Definitely a Job Well Done
JWD (Job Well Done) Executive Cars states on its website that it specialises “…..in a personal and reliable service for all your travel needs providing the very highest level of customer satisfaction”. A bold statement and one similar to those trotted out regularly by a host of customer facing businesses. So, our experienced mystery shopper Claire decided to put JWD to the test.
When I think taxi, I often think & then resign myself to: 10 minutes late & inevitable small-talk. When I think mini-cab or private hire, the same thoughts occur. Although I know that there’s a difference in the genres, I wasn’t quite sure what. Having researched the difference for this piece, I now know that a taxi driver (or Hackney carriage driver to give them their proper title and nodding to the heritage of the East London horse & carriage for hire) can pick up passengers from the street or taxi rank and usually has an illuminated ‘TAXI’ sign on the roof, whereas a minicab or private hire vehicle has to be pre-booked. There are some other subtle differences, but these are the main ones to know.
So, when I needed a ride to Gatwick Airport, although I had a local firm’s number in my ‘phone, I decided to ‘Google’ the phrase ‘airport taxi Ipswich’. Although as impressed as ever that Google returned 488,000 options in 0.71 seconds, I did what I understand most people do and scrolled down the very first page. Search engines spend millions of pounds trying to understand customer interaction, not to mention how much individual businesses spend on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), but I can only tell you how I responded…..I clicked on a few website links from the first page and then decided to call 2 firms with the more attractive, user-friendly and text-light home pages!
It was a weekend morning and I wasn’t sure if I would get a response, but both firms answered and gave me a quote. I would never reveal this on a first ‘business date’, but I am never particularly motivated by the cost, however, I am ALWAYS motivated by the level of customer care shown. It was off the back of this mindset, that I decided that JWD Executive Cars, or more precisely Len – its confessed proprietor – was the firm for me. For information, JWD is a private hire outfit.
The booking process was simple; an offer to me to pre-pay on my preferred company debit card and the promise of a follow-up email confirmation/receipt. Both duly arrived and although there was an error with my name, I didn’t have time to email a response to correct this, before another email arrived from Len, correcting the error and apologising. Wow! We were off to a good start in our fledgling, working relationship.
I was further promised a ‘phone call when the driver arrived on the day and I was further impressed when this ‘phone call was 15 minutes ahead of the agreed pick-up time, alerting me to the driver’s arrival, but reassuring me that it was acknowledged that he was early and for me to “take my time”. It was nice to hear that the driver was in fact Len, so this was going to allow me to talk directly to the ‘boss’ during my journey to the airport. Excellent research if nothing else!
The car was a Mercedes saloon and immaculately presented, as was Len, in his JWD emblazoned workwear. Now I don’t know about you, the reader, but I could probably put money on this….the chances of having your ‘taxi’ driver outside the car and open your door for you are slim, to as rare as taking a vase to Antiques’ Roadshow to be told its your retirement fund. Not JWD. Len had the boot open ready for my case and opened a presumptive rear door for my onboarding. This was perfect customer care and had the secondary benefit of removing any possible discomfort over where did the lady wish to sit?
The journey itself was relaxed, comfortable, perfectly air-conditioned and with just the right amount of conversation.
We arrived at Gatwick to a reversal of the well-executed onboarding, with a professional & helpful disembarkation.
I can usually find at least a couple of things to counter a very positive experience and nod to editorial balance, but Len was a credit to his chosen industry and simply a gentleman, who I am convinced would provide the same level of care on every journey; single male, single female, couples, business or pleasure.