a living, breathing manifestation of what I want my team to become? Whether you are driving passengers in taxis, administering medication in nursing homes, or serving food in restaurants, always remember that you always represent yourself, where you work and your industry. Be an ultimate ambassador.