Catching a cab to the airport in a city I knew well, I communicated to the driver where I wanted to go. He then proceeded to take a route that I wouldn’t have taken. Here is the conversation that ensued.
Me. “Why are you going this way?”
Driver. “It’s the shortest.”
Me. “But the other way is quicker.”
Driver. “My customers want the shortest way.”
Me. “Why would they want the shortest when the quickest costs less?”
Driver. (Uncomfortably quiet and didn’t speak for the rest of the journey)
LESSON. If you want customers to return, treat them well and provide high value. Customers need to know that you are putting their interests first, even if it means you losing a few dollars in that transaction. Blow it here and you will miss out on further business from both them and the referrals they’ll send your way. But, if you’re in it for yourself, just screw them upfront and follow the cabbies example