According to the “Athens Guide Info”, every taxi in Athens is operational for 19 hours every day on average, clocking up 350 kilometres.
One of the 14,000 taxi drivers in Athens is Soteris Melissis. On my recent trip to the Greek capital, Soteris surprised me so much with his 5-star service and positive attitude that I feel compelled to let you know all about it.
Continue reading to find out how Soteris made sure that I became a loyal customer without even asking me to!
According to the latest European statistics, the Greek market is finally on the road to recovery but it is no secret that the Greek people are still suffering, having seen their salaries slashed and their hopes dashed. As a result, Greece is plagued almost daily by huge protest marches, demonstrations and strikes. The best way to avoid falling victim to an ailing economy is to try and stand out from the rest. This is exactly what Soteris is doing on a daily basis!
The first question that Soteris asked me once I was in the back of his taxi was the very same one that all the other 13,999 taxi drivers ask: “Where to?” But his second question was not. It was unique. It really took me by surprise when I heard him say: “Would you like a bottle of water or some juice, sir?” It took me a few seconds to realise that the question was not coming from a waiter in a café or a restaurant but from a taxi driver in Syntagma Square. I followed up by asking him if he really meant it and he pointed to the bottled water and the canned juice in quantities! He then asked me to feel free to choose from an array of magazines on display behind the driver’s and front passenger’s seat. Ranging from gossip to National Geographic, Soteris made sure that each magazine’s latest issue was there to read.
As we drove to our destination of Neo Psychiko, I asked Soteris if he knew anything about a particular trading company that I was due to visit the next day, following an invitation to investigate the possibility of training its customer service and sales team. What followed topped it all! He apologised that he did not know much about the firm and immediately reached right in front of him for his Samsung Galaxy tablet and told me that I could use it to Google the company and feel free to keep
busy with it until we arrived. The search proved, as always, very valuable and Soteris became an instant resource to me. A solution provider in the driver’s seat!
Once we had reached our destination, the taximeter showed 12.10 euro. Before asking me to pay, he ‘discounted’ the price to 10 euro! I willingly gave him 15 euro plus:
* my business card;
* my promised loyalty each and every time I return to Athens;
* a mention in this newsletter that reaches over 7,500 subscribers;
* his phone number (with his permission of course!) for anyone visiting Athens:
And by the way, did I mention that Soteris is available 24/7? This is real customer service!