A couple weeks ago we talked about the Desired level of service that your customer might not expect, but they desire. In general, if you deliver on something your customer desires, they will reward you for it in the form of tips and ratings.
Surprising level of service is my favorite level, because if you truly surprise your customer (in a good way), you can tell they are extremely grateful. You also have a good chance to get a big tip from surprising service. Surprising service is very difficult to accomplish because you have to know what your customer values in order to surprise them.
Here are some strategies that will help you surprise your customers:
Read your customer. How are they dressed? Suit and tie, outdoor wear, traveling/tourists, are they putting something in the trunk? This is your first impression and will help you understand them and make decisions.
Actively listen. Your customer will either outright tell you what they want, or will hint at it. Believe me, this happens in every ride, you just have to be listening for it. If your customer asks you a question, they are more likely to want to chat with you more. Customers love (appropriate) stories, tips on the local area, and feeling like they got a hook up.
Keep an arsenal of amenities. So you read your customer and are actively listening. Once you get that one piece of valuable information you can act on, you need to be able to actually act on it. Round up a small sample of supplies and amenities that you keep in the trunk and glove box. You don’t need to spend a lot, and are only giving it to people as a surprise. This is all in the name of more tips, so the best idea is to keep a small quantity of a broad range of things. Keep the ones you want to offer right away in the glove box and keep the after ride things in a trunk organizer.
Did you overhear the gal upset she spilled on her new blouse? “Hey, would you like a shout wipe?”
Overhear them discussing potential dinner plans? Are you friends with the general manager at the local restaurant? Send them there, and tell them to let the manager know you sent them. Maybe you have their business cards all ready to give out.
”Shoot, did you bring sunscreen?” “Hey, I have some in the trunk you can use”.
Remember, a surprise is only valuable if it is in a good way. This is an important distinction. You can easily surprise your customer in a bad way, either they do not value what you offered (waste) or you surprised them in a horrifying way (bad service). It all requires you to either get to know your customer, or pick up on the silent cues they are offering you.