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Shep Hyken: “I still share the story of the cab driver and the handwritten note”

Customer service2 MIN READAug 9, 2023


Shep Hyken is a hall-of-fame speaker (National Speakers Association), whose talks rally companies into creating exceptional experiences for their customers. Shep has also authored eight New York Times bestselling business books.

He’s a busy, popular thought leader in the customer service world. But he still took a little time to answer some questions for Klaus about things like leading a team, AI, and cats. 

What one invention would make your work life easier?

Teleportation (like Star Trek). Imagine the time I would save if I could be instantly teleported to my next speech!

 If there were no holds barred, what change would you make to customer service?

24/7 access with NO waiting! (Assuming I get the right answer and/or problem resolved on the first try.)

If AI is going to change the customer service industry monumentally, who do you think stands to benefit most, and why?

The company. Using AI correctly makes the customers VERY happy, which gets them to come back.

What’s the most important thing to keep in mind when nurturing a team?

Communication, especially listening. People want/need to be heard. Then reflect, share feedback, and take appropriate action.

What do you think is the most important lesson you’ve learned recently?

It’s not a new lesson, but one that I am reminded about often: Show up on time! Anything else shows a sign of disrespect.

What makes you really proud of your team? 

I love the way my team takes care of their customers (both internal and external).

Which book, podcast, or newsletter are you enjoying right now?

Banana Ball by Jessie Cole

What part of your day do you look forward to most?

Getting started in the morning!

What’s been your most memorable experience as a customer?

I still love sharing the story of my favorite cab driver (now retired) who treated me like a limousine driver – and sent me a wonderful handwritten thank you note.

Who is your favorite cat?

Catwoman (from Batman)… She’s the only cat that doesn’t shed, and I’m allergic to cat hair!

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