I’m in Hospitality

Very rarely do I fall in love with professionals. But I’m a fan of Bharat Rathod. Bharat Who?? Bharat Rathod. The Driver of the Cab Service I hire while I’m in Bombay (Sorry Raj Thackeray, its still Bombay to me). And why am I a fan of this professional??? Cause he totally delights me. Bharat drives the same Indica as all the other drivers do. Bharat charges more or less the same amount that the rest of the cab guys do. Bharat fills diesel in his car, just like the rest of them do. The Air Conditioning and seats are like any other cab. The only (and the biggest) difference is Bharat Rathod. Since the first time we used his services, we have been his fans. Not just his customers…but raving fans. We give him all our Business, recommend him to others and we’re really disappointed if he is not available on a certain day. Such is our fan following of Bharat Rathod – Driver of our Cab in Bombay.

What makes Bharat different??? A driver is a driver…Right??? WRONG. A driver is just a driver when he does not aspire to be anything more. But when you’re Bharat, you expand the dimensions of your role. Add so much value that you are missed sorely when you are not around. What Bharat does different is what all of us can learn & do as Business People.

1. Treats the customer like an Emperor
All of us love to feel good. That’s our favorite thing to feel – GOOD. Bharat makes his customer feel not just like a King…but like an Emperor. Bharat, as the picture shows, is not entirely athletic. But as soon as he sees the customer walking from a distance, he springs out of his seat to help the customer with his bag (however small it is). He treats his customer like the customer is the most important person to him. All our jobs either have us serving an Internal or External Customer. Do we make our customers feel like Emperors?

2. The Helping Professional
It always seems like it’s never about the money – although every business eventually is About the Money. It seems that he is genuinely interested in the welfare of my business – which in this case is the meetings he takes me for. He will do what it takes to ‘help’ me succeed. Bharat is always ready to help.

3. A Learning Professional
Bharat is a perpetual learner. The biggest deficiency I have seen in professionals during my trainings is the fact that they have stopped Learning after their formal education. Bharat’s command over the English Language is far better than most call center executives I have met. He knows Jet flight timings better than Naresh Goyal. In his previous avatar, Bharat worked at a Hotel, and has used all his learning’s from there in the Taxi Business.

4. An Adaptable Professional
The first time we hired Bharat’s services, I thought he was driving a little too fast for my comfort. I told Bharat I was slightly uncomfortable with the speed. Since that day – Bharat has adapted his driving style to suit my requirement. I have never had to tell him a second time to slow down. Bharat can make fabulous small talk when I’m up to it. He also knows when silence is precious (especially after I’ve yapped at a 2 day training program). If I’m with an associate he would never contribute in the conversation unless it’s something he can help with (like Cricket Match Scores, Railway Timing, Traffic Status, etc.).

Bharat is so good that we as Customers are ready to forgive him for any errors that happen. When you delight your customers time and again, they become more tolerant to your screw ups. And that’s the key to a lot of businesses. All of us as Business People will screw up. But how tolerant will our customers be with us? That would depend on whether you delighted your them in previous engagements.

Bharat blew me away with this one line where he sounded like Steve Jobs when he said “I don’t think of me as being in the Taxi Business. I’m in the Hospitality Business.”

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